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- Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - From Print Edition


KARACHI: Pakistan’s star boxer Mohammad Waseem has qualified for the AIBA Professional Boxing (APB), ‘The News’ has learnt through a highly reliable source in the Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF).


The source said that following AIBA’s instructions the PBF had sent the names of three boxers to the world boxing governing body and that Waseem has qualified for the job.


Aamir Khan and Nisar Khan were the other two national pugilists whose names were sent to AIBA. The source added that AIBA had asked all the national federations from across the globe to send names of their top boxers during the World Championship in Baku in September-October last year.


Waseem was part of the three-member Pakistan team that took part in the World Championship. The source said that although he lost his second bout in the 52kg weight category against Elias Emigdio from Mexico, the way he offered resistance was impressive.


And that could be the reason why he has been chosen for the APB, said the source. It has also been learnt that Ali Bakhsh will be acting as coach when Waseem competes in the professional tournaments starting immediately after the launch of the APB.


But ironically, Ali Bakhsh, who has also worked as professional coach in Japan for five years, has not been called for the camp that started in Islamabad on Tuesday in connection with preparations for the Asian Qualifying round for Olympics.


Waseem has been the most successful boxer of Pakistan for the last few years. He not only lifted bronze medal in the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, but also recently won gold in an international event in Islamabad.


He lifted gold in the 2010 World Combat Games in China, bronze in 2011 President’s Cup in Jakarta, bronze in the 2009 King’s Cup in Bangkok and silver in the 2010 Dhaka South Asian Games.


Waseem is the only hope of Pakistan when they send around half a dozen of their boxers to Kazakhstan in March this year for the Asian Qualifying round for Olympics starting in London on July 27.


The professional boxing will also help Waseem to raise his economic position. AIBA has set itself the mission to govern the sport of boxing in all its forms, amateur and professional, giving boxers a truly integrated and global career development possibility.


After launching World Series of Boxing in 2010, AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu announced in August 2011 the next steps in the ambitious reforms with the project called Boxing 16, which includes the launch of AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) in the spring of 2013 where individual professional boxers will be able to compete for individual national, continental and global rankings under the same fundamental rules as the country and club competitions and will continue to represent their countries in the World Championships and Olympic Games as well as their clubs.