For five-time boxing World Champion MC Mary Kom,the coming months leading to the Olympics will be the feisty test,which she has faced so far in her career. First,she would be competing in the Asian Championships in Ulaanbaatar,Mongolia,next month,following which is the World Championships at Qinhuangdao,China,in May.
Ahead of a strenuous line-up,Pune is the city,which she has chosen to train,under British trainer Charles Atkinson. The main challenges for Mary,apart from the fact that womens boxing is a first-time event at this years Olympics,is the fact that shell be competing in the 51kg weight class – all her gold medals at the World Championship have come in either the 46kg or the 48kg classes.
There are only three weight categories. I will be participating in the 48-51kg category,so I can fight even if I weigh 48, Mary said at a press interaction on Thursday. But I am increasing my weight by around 2kg to increase my strength and hone my fitness levels.
Mary will remember that her first foray into the 51kg class brought her only a bronze at the Asian Games in 2010. Then,she lost the semi-final match against Chinese boxer Ren Cancan. At the time,she attributed the defeat to Cancans tactics,claiming that she had used her shoulder to ram into Marys chin during clinches. That defeat,Mary said,had taught her to deal with such tactics.
That was my first experience,and my opponent committed a lot of fouls,pushing,holding,using her arm and shoulder to hit me, Mary said. Now,I have learnt from that experience,and have got used to the clinching,and the close-in fighting,Ive been learning more about my guard. Losing that match has helped me learn more things about my boxing.
One of the methods Mary has employed to deal with the bigger opponents she might face in the 51kg category is to employ as her sparring partners three promising men boxers from Manipur – Chenglensana Meitei,Priyobrata Singh and Ibrahim Khan.
When asked if she would be interested in signing up for the World Series of Boxing if a womens league became part of the semi-professional event,Mary said she would relish such an opportunity if it arose.
Of course. Ive already fought and achieved a lot in amateur boxing. Im willing to fight professionally, she signed off.