Six-time world champion Mary Kom (51kg category) had the last laugh in the much-anticipated trial bout against Nikhat Zareen as the former prevailed 9-1 to make the Indian squad for the next year’s Olympic qualifiers in China.
There was a lot of spotlight over this bout owing to the bitter row created after Nikhat Zareen protested to have a fair chance as Mary Kom was earlier directly picked for the Olympic qualifiers. However, after Mary Kom emerged victorious against Nikhat, she refused to shake hands with her younger opponent, saying, “she should first respect others.”
“Why should I shake hands with her?
If she wants 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,” Mary Kom said.
Moreover, Nikhat lost in a split verdict, a few representatives from her home state Telangana’s boxing association cried foul. Boxing Federation of India (BFI) President Ajay Singh had to step in to control the situation after AP Reddy, claiming to represent the Telangana Boxing Association vociferously protested the decision.
“How will boxing grow amid this kind of politics,” he later told reporters after being asked to leave the ringside by Ajay Singh and pacified by a disappointed Zareen herself.
Meanwhile, in other results, two-time world silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) lost to Sakshi Chaudhary while in the 60kg category, former world champion L Sarita Devi was defeated by to national champion Simranjit Kaur.
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