By our correspondent
KARACHI: Dr Siddiq Patni, a former first-class cricketer, has emerged as a new hope for the falling but the most potential sport of boxing which has been facing big financial and administrative issues during the last few years. Patni, also a doctor of herbal medicine, has established two academies in Lyari and one each in Hyderabad, Sukkur and Mirpurkhas to revive the sport at the grass-root level. He has been holding constantly events for the last few months. And the best thing is that kids are being encouraged by handing them boxing gears and cash prizes. He plans to hold All Sindh Boxing event and then wants to initiate a home and away series with Quetta which is expected to be very productive as Balochistan also is brimming with immense boxing talent. Siddiq Patni academies are focusing on kids upto 12 years of age.
Patni also wants to arrange an Iran’s tour for his academy’s boxers in order to give them some exposure. “If they fight with tough boxers of their age then they would grow. Iran is the best destination and we are working on that project,” Patini told this correspondent.
There is a huge rift in Pakistan’s boxing and its future is uncertain. Siddiq Patni is a sort of hope for the boxers of Lyari and Karachi. Patni has been sponsoring himself all the events he has been conducting. “I don’t need sponsor. I will support the sport from my own pocket,’ Patni said. “Kids are being encouraged with cash prizes. We have got the services of AIBA 3-star coach Ali Bakhsh, who has been offering his services full time. If we are able to improve the skills of the youth at this young age through standard coaching then it will leave a positive impact on their careers,” Patni said.
Patni has recently been awarded a life-time achievement award by the Sindh Governor. He loves boxing. Despite being a cricketer he was closely associated with boxing when former AIBA chief Professor Anwar Chowdhry was heading Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF). Patni was the sole source for sponsoring national boxing and had also accompanied Pakistan boxing squad as a manager on foreign tours.
Patni, also a businessman, has established strong links with the influential people in Pakistan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE and Malaysia. “There is no issue. I can arrange training tours of any country for boxers of my academy,” Patni said. Patni is a real challenge for those who have been ruling Sindh boxing since long. He has also conducted a few courses for referees/judges.
“Patni is a real source of inspiration for Sindh’s boxing,” Olympic bronze medallist boxer Hussain Shah told this correspondent. “He is spending money from his own pocket and he is the best person who should be supported by all boxing community. He should be given top seat in Sindh’s boxing,” Hussain said. Hussain, who had lifted bronze in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, said that the best thing in Patni is that he himself has been a sportsman and knows the pains of the players.
“I think he is a real force and I hope he will put Sindh’s boxing on path of progress through his ambitious grass-root working,” Japan-based Hussain said.