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Mary Kom to hire male sparring partners if needed

Mary Kom, Mary, World Championships, Indian Federation of Sports GamingDifficulties in finding a suitable sparring partner among women has led six-time world boxing champion Mary Kom to think of hiring a tall male boxer to practice in the ring again after six years.

The Olympic medallist on Wednesday said she did not face any tough opponent in the 48kg category at the World Championships which she won recently.

“It is difficult to get a (sparring) partner also. Here we don’t have partners and they don’t want to help. After the Worlds (Championships in Delhi), those who did not get the chance – they ran away. Only a few people are left,” said Mary, who won a record sixth world title last month.

“If my training is not there (going well), I will hire taller guys and then train with them. Last time, for 2012 (London Olympics), I did the same at Balewadi (in Pune)”, Kom told reporters here.

Mary, who won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics, was speaking after the launch of Stars of Tomorrow, an initiative by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming.

The veteran pugilist, who won her sixth world title in the 48kg weight class, did not name anyone when asked specifically which boxers she was referring to, saying she didn’t want to create any controversy.

The 35-year-old Manipuri has set her sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to try and climb the medal podium for the second time and said she has started watching videos of prospective rivals in the 51kg weight category in which she will have to compete.

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