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Commonwealth Games: PBF official seeks create foreign training chances for national pugilists

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Well-aware of the fact that without foreign training it would be difficult for national boxers to impress in the Commonwealth Games, a senior official of Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) plans to talk to different sources on the sideline of the Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) Congress in Jordan to create foreign training opportunities for the country’ leading pugilists.

“Nothing will happen if we keep training at home. The standard will improve if we are able to play against the best foreign lot. I am going to Jordan to attend the ASBC Congress which will be held on March 12 in Amman. We will also talk to the ASBC president if he is able to create some training opportunities for our boxers in any country so that we could send a few top pugilists there ahead of the Commonwealth Games,” PBF secretary Col Nasir Tung told this correspondent on Tuesday.

Besides Nasir, the PBF president Khalid Mahmood will also attend the ASBC Congress which is set to be held on the sideline of the ASBC Asian Youth and Junior Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships scheduled to begin in Amman on Wednesday (today).

“If we are even given accommodation on foreign soil then we will be able to send at least those few fighters for a 15 to 20 days training who are to feature in the back-to-back events of Commonwealth Games and Asian Games,” Nasir said.

The Commonwealth Games are penciled in for July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham while Asian Games are slated to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 10-25.

Financial is the big issue which the PBF is confronting with. The state also is not backing the federation. And Nasir terms it unfortunate.

“It’s unfortunate that we are not being backed by the state. State support is very important in terms of holding training camps and sending boxers abroad for training and competitions,” Nasir said.

“If we are able to create a training opportunity for our boxers then we also may seek a foreign coach’s assistance for a few days on foreign soil during joint training and this will also help our coaches to learn new things,” Nasir said.

Nasir said ASBC Congress is a big opportunity for them to interact with the Asian boxing community, adding, this will help Pakistan boxing in future.

“It is a golden opportunity for us. And after this Congress I am confident Pakistan will also be able to make a place in the future ASBC committees,” Nasir hoped.

Currently there is no one from Pakistan in any ASBC committee.

Nasir said despite lack of any financial support the PBF has been trying its level best to ensure the country features in international events.

“Look, we recently fielded Zohaib Rasheed in the ASBC Under-22 Boxing Championship in Tashkent who won bronze there. I spent around one million rupees from my own pocket on his tour. The other day we sent to Jordan three girls and one boy for featuring in the ASBC Youth and Junior Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships whose draws will be held tomorrow in Amman,” Nasir revealed.

“We are doing our level best to do something for Pakistan’s boxing promotion but it’s not that easy without state support,” Nasir said.

Nasir also informed that camp for the Commonwealth Games has been delayed for a few days.

“We have delayed the camp until March 5 due to an event from Army. Now we have decided that 17 male and three female boxers will report for the camp at the WAPDA Sports Complex in Lahore on March 5,” Nasir said.

“Despite no financial support we have to run the camp and I have managed funds for that. InshaAllah we will keep the things going,” Nasir said.

Initially the PBF had planned to begin camp from March 1.

It is pertinent to mention here that three candidates including Yousaf Ali Al-Kazim of Qatar, Pichai Chunhavajira of Thailand and Sakin Polatov of Uzbekistan are set to fight for the ASBC presidency.

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