Six-time World Champion and 2012 Olympic medallist Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom has announced her retirement from boxing due to the age limit set by the International Boxing Association (IBA). The IBA rules allow male and female boxers to fight in elite-level competition only till the age of 40. Mary, who is 41 years old, admitted that she still has the hunger to compete at the elite level, but she has to bring curtains down on her career because of the age limit.
Mary is the first female boxer in boxing history to have captured six world titles. She was also the first female boxer from India to take home a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games. She won a bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games and introduced herself to the world at the age of 18 in the inaugural world meet in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Mary went on to clinch the World Championships titles in 2005, 2006, 2008, and the 2010 editions. After winning the 2012 Olympic medal, Mary once again went on a break after giving birth to her third child. She marked her return but sealed her place at the summit in the 2018 World Championships which was held in Delhi. She dominated with a 5-0 win over Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota for her sixth world title. A year later, she went on to clinch her eighth world medal, the most by any male or female boxer.
Mary’s retirement marks the end of an era in Indian boxing. She has been an inspiration to many young boxers in the country and has paved the way for women’s boxing in India.