Meet Azize Nimani, the Kosovo-born German who beat Mary Kom

Azize accepts that beating Mary in the 2016 world chamwas a landmark win in her career.

Azize Nimani is proud of her “Albanian blood”, understands the pain of war-torn people of Kosovo, where she was born and is never afraid to pull back punches when she represents her adopted country Germany in the boxing ring, PTI reported.

India’s five-time world champion Mary Kom will never be able to forget the 26-year-old Azize, who dashed her Rio Olympic dreams by defeating her in the second round of the 2016 World Championships in Astana. European Championship bronze medallist in 51kg, Azize accepts that beating Mary in 2016 was a landmark win in her career.

“Beating Mary Kom during 2016 Olympic Qualifiers was an important fight for me. Because Mary is a legend in women’s boxing and if you can beat her, you can beat everyone. So, of course, it meant a lot to me as it showed that I can be on top,” Azize said during an interaction ahead of the Aiba Women’s World Championship, starting November 15.

Azize is a fascinating character, an eclectic mix of different cultures and she flaunts it proudly. “I basically represent Europe,” Nimani said with a chuckle.

On her left bicep, there is an eagle tattoo and she excitedly replies: “That’s the Albanian eagle and it’s a part of me. I don’t want to hide it. Yes, I am boxing for Germany but I am proud of my Albanian blood. We moved to Germany when I was seven years old, so I basically grew up in Germany and it wasn’t as difficult for me,” she said.

But it wasn’t as easy for her elder siblings, who have memories of Kosovo’s war of independence. “But I know, for my brother, sisters older than me, it was a little bit more difficult. Culturally, they have more Kosovo roots in them compared to me. If you want to be a part of some culture, you will be, doesn’t matter where you come from,” said Azize.