Mary Kom Pooh-Poohs Retirement Talk, Says “Why Can’t I Come Back?


Legendary Indian boxer Mary Kom, who is recovering from a knee injury, is not planning to retire anytime soon and rather vowed to come back strong.

The veteran former world champion sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during India’s Commonwealth Games trials in June this year. She is now recovering after reconstructive surgery but has vowed to bounce back soon.

“Why can’t I come back? I am Mary Kom,” the Indian boxer said during a press conference on Friday.

“I am still hungry. I want to compete in one major tournament before I retire. And I don’t mean an invitational event, just one proper competition before I go,” Mary Kom said.

Mary Kom is the only female boxer in the history of boxing to have won six world championships. The five-time Asian champion was also the first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal at the Asian Games in 2014.

Mary Kom’s last appearance on the international stage was at the Tokyo Olympics, where she reached the pre-quarters before losing to Ingrit Valencia of Colombia by a 3:2 split decision.

However, Mary Kom will turn 40 next month, which means she can’t participate in the Paris Olympics or next year’s Asian Games as the upper age limit to compete at these events was set at 40 in 2013.

“I know there’s an age barrier, but I still want to compete. People want to see me in the ring. I had a complex, three-stage surgery, but I am not done yet,” Mary Kom noted.

Mary Kom has been advised to rest for six months following her surgery but she is eager to return to the ring sooner rather than later. “I have taken it as a challenge. I want to regain full fitness in less than six months. Recovery and rehab are things that I can control,” she stated.

The mobility of Mary Kom’s knee is still limited but she has started her rehabilitation and strength training.

“About three-four months back, I could bend only 10 percent of my knee. It will slowly be 100 percent. Gradually the mobility and strength will return,” Mary Kom informed.

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