, New DelhiKriti Kambiri
Having portrayed a boxer in Toofaan (2021), Farhan Akhtar couldn’t hold himself back from cheering the young boxers representing India. The actor attended the opening ceremony of the 2023 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Delhi, on Wednesday (March 15), and shared the stage with Olympian Mary Kom.
In an exclusive chat with us, the 49-year-old couldn’t help but acknowledge Mary Kom’s contribution in shattering the glass ceiling. He went on to speak about how sporting events of this stature, with as many as 65 countries in participation, would pave the way for a new crop of boxing champions from India.
“With championships like this happening in our country, it will surely inspire girls to move forward with boxing as a career. I mean, everyone has had that childhood fantasy of knocking someone out (laughs), that’s where it starts! I’m sure millions will watch the championship and get inspired to realise that dream of theirs in the ring,” he says.
His own love for the sport led him to follow internationally acclaimed boxers such as Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and Triple G (Gennady Golovkin). “But, I am a huge fan of the one not competing in this championship, Mary Kom. The entire nation is a fan of hers! In fact, that’s what led me to work on and develop a film on the subject (Toofaan)… I hope biopics are made on the girls who are representing India at this event,” says Akhtar.
Ask if he has a favourite in this championship, whom he is rooting for, and pat comes the reply: “I have 12 favourites!” Akhtar goes on to add, “Nikhat (Zareen) is somebody I’m in touch with on Instagram. I met Lovlina (Borgohain) when she was in Mumbai after her Olympic win. Then, there is Saweety (Boora), Jasmine (Lamboria), Manisha (Moun)… It’s not fair to choose one over the other. Each one of them has had their own journey and struggles to reach where they are. I’m sure they have had battles with their parents or society… Each of them has a story worth telling!”
Author tweets @KritiKambiri