NEW DELHI, Nov 8, (AFP): India’s Mary Kom made a triumphant comeback on Wednesday, taking her fifth gold medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships — a win she dedicated to those who stuck by her after many had written her off. The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, who defeated North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi in the 48 kilo category, told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency she was “really happy” at the way the championship had panned out.
“I would like to dedicate this victory to all those who have supported me even though the world had written me off,” said the 34-year-old. Kom, a five-time world champion, was left heartbroken after she failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics. The mother of three from a poor family in India’s remote northeastern state of Manipur was dubbed “Magnificent Mary” after she won her fifth world championship title in 2010.
She is a member of India’s upper house of parliament and was also the subject of a popular Bollywood movie in 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who nominated Kom for her parliamentary seat, took to Twitter to congratulate her on her win. “Congratulations Mary Kom for clinching the gold … India is elated at your accomplishment,” Modi tweeted. Kom told PTI it had been tough to juggle her various roles.
“I don’t even know how I manage to pull it off sometimes,” she said. Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder has accused Anthony Joshua’s management of “ducking” him and says he is prepared to come to the United Kingdom to make the heavyweight mega-fight happen. American Wilder, 32, defended his WBC title with a first-round knockout of Bermane Stiverne last weekend and has set his sights on Joshua’s WBA and IBF belts.
But he believes the Briton’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, is stalling. “I think Eddie is ducking me more so than Joshua,” Wilder told BBC Sport. “If Joshua’s a strong champion, a true champion, you guys in England should smoke him out, make him fight. “You should see if he’s the best. My heart says I’m the best. If I’m not, I want someone to show me.”
Joshua, 28, defended his belts by beating Carlos Takam in Cardiff and Wilder says he is willing to cross the Atlantic to face the former Olympic champion. “Packing out stadiums looks good, but the money and hub of boxing is in America,” Wilder said. “But if you want to stay at home like a little girl, this king has no problem travelling to knock out the champion.” Joshua, who could also fight New Zealand’s Joseph Parker for the WBO belt, says Hearn is preparing an offer for Wilder.
“If Wilder’s not making an offer, we’ll do it on my terms,” Joshua told Britain’s Press Association. “Everyone says they want to fight and then sits back and waits for me to do all the homework. “What we then have to do — which Eddie’s doing — is fly out to the United States to make time. “There’s one thing talking and acting, but negotiations don’t happen over social media. We’re now making the moves forward.” Joshua added: “I’m serious about becoming undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
“We’re just making sure that a lot of these guys who are making noise will back up what they’re saying.” Parker’s promoter, David Higgins, has claimed his fighter has an agreement to fight Joshua next.