Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom beat Nikhat Zareen on Saturday in the 51-kg weight category final of the ongoing Women’s Boxing Olympic trail at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Delhi
The much-talked-about bout was widely expected to be an intense affair. However, it was anything but intense, with considerably fewer punches being exchanged. And ultimately, experience prevailed over energy as Kom won by a convincing margin 9-1.
With that, the Manipur-based boxer has also made it to the Indian team for the 2020 Olympic qualifiers in China that will also be held next year. After the victory, though, she refused to shake hands with Nikhat.
Mary Kom on not shaking hands with Nikhat Zareen after the bout: Why should I shake hands with her? If she want others to respect her then she should first respect others. I don't like people with such nature.Just prove your point inside the ring,not outside. https://t.co/TERXuRECMh pic.twitter.com/vwqSvSmgN3
— ANI (@ANI) December 28, 2019
Buildup to ‘the’ bout
Earlier this year, Zareen had asked for a ‘fair chance’ to contest at the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers. The pugilist had, on October 17, written to the Sports Ministry questioning the Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) decision to give world champion Kom a ticket to the qualifiers by modifying the rule of exempting World gold and silver medallists.
And that is how Mary Kom, who had won a bronze medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championships this year, had to return back to the ring.
It wasn’t, however, a tough task for the legendary pugilist. In the 51 kg category, she easily beat her opponent Ritu Grewal in what was a unanimous decision. She then got the better of Zareen, who herself had outclassed her opponent unanimously earlier on Friday.
A few representatives present from Nikhat’s home state Telangana’s boxing association complained once the result was declared. In fact, Ajay Singh, BFI president, had to bring the situation under control after A P Reddy, claiming to be a representative of the Telangana Boxing Association, vociferously protested the results.
“How will boxing grow amid this kind of politics?” he later said, after being questioned to leave the ringside.
While the trials for the women boxers will conclude on Saturday, the men’s trials will be taking place between 29 and 30 December.