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Thursday, December 7, 2023
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From ‘no skills’ to master planner, Mary Kom looks back at incredible world domination

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A “no skills, mostly strength” boxer when she got her maiden world championship medal, the iconic MC Mary Kom said that she has now reached a point where she doesn’t like exerting herself and looks to win without conceding punches.

The 36-year-old mother-of-three turned back the clock for a sixth gold at the just-concluded event, in which she is unlikely to be surpassed for quite a few years to come. It was her seventh overall world medal, making her the most successful boxer in the tournament’s 10-edition history.

In an interview with agencies, the Manipuri trailblazer reflected at her world championship journey from 2001 in the USA, where she won a silver, to the one that ended on Saturday amid adoring home fans — the atmosphere alone leaving her in tears.

“In 2001, I was young, inexperienced, in fact, I would say I had no skill. I was only relying on strength and stamina to pull through. Just following my instincts at that time,” she said.

“But in 2018, I had the experience to ensure that I didn’t exert myself unnecessarily. I don’t want to get hit anymore, I like to win bouts without getting struck and this is what I largely managed to do this time. No wasting of efforts. I have become calculative,” she added.

Speaking of tough, Mary Kom has been juggling between two weight categories ever since 51kg became an Olympic weight and 48kg was left out of the showpiece event. So, while her world titles are all in her “favourite” 48kg category, an Olympic bronze in 2012 came in 51kg.

If she has to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which she intends to do, Mary Kom will have to again bulk up a bit for the qualifiers scheduled next year.

“It’s not easy for me to juggle like this. I am also human and obviously it plays on my mind…obviously it is something that has consequences, I too suffer but I will try my best,” she said.

She calls it hard but Mary Kom’s results through many years make it look all very simple for her.

“To be the first woman boxer to achieve all that I have achieved, I am quite pleased with how I have done. Everyone has dreams, I am no different and I am glad that I am able to live my dreams,” the seemingly ageless powerhouse concluded.

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