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Six-time World Champion MC Mary Kom
Six-time World Champion MC Mary Kom|File Image
MANIPUR

Mary Kom & Nikhat Zareen’s verbal tussle takes an ugly turn

Both the pugilists accused each other of misbehaviour after the final round of women’s boxing trials of Olympic qualifiers which was won by the Manipur boxer

Team EastMojo

Team EastMojo

Guwahati: The infamous MC Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen “tussle” turned in a war of words and action after Mary Kom defeated Zareen in the final round of the women's boxing trials of the Olympic qualifiers on Saturday.

Both the pugilists won their respective first rounds of matches on Friday, but on Saturday, when Mary Kom was unanimously announced the winner against Zareen, the Telangana Boxing Association called the decision biased.

Claiming that Zareen was clearly the winner, the association slammed its decision for favouring senior boxer Mary Kom.

Also, according to reports, the six-time world champion did not shake hands with Zareen for her behaviour. To this, Mary Kom had said during the post-bout press conference: “Why should I shake hands with her? If she want 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.”

Boxer Nikhat Zareen
Boxer Nikhat Zareen
Twitter

Similarly, Zareen too claimed that she didn't like her behaviour, stating that she tried to hug Mary but she didn't hug back. “I did not like how she behaved with me, because when the decision was announced and I tried to hug her, she did not hug me back. Being a junior, I expect from seniors that they respect juniors too, so I felt hurt,” Zareen told media persons after the bout.

There has been a nasty verbal exchange between the two boxers in the past few months over the legitimacy of a trial and each other's boxing prowess.

After the Women's Boxing World Championships in November, Zareen demanded a trial between her and Mary Kom for the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifiers in February 2020 after Boxing Federation's indecisiveness over their selection policy. She also demanded that the trials be telecast live which the BFI rejected stating that there was no precedence for it.

While Mary Kom always stated that she would abide by whatever selection policy the BFI has, she had indicated an aversion to a trial, taking the example of other sports.