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October 10, 2010

Haroon, Waseem assure Pakistan of boxing medals


October 10, 2010

NEW DELHI: Boxers Haroon Khan and Muhammad Waseem both guaranteed Pakistan a medal after winning the quarter-finals of their respective categories of the boxing events in the Commonwealth Games here on Saturday.
Haroon Khan, brother of light-welterweight world champion Amir, said the England selectors who shunned him should be embarrassed.
Tommy Stubbs was England’s representative in the 52kg flyweight category in Delhi but he was beaten in his first fight by Welshman Andrew Selby, who Haroon edged on a countback in the quarter-finals on Saturday to earn at least a bronze medal.
“Yes, definitely,” the excitable Haroon told a swarm of mainly English media when asked if the country’s selectors should be embarrassed by their decision to overlook him.
“Whoever the selectors are, my job was to come here and prove them wrong which I have done. My aim was to get a medal, the 52 kilo English lad didn’t get it, I have got it,” said Haroon, who spoke as quickly as he moved in the ring.
The rejection obviously still grates the 19-year-old, born to Pakistani parents, who was desperately keen to fight the English boxer Stubbs.
“I had high hopes of facing him in this round because I had a perfect plan for him and I was confident I could have stopped him,” said Haroon, who leapt around the ring in celebration after having his hand raised by the referee.
Dripping with sweat after the cagey bout where he countered his Welsh opponent’s jab with some useful footwork, Haroon smiled as he told reporters of his delight at advancing further than Stubbs.
“I think whoever is being a (English) selector is not doing a great job,” he said. “I have seen so much talent out there and they are just not getting selected.
“I just wanted to get a medal to just prove, look I am good enough to be in that English squad ... and I think I have done that.”
There was little love lost between the two fighters in the quarter-finals, with Haroon

unhappy at Selby’s trash talking ahead of the three-round contest which finished 3-3.
“I was bored so I went to the Internet cafe and started reading the media and saw Selby saying that he battered me (previously), well look what happened (just) then,” he said.
Both respectfully touched gloves after the second round but the Welshman appeared reluctant in congratulating the Bolton-born victor, before leaving the noisy Talkatora Stadium without talking to the media.
Next up for Haroon will be India’s Suranjoy Mayengbam, who was impressive in his victory over his Malaysian opponent Mohamed Subrie and was roared on by a three-quarters full partisan home crowd.
Haroon, though, is confident of victory in a highly anticipated India-Pakistan clash.
“It will be tough, he is a great fighter. (But) I’m still targeting that gold medal.”
Defensively sound if a bit loose in attack, Khan lacks the carved skills of his world champion brother, who won a silver for Britain at the 2004 Athens Olympics and has been offering the Pakistani fighter some words of encouragement via Twitter.
“It’s great all the support he is giving me all the way from the Philippines, I can’t ask for any more from him.”
Earlier, Waseem got the better of Ghana’s Duke Micah in their quarter-final of the 49kg light flyweight category to set up a clash with defending champion Jafet Uutoni of Namibia.
“I was very aggressive in the first two rounds. He was very tough and if my technique was not good, I would have lost the match.”
Waseem said he would now aim for the gold. “I am not content with just a bronze medal. My aim is the gold medal,” he said.

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