Sarjubala Devi not only wants to emulate her idol, but also aims to shift from 48kg to 51kg category once the world champ boxer retires
Fresh from her silver-medal show in the 48kg category at the World Women's Boxing Championships in Jeju, South Korea a few weeks ago, Sarjubala Devi has now set her sights on getting ready to take centrestage when her idol MC Mary Kom retires.
Sarjubala Devi. Inset: MC Mary Kom
The legendary Manipuri boxer and five-time world champion has recently spoken about hanging her boots after 2016 Rio Olympics.
Already touted as the next Mary Kom in boxing circles, Sarjubala is in no mood to draw any comparisons. "There cannot be another Mary Kom.
I want to take her place once she retires and achieve more international success. That's my aim in life," said the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) supported athlete at a city hotel yesterday.
Sarjubala is keen to move to 51kg — Mary Kom's category — in order to represent India at the Olympics.
"I want to switch to the 51kg category so that I could represent the country at the Olympics where I want to better Mary Kom's performance by winning either a silver
"Mary didi was my inspiration to take up boxing. I watched her bout in 2004 and decided to make a career in this sport," said Sarjubala.
Mary Kom too has high hopes of Sarjubala. "Sarjubala is one of our most talented young boxers. She is very fast and aggressive.
"She has a lot of potential," said the London Olympics silver medallist.
Pleading with the International Boxing Association to revoke the suspension imposed on boxer L Sarita Devi, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has written a letter to AIBA President Dr Ching Kuo Wu requesting him to take a sympathetic view given her humble background.
The AIBA is yet to take a final call on the quantum of Sarita's punishment but Dr Wu has already made it clear that her career is “as good as over” despite tendering an unconditional apology.