Saturday April 01, 2023

PBF chief confident about boxers training abroad before Asian Games

January 28, 2023

KARACHI: Having received promises by several nations that they would host Pakistani boxers for their training, Pakistan Boxing Federation's (PBF) president Khalid Mehmood is confident that the federation will be able to send its pugilists to at least one country for training ahead of this year's Asian Games.

“I am 100 percent confident that through the foreign ministry we will be able to train our boxers at least in one country ahead of the Asian Games,” Khalid told 'The News' in an interview on Friday.

“We have got offers from Kazakhstan, Thailand and Tajikistan. In Thailand, training of our boxers will be possible only when they hold a camp. Kazakhstan says that whenever they hold a camp they will accommodate our five or six boxers. We are trying our best to touch the 2023 on good note,” said Khalid, also the secretary general of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA).

“We plan to hold an inter-departmental event in February and National Games are also in the plans so that we could get a solid lot and train it well in Kazakhstan or Tajikistan,” Khalid said.

“We are issuing letters to the departments for the inter-departmental event so that they could prepare well because Army, Navy, PAF and WAPDA prepare well which help us get fighting talent,” he said.

Khalid said that they can send seven boxers to Kazakhstan. “We can send seven boxers and two officials to Kazakhstan and we have requested them for minimum three months training. When we send the boxers there they will remain there till the Asian Games. Yes, those who are to compete in any event from their departments will come and go back to their training destination,” he said.

Khalid was confident that the PBF would be able to manage air tickets for the boxers. “I think board and lodging will not be a problem and as far as traveling is concerned I am hopeful we will manage that as departments like Army, PAF, Navy and WAPDA are cooperating with us and KPT is also contributing with a renewed spirit,” he said.

“I am hopeful that we will not face any issue in sending our boxers there,” Khalid was quick to add.

“We also had a good contract with Iran as we planned to send our boxers for three months each to Kazakhstan and Iran but due to certain reason it was disconnected. But hopefully by the time we go for the inter-departmental event we will be able to establish good relations with Iran also,” he said.

Khalid said that his personal view is that they should send these boxers to different countries. “My personal opinion is, which I have not discussed with coaches, if we send 12 boxers abroad we should send six each to two different countries. And after three months if we hold an inter-departmental event and test these boxers and the best from here then are sent to Kazakhstan or Tajikistan it will be good,” he said.

Khalid said that the federation has made every effort to ensure participation of its boxers in international events.

“During the last four years we have made every effort to send our fighters to international events irrespective of the results so that the confidence of people could be gained,” Khalid said.

The Asian Games, to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8, will also serve as boxing qualifiers for the next year's Paris Olympics.