To spread her Imphal-based boxing academy all over the country, Olympian boxer M C Mary Kom wants Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, who acted in the biopic 'Mary Kom', to become its brand ambassador.
"I will soon approach her to become the brand ambassador of my boxing academy. Hopefully she will agree," Kom told PTI from Imphal. (Also read: Mary Kom praises Priyanka Chopra for her role)
She said the film released last week has brought the spotlight on boxing and now she wants to open branches of her boxing academy in other cities of India.
Set up in 2006 at the Langol Games Village residential complex in Imphal West district, the M C Mary Kom Boxing Academy has around 33 in-residence student boxers at present where they are trained under her guidance.
"If Priyanka endorses the academy it will be good for boxing because I need support from different quarters. It will help us attract young talent into the sport," said the only woman boxer to have won a medal in all the six world championships including the 2012 Olympics.
Miss Mary Kom has already got a 3.3 acre land in Imphal from the Manipur government and funds worth Rs. 4 crore from the central government to upgrade the academy's infrastructure.
She said the new campus would be ready within a year with all facilities and hostel for boys and girls to host around 100 boxers.
"Anyone can come there for training. We will have international level facilities," the boxer said adding that once the expansion is complete she plans to open branches in other states with Chopra as the brand ambassador.
When asked whether filmmakers should have opted for a talent from the north-east rather than Chopra who does not have Mongloid features like a Manipuri, she supported the producers who said that a mainstream Bollywood actress would make the movie a hit.
"Someone from the northeast could have played my role but then the movie might not have become a hit. Everyone knows Priyanka Chopra as she is a superstar and that is why the film is receiving so much attention. Had it not been her, the film would not have been a hit," Kom said.
The boxer. who has been honoured with Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and Arjuna Award, said no one in India knew her till she won the Olympics.
"And after the film's release more people know me and also about the state of Manipur. So I feel very proud," she said.
On whether all incidents of her life are reported accurately in 'Mary Kom', she said, "It is a commercial film and based on my life. Most part of the story is the real story of my life".