Mary Kom open to give professional boxing a chance
Indian boxing legend MC Mary Kom has not given up hopes of making a comeback to the boxing ring, as she is recovering from an ACL rupture surgery. In fact, the six-time World Champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist wants to become a professional fighter.
"(The) Injury is much better now. I can walk, and run, though not on hard surfaces. I just started running on (a) treadmill," Mary Kom told reporters after she was awarded the PC Chandra Puraskaar 2023. "I'm pushing myself. After one month, I'll be fully fit and recovered. I'll be ready to fight in the ring in two months' time," she said.
But by virtue of a rule that prohibits amateurs to fight after 40, Mary would not be able to prolong her career much. So instead she wants to explore the professional route. "I'm thinking, I can also become a pro. I have that confidence. Nobody can stop me from fighting."
In August of last year, the boxing legend endured surgery in a hospital in Mumbai. Mary Kom refers to it as the darkest stage of her career and stated she would have chosen "death" over the trying time. "It was so painful... I didn't expect this injury. It was bad luck. It wasn't a minor injury, but a major grade-III ACL tear. People said I won't be able to run again, forget (about) fighting. Six months after the operation, there was still unbearable pain that (I) preferred death."
"In my life, I've struggled a lot, did hard work... so much that I never cried and took all the pain. But this (recovery) was unbearable. Only once before in my life, I had cried when I had lost my passport and then I attempted suicide, as I did not have the money to apply for a fresh passport," she recalled.
At the Women's World Boxing Championships earlier this year, India made history by taking home four gold medals (Nitu Ghanghas, Nikhat Zareen, Lovlina Borgohain, and Saweety Boora). The feat was initially accomplished in 2006 by the team of Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny Lalremliani, and Lekha KC.
Mary Kom pleaded with Nikhat and the company to maintain their composure, stating that "Nowadays, whenever one becomes a champion, arrogance, attitude, and indiscipline creep in because of money and fame. They (boxers) have to guard against it. My uniqueness is that I always love everyone and care for everyone. I'm blessed, which is why I am here. They (young boxers) have to be guided well."
When asked if India had a chance to win a medal in Paris, Mary Kom responded, "Their fate is in their hands. The federation is doing its best. They (boxers) are not lacking anything, everything is being provided. Now, it's all in the hands of the boxers... how many of them qualify and win medals in Paris."