Six-time world champion Mary Kom is likely to retire after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Manipuri trailblazer said on Thursday.
"Maybe after 2020, I want to retire. But, my main mission is to really win gold for the nation. From the beginning till now, I have been fighting. Maybe nobody can fight this long. There are so many youngsters who have come up and performed well. I hope, very soon we get another Mary Kom. That is what I wish and pray," the 36-year-old mother of three told ANI.
"I have completed 16-17 years (in the ring). For a long period, I have been fighting, making my country proud. It is my commitment. I always want to give a medal to the nation, especially gold. When India's flag goes up, it is an emotional moment for me. I can't control and tears come out. But, sometimes I too lack as I am not an iron woman. Being a human being I try my best," the world number one boxer added.
The queen of the ring is the only woman with six gold and seven overall medals in the World Boxing Championship. This achievement has made Mary the most successful boxer in the 10-year history of the tournament. She even equalled male pugilist Felix Savon of Cuba, becoming an all-time best boxer with six gold and one silver medal in World Championship.
Ever since 51 kg category became an Olympic weight, Mary has been juggling between 51 kg and her favourite 48 kg. The Indian boxing icon, who has her world titles in 48 kg, also won 2012 Olympic bronze and 2019 India Open gold, both in 51 kg category.
When asked about her transition and challenges while shifting to 51 kg, she said, "I am more comfortable in my actual category. Unfortunately, 48 kg is not in the 2020 games. But I have a lot of experience and have faced many challenges. So, I do not mind facing problems in the future. I will fight and prove myself."
The London Olympic bronze medallist is now preparing for the 2020 qualification. She, however, is not sure whether it will take place this year.
"My preparation has started for the upcoming qualification of the 2020 World Championship. I am not sure whether we will have it this year or not. If this year, then I will try my best to qualify in the first round but if not then also we have another qualification round, a second chance for 2020.