MC Mary Kom gets AIBA’s Legends Award, Vikas Krishnan wins Best Boxer trophy
Legendary Indian boxer, MC Mary Kom, couldn’t have asked for a better gift on New Year’s eve. The five-time world champion, Olympic Games bronze-medallist, Asian Games gold-medallist -- the list goes on -- was honoured on Wednesday with the first AIBA Legends Award for her “promising boxing career”, during the 70th anniversary of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) hosted in the Swiss city of Montreux.
As the Manipuri eyes the next Asian Games at Jakarta and the Commonwealth Games in 2018 -- and is even keen on competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, her body permitting -- the award would certainly have come as a shot in the arm for the mother of three. Besides Mary Kom, former Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishnan was honoured with the AIBA Pro Boxing Best Boxer trophy.
Before leaving for Montreux, Mary Kom had emphatically spoken about prolonging her career, saying, “I am attending the national camp at the IG Stadium (in Delhi). I just want to continue for another three-four years. If 48kg is included in 2020 Olympic Games, I will give it a shot and try to win a gold medal for my country.”
Mary Kom recently decided to go back to the light flyweight (48kg division) amid speculation that it is among the two categories the AIBA is pushing for inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
On her preparations, the 33-year-old Mary Kom had said, “I have started training and though I could not participate in the Nationals due to the Parliament session, I want to represent India in international competitions. 2018 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are my focus and I will also look to compete in other official international competitions.”
After her London Games exploits, Mary Kom become a household name and more and more women are now taking to the sport as a hobby or to play it at a competitive level. On this, the star boxer said, “Women boxing is becoming more popular. I just want to give back to my sport and my nation. To produce more champions from my academy, that is my dream. I have gyms and outdoor rings to train the underprivileged youngsters.”
A five-time world champion, a mother of three, a Member of Parliament and a coach for budding youngsters, Mary Kom is all rolled into one. But she is certainly enjoying all these roles. “People might think how would I be able to devote time being a MP, but this has been a long-time dream. Most of the boxers suffer from poverty, so if I can do something for them that will be a great achievement for me, besides my medals.” Perhaps this is the mission that’s keeping her going.