Women’s World Boxing C’ships: Mary Kom adjudged best boxer

Mary Kom was declared by the AIBA as the best boxer after having clinched her sixth world title on Saturday.

‘Very special’ win: Mary Kom won the 48kg gold medal at the championships in New Delhi on Saturday.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

India’s M. C. Mary Kom, who won a historic sixth world title on Saturday, was declared by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) as the best pugilist of the 10th Women’s World Boxing Championships here.

Speaking at the official press conference, Mary Kom recalled her participation in the New Delhi event held in 2006. “At that time, boxers from fewer countries had participated. It was not even included in Olympics. Though we won eight medals — four gold included — competition is much tough nowadays and considering that fact our results here (one gold, a silver and two bronze medals) were great,” said Mary.

“As for the organisation, this one was better than what it was in 2006.”

‘Very special’

Asked to compare the win here with the earlier gold medals, Mary Kom said it was difficult to remember. “But this one was very special. I was under pressure and had to change my weight category also. I won my last Worlds gold in 2010 and then the change of weight for Olympics happened. Pressure was something I always felt but don’t know how to put this gold alongside the earlier five,” she reasoned.

However, Mary pointed out she had won five on the trot. “Even Katie Taylor (of Ireland) had not done that,” she said.

Lovlina Borgohain: "[These championships] gave us the confidence that we, too, can beat the best." Photo: Sandeep Saxena

 

Among India’s other medallists, Sonia Chahal claimed the silver in 57kg, and Lovlina Borgohain won the bronze in 69kg.

‘Need to work even harder’

Lovlina felt the championships gave India’s boxers the confidence they need. “[These championships] gave us the confidence that we, too, can beat the best and we should fear none. We have beaten many top and world champion boxers in the last few days. But we need to work even harder from here on,” the young Assamese pugilist said.

Simranjit Kaur, who was unlucky to lose in the semifinals, agreed with her team-mates. “We need to work on strengthening ourselves more and the way we have competed in the Worlds is a good sign for the future of Indian boxing,” the Punjabi pugilist said.

‘Confidence’

Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president Ajay Singh described the event as the best championships to be held in recent years. “They were very happy and it gives us the confidence to go ahead and bid for more tournaments. We will be definitely eyeing to get one of the Olympic qualifying events to India,” he said.