‘Boxing is my life’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Nov 2017 10:08:04


Sports Reporter,

FOR her boxing is life. It was boxing that gave her such stupendous success. And the secret of her success is fitness. Five times World Amateur Boxing champion and as many times Asian Boxing champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte, popularly known as Mary Kom, was at her candid best as she shared her life and time with the media, on Sunday morning.

Mary Kom was in the city as chief guest of the prize distribution ceremony of Maha Metro Nagpur Marathon 2017. After having graced the occasion giving away some of the prizes, the 35-year-old Arjuna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Bhushan awardee, mother of three, nicknamed ‘Magnificent Mary’ who is ranked 4th in the AIBA World Women’s Ranking Flyweight category, spent some time interacting with the scribes at the Nasikrao Tirpude College of Physical Education.Mary who also runs a boxing academy along with her husband as coach in Imphal, in quite a plain and straightforward manner replied to queries in English and Hindi. Excerpts: ON COPING WITH SUCH A BUSY LIFESTYLE: “All of this isn’t easy especially when with the task of functioning as a National Observer where visiting places becomes essential. I feel the pressure especially when it comes to incorporating regular fitness training into all of this. This boxing fitness training is absolutely essential and entails a session which spans from anything between 45 minutes and an hour daily.

However, I have to do this on a priority basis for it involves training for boxing and for me, boxing is my life. After all, without boxing, I would not have come thus far, not as an observer, a five-time World Amateur Boxing Championship and Asian Boxing Championship winner and neither would I have been able to stage a comeback into boxing by winning the gold in the Asian Boxing Championship at Ho
Chi Minh City, Vietnam earlier this month.”

HER IMMEDIATE TARGET: “My next immediate target is a gold medal at the forthcoming 2020 Olympics. I intend to compete from the 51 kg class.”
THE SECRET OF HER SUCCESS: “Like I said earlier, I am whatever I am because of boxing and remaining fighting-fit is what gives me the confidence that I can achieve my goal. So, in a way, I would say, that my fitness is the secret of my success.”

ON INFLUENCING THE SPORTS POLICY REGARDING BOXING IN INDIA: “I believe that the BAI with Ajay Singh at the helm of affairs is studying the infrastructure and facilities for boxing across the country and are already working out plans to meet the necessities. According to me, coaching at various levels, especially the grassroots level in boxing is essential and the right age to catch young boxers is when they are 12-year-olds.”

ON WHAT OTHER FEMALE BOXERS OF INDIA LACK: “I feel sorry for them and wonder why they cannot feel motivated enough to put up a good fight when it comes to facing international competitors. They do so well in the selection trials back home and when they face international opponents, they quite often even fall sick. There could also be a psychological reason to this. My advice to them usually is: ‘Why cannot you put up a good fight. If they have sweated it out and trained hard, so have you. If not for anything else, then at least for the hard work you have put in, put up a good fight and take them on courageously.’”

ON HER BOXING ACADEMY IN IMPHAL: “It is yet to be inaugurated, but I hope it will be complete in a month or two. We already have a few young talented boxers undergoing training, However, I would not like to reveal their names. You never know, they might simply run away.”
ON HER KIDS AND BOXING: (laughs): “They box a bit, but I think none of them has taken to me, they are more like their father, Karung Onkholer. They love football.”

ON BEING A BOXER-MOTHER DEALING WITH ANNOYING KIDS: “I am a boxer, but a mother too. Just because I am a boxer, it doesn’t mean I throw my weight around against my own kids. They need to be dealt with like any other mother does lovingly.”

ON FACING CRITICISM: “I believe in dealing with criticism against me with an open mind. If the criticism is positive, I must take note, but if it is that kind of criticism which is at making me ‘pareshaan’ then I would like to deal with it like to deal with it the ‘de dana dan’ way.

ON HER WISH TO MEET FEMALE SPORTSPERSONS OF THE ORANGE CITY: “So far, I was approached by one female boxer but would like to keep in touch with more.”