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Mary Kom raises the mercury

When it comes to women pugilists, glamour and emotion quotient add to the sport, making it a perfect recipe for a Bollywood blockbuster, writes Anam Arsalan.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 12:07 IST

It is an accepted fact that boxing is a gruesome sport with pugilists often ending up with broken noses. But when it comes to women’s boxing, glamour and the emotion quotient add to it, making it a perfect recipe for a Bollywood blockbuster.

The World Women Boxing Championship now in progress in New Delhi has that recipe in abundance. There was emotion when India’s hot favourite in the 46 kg category, MC Mary Kom, said with a smile, “I will take my husband abroad, if I win the final here.”

To add to the drama was the fact that she was running high temperature during her quarterfinal bout on Tuesday. “I was feeling feverish, but I could not take any medicine as it could have resulted in a positive dope test.

“I would just say that I won it on experience,” she said. And her bout against Sri Lankan Chandrika Guruge was proof of it. She easily converted a 13-3 lead to 19-4 in the second round before the referee stopped the contest.

N Usha’s bout spiced up the proceedings further. As she took apart Ingrid Egner of Norway 11-5, not just her teammates but even her parents were seen jumping and cheering.

Speaking of glamour, a blonde with a red flower in her hair became the photographers’ delight. She was Klara Svensson from Sweden, who defeated Kinga Siwa of Poland to enter the semifinals in the 63kg category. “I wish I could combine fashion and boxing,” said Klara, justifying her use of the flower.

Not to forget Ramona Chirhoc from Romania. The referee has never been a boxer herself. “I have never been a boxer, but I came into the sport via an exam,” she said.

And there was happy ending for India, as seven out eight pugilists won their bouts on Tuesday.

Results (quarterfinals, all Indians)

46kg - Mary Kom bt Chandrika Guruge (Sri) 19-4 (RSC/OS Rd 2); 48kg Kalpana Choudhary lost to Yesica Bopp (Arg) 4-19 (RSC/OS Rd 2); 50kg - Chhoto Loura bt Eun-A-Jang (Kor) 20-5 (RSC/OS Rd 2); 52kg - Sarita Devi bt Maarit Teuronen (Fin) 22-1; 57kg - N Usha bt Ingrid Egner (nor) 11-5; 63kg - Jenny RL bt Celeste Peralta (Arg) 16-1 (RSC/OS Rd 1); 75kg Lekha KC bt Mia Etalapelto (Fin) 205 (RSC/OS Rd 2); 80kg - Renu bt Iryna Komar (Ukr) 15-0 (RSC/OS Rd 2).

First Published: Nov 22, 2006 12:07 IST