PANAJI: Most boxing bouts are lost outside the ring, and looking at five-time world champion Mary Kom’s body language, it was clear she had a lot on her mind before the fight. But, then, even though China’s Ren Cancan took away the semifinal 11-7, there was no missing that Mary was a true fighter who doesn’t give up till the end.
The loose head gear problem persisted. Mary had faced it in her quarterfinal bout but it was in the semis that she had to pay a heavy price for it; while adjusting the head gear her opponent landed a punch on Mary’s stomach.
Everything was against Mary – as her opponent stood 5-feet-6 against her 5-feet-2 and also weighed more while Mary had to pile up as she weighs around 48kg. The partisan home crowd and the Turkish referee Berna Yurtsever’s biased officiating played a crucial role in her loss.
Mary’s frustration doubled in the second round when the 22-year-old Ren kept pushing her down and locking her hand under her arm to put the breaks on the world champ’s punching, the referee strangely deciding to keep cautioning Mary while turning a blind eye to her opponents ploy.
“I had my punches ready for her (opponent) but I had no answer for her holding tactics,” Mary told TOI when contacted.
Since both boxers were southpaws, Mary’s most potent weapon – the left hook – didn’t get into the range of the target. Her taller opponent succeeded in keeping Mary at a distance. And each time Mary broke through, the Chinese adopted holding tactics.
“I tried everything, but more than punching, my opponent was running around the ring. I had to get inside and connect but at the end of the day I think it was not enough,” said Mary.
Also, had Mary kept a shell-guard and utilised a burst of straight short punches while getting into the range of her taller opponent, things might have been different but that has always been the bane of Indian boxers. Had Mary not thrown caution to the wind and kept a tight guard, the Chinese would have been at the receiving end.
To sum it up, it was her poor height, excessive hooking and loose guard in the 3rd and 4th rounds that did the damage. Also, the scoring system appears to be a major puzzle as often; boxers who made full contact which fetch points as per AIBA rules strangely got none while just a tap from their opponents got a positive response from the judges. Eventually, it was the 2-3 points that she never got and also 2-3 gifted points that her opponent never scored that made the difference. Advantages of playing host.
Content courtesy: The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/16th-asian-games-2010/india-news/Mary-Kom-done-in-by-poor-officiating/articleshow/6984039.cms
Photo courtesy: IFP http://www.ifp.co.in/photofull.php?imageid=635
Anyway, we are still proud of u Mary.
However, moving up in the weight category and fight bigger opponent without proper preparation for the weight category seem to backfire.
Her original weight was 46, moves up in 48 and within span of 2 months, she is fighting in 52. To me, it seems little too desparate.
Sarita would have been proper choice for the weight category because her natural weight was 56 and now fit in 52.
It’s not uncommon for boxers to fight in different weight category. Consider the Legend Manny Pacqqio of Phillipaine. He has suceeded in 8 weight categories. Each time he fight bigger fighters, he seem more perfect.
But, he prepares almost 6 months to 1 year for a single fight. Meanwhile, he feds his body with high protein foods to gain muscle mass as well as weight.
Mary should learn this from him.
One fight doesn’t make Mary bad fighter. She is still the best in 48 Kg groups and I hope she will get enough time to increase weight before London 2012.