By Hindustan Times
She has just become the first Indian woman boxer to clinch an Olympic medal.
And now, MC Mary Kom looks set to take her association with the combat sport a step further.
Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra is in talks with Mary for his mixed martial arts reality show, Super Fight League Challengers (SFL).
The show is Kundra’s venture with actor Sanjay Dutt and airs on Neo Sports and Zoom.
Raj, it seems, wants Mary to join as a mentor to the female contestants on the show. “Raj wants to rope in Mary because she has emerged as an icon for students of combat sports, especially women,” says an insider.
Olympic medalist MC Mary Kom
When contacted, Raj confirms, “We’ve reached out to Mary Kom. We’re in talks with her agents and have invited her on to the show. We’re trying to work out a long-term association with Mary.” He adds, “It would be great (to have her onboard) because Mary is an inspiration to all the fighters being trained for our show.”
After winning a bronze in the just-concluded London Olympic Games, Mary arrived to a rousing welcome in Delhi on Wednesday.
According to Raj, India’s feat at the Olympics has also helped the SFL. “A lot of people are showing interest in it now,” he says, adding that the biggest problem he had so far was in getting sponsors.
“They would say, ‘It’s a violent sport, we don’t want to put money into it.’ But now, they will realise that 80 per cent of India’s medals have come from combative sports like wrestling and boxing,” says Raj, who is happy with the response that the first few episodes have received.
“Even women have taken a liking to the show. They are saying that since female fighters are being featured, they can learn a thing or two about self-defense from it. Our production quality is also good. We have gone all out,” he concludes.
Raj Kundra seems to involve his actor wife, Shilpa Shetty in SFL as well. She made headlines by winning British TV show, Celebrity Big Brother, in 2007.
So it’s not surprising that Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra takes her advice on his TV show, SFL Challengers.
He says he always asks her for feedback: “I always take the CD (of the episodes) home and ask her to watch it and tell me what she thinks of it. When I see her crying at any point, I know I have got it right (laughs). A lot of times, she tells me, ‘Put this, remove that.’ And since she has been a part of a reality show, there’s no one better than her to give inputs,” he says.