Jamshedpur: MC Mary Kom was not allowed opportunity to exhibit her natural game as Great Britain's Nicola Adams forced her to go defensive, felt international pugilists after the star Indian woman boxer settled for bronze at the London Olympics.
Mary Kom settled for the bronze medal after losing her 51kg semifinal bout 6-11 against world number two Adams.
"I have been watching the match and I can certainly say it was not her natural game as the sharpness in her punches and her excellent foot work were missing from the beginning," said 2011 China Asian Championship bronze medallist Laxmi Padia.
Expressing disappointment over the outcome, Padia said it seemed Mary Kom was looking for opportunities to score rather than going offensive, which was her natural approach in the ring.
Padia said it was Mary Kom who made the world recognise Indian women's mettle in boxing.
Former world champion woman boxer Aruna Mishra blamed Mary's defensive approach for the loss against Adams.
"We have seen Mary Kom going for an all-out offensive right from the word go but the approach was lacking today. In fact, the aggressiveness of her rival forced the Indian boxer to take a backseat and hardly allowed her any opportunity to go for upper cuts in the first two rounds," Mishra, who had won gold in the World Championship in Norway in 2004, said.
Referring to the semifinal defeat margin, Mishra, who was Mary Kom's teammate in the Indian Police for over seven years, said, "It appeared her poor footwork against her rival in the beginning made all the difference. The defeat margin would have been slender had Mary played her natural game."
Expressing confidence that Indian women boxers would win more medals in the next edition, Mishra said Mary Kom's excellent performance in the Olympics was morale-boosting and would inspire a whole new generation to take up the game.