The celebrated M C Mary Kom will be seen in action for the first time since qualifying for the Olympic Games last year in March when the veteran, along with eight other Tokyo-bound boxers, compete in next month's Boxam International Tournament in Castellon, Spain. The 37-year-old flyweight boxer, who is a six-time world champion, last competed at the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Jordan in March last year. The tournament in Spain is scheduled to be held from March 1 to 7.
She was laid low by dengue late last year and joined the national camp in Bengaluru only last month. Also returning to competitive action at the same event would be Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Manish Kaushik (63kg) after recovering from a knee injury. World Championship silver-medallist Amit Panghal (52kg), who won gold in the recently-concluded Cologne World Cup in Germany, will also compete at the Spanish event. Joining him in the event would be Hussamuddin Mohammed (57 kg), Vikas Krishan Yadav (69 kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg), Sanjeet (91kg) and Satish Kumar (+91 kg).
Of these, Amit, Vikas, Ashish, Satish and Manish have qualified for the Tokyo Games. Asian Games gold medallist Vikas is returning from a pro boxing stint in the US where he could not take part in any competitive bout because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the women, a new face in Jasmine will fight in the 57kg category alongside Asian Championship bronze-medallist Manisha Moun. Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) — all of who are bound for Tokyo — are the other Indian women boxers named for the event in Spain.
Apart from this, 12 other pugilists will compete at the 72nd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament scheduled from February 21-28. In the men's category, Asian medallists Deepak (52Kg) and Kavinder Singh Bisht (57Kg) will lead the charge alongside Naveen Boora (69Kg), Ankit Khatana (75Kg), Sachin Kumar (81Kg), Naveen Kumar (91Kg) and Manjeet Sandhu (+91Kg).
The women's team comprises Jyoti (51Kg), Sakshi (57Kg), Shashi Chopra (60Kg), Lalita (69Kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (75Kg). The boxers are currently training in Bellary's Inspire Institute of Sports.