Bengaluru, June 26: India's ace woman boxer May Kom is disappointed that the sport is "almost dead" in the country.
Mary Kom, the 5-time world champion, on Saturday evening (June 25) felt with no recognised Federation due to "politics and infighting", the boxers are suffering.
"Boxing is almost dead in India. There is no major competition for the past 2 to 3 years," opined Mary, who was in the city to support Ultimate Boxing Championship at Phoenix MarketCity Mall.
The 33-year-old, who claimed a bronze medal at 2012 London Olympics, said sorry to the nation after failing to make the cut this year's Rio Games.
Despite missing the Olympic bus, Mary is not quitting yet. "The whole nation was praying for me. They supported me. It is very unfortunate. I am so sorry that I could not make it to Olympics. But I will continue for another 2 to 3 years. I will box on till my last breath," she said at The Zuri Whitefield Hotel, which is one of the supporters of Ultimate Boxing Championship.
Mary, who was hoping for a wild card entry into the Rio Olympics, was denied that by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
When asked for the reason behind boxing failing in the country, she explained, "I don't know the reason. There is no Federation that is the main reason. Another reason is politics in sport."
Mary said she misses seeing the Indian flag at major events.
"It is sad for me to compete under the IOC flag. It is a proud moment for me when the Indian flag is hoisted when we win a medal. It brings lot of emotions and tears. But it is not happening. Whenever I go abroad to compete I always try to come back with a medal and most of the times have done it," Mary said.
Mary praised the organisers of Ultimate Boxing Championship and requested them to hold the event every year.
"This is a big boost for all fighters and upcoming youngsters. I humbly request the organisers to hold this championship every year. I will always support this event.
"I lived for boxing, I will die for boxing. I am not retiring," she said.
Mary wished the Indian boxers who have qualified for Rio Games. "Best wishes to all the Indian boxers who will compete at Rio Olympics. It will be tough for men's boxers. It is easier for women but there is no representation from India," she said.