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May 18, 2020

PBF asked to send boxers to Kazakhstan for training

Sports

May 18, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Olympic bronze medallist boxer Hussain Shah on Sunday advised the country’s boxing authorities (PBF) to send the top pugilists to Kazakhstan for two months training ahead of the World Qualifying round for Tokyo Olympics.

“It is extremely necessary to send a bunch of leading boxers to Kazakhstan for two months ahead of the world qualifying round,” Hussain Shah told The News in an interview from Japan.Hussain is the only boxer in Pakistan’s history who has picked bronze medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

“You know Kazakhstan is the best training centre and national pugilists can learn a lot there ahead of the tough assignment,” Hussain said.Besides claiming Olympic bronze Hussain also has to his credit Asian Championship gold, Asian Games silver and five straight golds in the South Asian Games.

Hussain these days is training professional boxers in Japan. Hussain said that before sending to Kazakhstan one month training camp in Pakistan should be held and trainers only should focus on physical fitness of the fighters. “One month top physical training will be necessary before going to Kazakhstan. Coaches Ali Bakhsh and Arshad Hussain and Bahrain-based Zaigham Maseel have the ability to train the boxers well. Once they come in top shape they should be sent abroad for purely sparring purposes,” Hussain said.

“Without foreign training you cannot get the best out of the boxers,” Hussain was quick to add. The world qualifying round was scheduled in Paris early this month but has been postponed for indefinite period due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan had sent three boxers to Jordan for the Asian qualifiers in March but they failed to impress. Arshad Hussain was Pakistan’s coach. Hussain said it would be of great help if Pakistani coaches have links with coaches of Kazakhstan.

“Links play role. If Pakistani coaches like Ali Bakhsh and Arshad Hussain have links with coaches in Kazakhstan then it would help as they with the help of local coaches would manage solid sparring partners for the national fighters and that would help the boxers,” Hussain said.

Recalling his own preparatory phase ahead of the 1988 Olympics Hussain said he was sent by the PBF to several countries.

When asked whether he could help national fighters if they are sent to Tokyo for training Hussain said the air-fare expenses which the PBF would pay for Japan tour the federation could manage the whole training programme through that amount for the national fighters in Kazakhstan which is the best training centre.

Hussain added that it was high time to focus on boxing as it had a glorious past.Pakistan last featured in the 2004 Athens Olympics in boxing. And since then national fighters have been struggling to return to Olympic fold.