Mary Kom: If you do that, I will hit back

Updated: Dec 29, 2019, 07:43 IST | PTI | New Delhi

Six-time world champ warns Zareen not to challenge her next time after winning trial for Olympic qualifiers

MC Mary Kom (left) lands a punch on Nikhat Zareen during a Olympic qualifiers trial in  New Delhi on Saturday after which there was a war of words between the two boxers. Pics/PTI
MC Mary Kom (left) lands a punch on Nikhat Zareen during a Olympic qualifiers trial in New Delhi on Saturday after which there was a war of words between the two boxers. Pics/PTI

New Delhi: MC Mary Kom remained combative long after winning the trial for Olympic qualifiers on Saturday, slamming the controversy that preceded her showdown with Nikhat Zareen.

The six-time world champion prevailed 9-1 over the former junior world champion, 23, and at the end of it all, there was no customary handshake. "I don't like this, you drag my name into an unnecessary controversy and then you try to posture. I did not start this. I never said I will not fight you in a trial, then why did you drag my name," Mary Kom told PTI referring to Zareen's open letter to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju specifically demanding a trial bout against the Manipuri legend.

The referee declares MC Mary Kom (right) the winner as Nikhat Zareen hangs her head in disappointment
The referee declares MC Mary Kom (right) the winner as Nikhat Zareen hangs her head in disappointment

"I am also a human being, I also get irritated. Can't I get angry when my credentials are questioned like this? And this wasn't the first time. It has happened so many times with me despite the fact that no other Indian boxer has achieved what I have achieved," she added, referring to past selection controversies in which she has been challenged without much success by the likes of former Commonwealth Games bronze winner Pinki Jangra.

"Perform and take my spot, who is stopping you? But don't talk big without that. If you do that, I will hit back. Why was this made a media trial about me?" she fumed. The controversy first erupted when Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh, after the world championships, stated that Mary Kom's bronze was good enough for her to get an exemption from trials, despite a laid down selection policy which offered direct berths in Olympic qualifiers to only the gold and silver-winners.

"Did I make that announcement? Whose fault was it, was it mine? I didn't even know about it. Because mentally, I was prepared for a trial at that time," she asserted. "Once the trial was announced, did I say I won't come? Then why was my name taken time and again?" she asked.

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