Mary Kom:Journey from “No Skills” to Champion

A “no skills, mostly strength” boxer when she got her maiden world championship medal, the iconic M C Mary Kom says she has now reached a point where she doesn’t like exerting herself and looks to win without conceding punches.

The 36-year-old mother-of-three turned back the clock for a sixth gold at the just-concluded event, in which she is unlikely to be surpassed for quite a few years to come. It was her seventh overall world medal, making her the most successful boxer in the tournament’s 10-edition history.

In an interview with PTI, the Manipuri trailblazer reflected at her world championship journey from 2001 in the USA, where she won silver, to the one that ended on Saturday amid adoring home fans — the atmosphere alone leaving her in tears.

“In 2001, I was young, inexperienced, in fact I would say I had no skill. I was only relying on strength and stamina to pull through. Just following my instincts at that time,” she said.

“But in 2018, I had the experience to ensure that I didn’t exert myself unnecessarily. I don’t want to get hit anymore, I like to win bouts without getting struck and this is what I largely managed to do this time. No wasting of efforts. I have become calculative,” she added.

It wasn’t the first time that she won a world gold on home turf, that was back in 2006, Delhi being the venue then too. But that gold was not followed by tears. On the contrary, a wide grin didn’t leave her face all through the celebrations of what was her third world title at that time.

“I can put it down to the hype and pressure may be. At that time, women’s boxing was not that well known. People came but it wasn’t the same buzz. This time, I saw people in the stands chanting just my name and it overwhelmed me,” she said.

“There was this huge buzz and on the final day, it completely overpowered me, emotionally. That’s why I broke down, I couldn’t help it,” she explained.

To be the first woman boxer to achieve all that I have achieved, I am quite pleased with how I have done. Everyone has dreams, I am no different and I am glad that I am able to live my dreams,” the seemingly ageless powerhouse concluded.


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