India’s boxing star MC Mary Kom defeated Dominican Republic’s Miguelina Hernandez Garcia in the Round of 32 match at the Olympics. The six-time world champion, who won a bronze medal in 2012 London Olympics, defeated Garcia, who is a Pan American Games bronze-medallist, by 4-1.
In a bout that was exciting from start to finish, Mary Kom displayed some brilliant tactics to overcome the fight that Garcia put up, and qualified for the Round of 16.
“It has been very painful, the last couple of years, for everybody because of the pandemic and everything shut down. We are all suffering the same problem and every athlete has to train at home, but for us boxers we need a training partner,” Mary Kom said in the mixed zone after her triumph.
The 38-year-old also said that she considers herself ‘lucky’ for being able to set up a small gym with equipment. She added that the only thing she missed was a partner with whom she could practice, ‘which is the most important for the eye contact and everything.’
While Kom held back in the opening round to get a good measure of her rival, she was aggression personified in the final three minutes after Garcia bagged the second round with some fierce punching of her own.
Mary Kom’s trusted right hook aided her well through the bout and she also displayed a sharp mind by forcing Garcia to lunge at her, opening up the space for Kom to land clear punches. The youngster from Dominica had the stomach for a fight but was undone by her inability to strike clearly.
Kom’s next bout will next be against third-seeded Colombian Ingrit Valencia, a bronze-medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Kom has beaten the Colombian both the times they have faced each other, including the 2019 World Championship quarterfinals.
“I have all the medals in my hand. Olympic medal (bronze) from 2012, Commonwealth Games gold, six-time gold at World Championships. It’s not easy to count them, but the difficult part is continuously winning and performing, it’s not easy,” Kom said.
Kom added that the quest for the Olympics gold medal is pushing her to carry on, and she is trying her best to win the gold medal. “… if I am able to get it then I will be so grateful, but if not then I will still be so happy for all the medals I have won in the past,” she said.