Four-time world champion, 46 kg
(2002, 2004, 2006, 2008)
“What do I have to do to get the attention of my country? Even if we are outperforming the men, it does not matter. We are just girls to them.”
MC Mary Kom should be India’s little darling. She is ofﬁcially the most successful amateur boxer in history, with four world championships under her belt. But Mary is often mistaken for an outsider; she is from the state of Manipur, where people have features that are typical of other countries like Tibet and Burma. She hung up her boxing gloves in 2006 to start a family. In the summer of 2008, she returned to the ring with her twin boys in her arms. She trained with her teammates during the day, and nursed her children at night. Four months later, she captured the gold at the world championships in China.
World bronze medalist, 50 kg
“When I win I do not feel anything, when I lose I do not feel anything. I just play because I love boxing.”
Twenty-five-year-old Chhoto Loura is tough as nails. The boxers and coaches call her Chhoto Didi, which is a sign of respect that translates as “older sister.” She has earned the title because of her extraordinary strength as a boxer and a survivor. In 2003, she was run over by a truck. The doctors did not expect her to survive; she was hospitalized for an entire year. Chhoto started taking small steps. Eventually, she made a full recovery and picked up her boxing gloves. Her doctors were bafﬂed. “I wanted to box again, it’s as simple as that,” she said, adding, “I owe it to God.”