Mary Kom, the legendary Indian boxer, retires due to age limit

Mary Kom

New Delhi: The Indian boxing fraternity and fans were shocked to hear the news of Mary Kom’s retirement from the sport on Wednesday. The six-time world champion and Olympic medallist announced that she was forced to quit boxing due to the age limit imposed by the International Boxing Association (IBA).

According to the IBA rules, boxers of both sexes can only compete at the elite level till the age of 40. Mary Kom, who hails from Manipur, turned 41 in November 2023 and was therefore ineligible to participate in any professional boxing tournaments.

Mary Kom, who is also a Rajya Sabha member and a national observer for boxing, expressed her disappointment and frustration at the decision. She said that she still had the hunger and the desire to compete and represent the country at the highest level.

“I have the hunger still but unfortunately because of the age limit it is over. I cannot compete in any competition. I want to play more but I am being forced to quit. I have to retire. I have achieved everything in my life,” Mary Kom said at an event.

She added that she would not give up on boxing completely and would try to do something related to the sport. She also claimed that she still could play for one to two years or four years.

Mary Kom is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time and a trailblazer for women’s boxing in India. She is the only woman to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times, the only female boxer to have won a medal in each one of the first seven World Championships, and the only boxer (male or female) to win eight World Championship medals.

Mary Kom

She also made history by becoming the first Indian female boxer to win a medal at the Olympics, when she clinched the bronze in the flyweight (51 kg) category at the London 2012 Games. She followed it up with gold medals at the Asian Games in 2014 and the Commonwealth Games in 2018, becoming the first Indian female boxer to achieve these feats.

Mary Kom’s retirement marks the end of an illustrious and inspiring career that spanned over two decades and brought glory and pride to the nation. She will be remembered as a legend, a role model, and a magnificent Mary.