Hyderabad: Sports Authority of Telangana State chairman A. Venkateshwar Reddy literally waded into the big bout between Mary Kom and Nizamabad’s Nikhat Zareen held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday, unleashing verbal blows on the Boxing Federation of India’s officials, whom he accused of being manipulative after the state boxer lost the fight and thereby the right to represent India at the Olympic trials next year.
“The 51kg category fight between Nikhat and Mary was manipulated,” Reddy thundered after the 9-1 scoreline in six-time world champion Mary’s favour. “They all ganged up!”
“I yelled out and kicked up a fuss but I did not abuse anyone. The bout should have been given to Nikhat, who in my opinion had won it 55-45. She even felled Mary in the second round. Being a sportsman we obviously can judge which way the bout is going,” the state sports boss added.
He admitted to being aggressive while speaking to Deccan Chronicle. “Yes, I did confront Ajay (Singh, President of Boxing Federation of India) and asked him, ‘What is this Ajay? What’s going on??’ The response of BFI officials was that, ‘Nikhat has got more time to represent India at major events’. But for how long do they want to continue with Mary Kom,” Mr Reddy asked. Nikhat is 23 and Mary 36.
Chhote Lal Yadav, who is a coach with the senior women’s boxing team, accused the SATS chairman of showering abuses at him and Mary both before and after the bout. “Even before the bout between Mary and Nikhat began, he started abusing me. He used some really harsh words towards Mary, who is a member of Parliament and an Olympic medallist, after she won the fight,” Yadav said.
“After the result was announced, he (Sports Authority of Telangana State chairman A. Venkateshwar Reddy) picked up the chair he was sitting on and started shaking it. As we were walking back to our corner after the fight, he again hurled abuses at me. I was embarrassed. I was angrier because he abused someone of Mary’s stature. She has given so much to the country, has proved herself over the years and for her to be abused is shameful,” the coach added.
“In the end, I only have one request. Going forward I would not want people like him to be allowed to enter any sporting facilities leave alone being a chairman of a sporting body,” Yadav said.
While this newspaper contacted the six-time World Champion for her reaction on the same, she said, “I do not want to get involved in this. President Ajay Singh dealt with the situation on the spot.”...