By our correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Having served alongside former AIBA and Pakistan Boxing Federation’s (PBF) chief Professor Anwar Chowdhry in the capacity of sponsor and team manager former first-class cricketer Dr Siddiq Patni wants to bring a revolution in the country’s boxing. The other day he was seen in his car loaded with boxing gears which he wanted to distribute among boxers, a rare example in the country where no sports official spends from his own pocket. Patni has been seen doing differently. And this is what Pakistan’s boxing needs.
Patni is not an unknown person. Having played domestic cricket for 18 years while representing PACO, PNSC, UBL and NBP he is also a doctor of herbal and homeopathic medicine. And among his patients are also ministers and diplomats of several countries. He lives in Singapore, has roots in Malaysia and other Gulf countries and is well-connected. He says that he has also helped Singapore to build its grassroots cricket as an advisor. Patni, who also has represented Pakistan Under-19 against Australia in 1982, recently also received a life-time achievement award from Sindh Governor Imran Ismail for his meritorious services in various fields.
Doing a construction business, Patni has established Dr Siddiq Patni Boxing Academy. Its various branches are working in different parts of Sindh, including Lyari, which is the hub of boxing. Patni has emerged as a hope for boxers. Having scored a record triple century in school cricket, Patni is eager to support boxing. He had a hand in netball rise and has also supported other sports.
“I am here to serve boxing,” Patni told this correspondent. “I don’t need sponsors. I myself will back the sport and take it to new heights. Its my mission and I know how to achieve the same objective,” Patni said.
“You know mostly poor people are involved in boxing. I have started giving boxing gears and cash awards to boxers and officials and this has motivated them. We held 24 events during the last two and a half months. We aim to build on it and make every big event a regular fixture. The more you hold events the more you will get talent,” Patni said.
“I plan to use my links and aim to give exposure to the youth. The more they will play with tough boxers they will learn and will not then feel any sort of pressure when they will expose to any high pressure games. I mean we have the talent but we will have to groom that and impart quality training and I have engaged some top coaches who are helping in preparing a better lot,” Patni said.
Patni these days is on Pakistan’s tour. He aims to meet every boxing stakeholder and wants to bring them on a single page.
“What we need is to bring in all those who have served boxing in the past. These people want to regroup but there is no one else who can take such a step. InshaAllah we will bring in those people onto a single platform and you will see how we lift boxing,” Patni said.
Last week he visited Lahore and now plans other destinations to make people realise that boxing needs their help and support. “I assure you we will revive boxing,” Patni said.
Patni also served several times as a manager of Pakistan boxing team during the era of Professor Anwar Chowdhry.
“There were various people around Professor but when he was ill no body would lift his phone call. I acknowledge his massive contribution for Pakistan boxing. He was really a top administrator and I have also learnt so many things from him while staying in his company,” Patni recalled.