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April 7, 2021

Asif training hard for Manila fight

Sports

April 7, 2021

KARACHI: Former Pakistan amateur boxer Syed Mohammad Asif recently turned professional after realising that his amateur career was utterly uncertain because of the lack of support.

Pakistani boxers suffered more than the players of any other sport discipline during the last few years due to lack of proper patronage.

Asif, who belongs to Hazara community of Balochistan, was considered the top seed of Pakistan when he switched over to professional boxing a few months back.

Having played his first pro bout near the end of last year under Amir Khan Promotions which he won against the Afghanistan’s fighter, Asif beat an Indoensian fighter while playing under Hussain Shah Promotions in Karachi recently.

Asif’s next fight is against a Philippines fighter in Manila on May 22. The event relates to the Manny Pacquiao Promotions in which Pakistan’s Usman Wazir and Kamran Khan will also fight.

“Yes, I am looking forward to the Manila fight. I am training hard for that,” Asif told ‘The News’ in an interview from Quetta.

Having won silver in the last two South Asian Games, in India and Nepal, in the flyweight category, Asif does not have any promoter and neither is he financially strong enough to meet the demands of his initial professional career.

“Yes, it’s a big issue,” said Asif, also a former Army fighter.

“My family situation is too bad financially. I have to purchase my ticket for Manila. The Balochistan sports minister Abdul Khaliq Hazara has promised support and hopefully I will be able to manage for the fight,” Asif said.

“Promoter, you know, is not easy to convince. It’s just the start of my professional career and my aim is to win a few more bouts which will help me impress the promoters and I hope they will take me under their wings,” he said.

Asif was eager to play more amateur boxing for Pakistan but the situation was not congenial for his growth. “You know we were in deep trouble there and there was no future in sight,” he said. “If your growth stops it really disturbs you. There were few events in the amateur circuit. At one time I was dreaming of securing an Olympics berth but when I saw that nothing was at offer as far as training and other facilities were concerned so I decided to think for my future as a professional boxer,” Asif said.

“Making career in professional boxing is my dream. I have the capability to grow in this field but it all depends on the opportunities that I get. I am confident I will achieve something big. Even in Manila I will play under card but I see something positive and hopefully will make a place in this zone of boxing which is very much attractive,” Asif said.

Following the footsteps of the former WBC No 1 Mohammad Waseem, most Pakistani boxers have started switching over to professional boxing after losing hope in the amateur field due to lack of attention.