No benefit of Pro-Wrestling Entertainment for local wrestlers: Inam

Country’s top wrestler believes efforts should instead be directed towards grooming talent

Natasha Raheel April 08, 2017
Photo: FILE

KARACHI: Pakistan’s top wrestler Muhammad Inam believes that the WWE-style Pro-Wrestling Entertainment (PWE) that is to begin next month in Pakistan, will not benefit the sport in the long run.

The 2016 South Asian Games gold-medallist believes that more than the PWE event, there is a need for a league that can promote and support the amateur athletes who aim for Olympic glory.

“It is more entertainment than sport,”Inam told The Express Tribune. “It’s all noora-kushti (fixed); none of it is real. I feel it is not going to benefit the wrestlers who are trying to play for Pakistan in international events; it is not going to benefit the art of wrestling. We desperately need support in our pursuit to reach the Olympics and win world events, and this certainly is not the way to go forward.”

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Inam, who also bagged gold at the 2016 Asian Beach Games, feels that Pakistan can also follow the example of Pro-Wrestling League in India that features wrestlers in six city-based franchises and the international wrestlers who have been in the United World Wrestling events also participate in the league.

“We need a league system. The wrestlers in India have done very well in the Pro-Wrestling League, because their local talent in the city-based teams got to be in the same squad as the international champions. It boosts the confidence of younger athletes, while the renowned athletes get to earn more. Indian wrestlers in the league get to make almost Rs1 million per season and that helps in their performance at the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers too,” said Inam.

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The Gujranwala-based wrestler added that the priority for him and the other wrestlers is making Pakistan proud and to peak at the amateur circuit first, citing the example of American Olympic gold-medallist and WWE superstar Kurt Angle.

“We are doing everything that we can to make sure we win for Pakistan; that is the dream. I look at Angle and see that he also served his country first and then made his way into the WWE. If a similar opportunity comes my way, I will see about it but I want to serve my country first by winning gold at the Olympics and help giving back to the community,” he said.

Meanwhile, Inam currently is preparing for the Senior Asian Wrestling Championship, which will start from May 10 in New Delhi, and the Islamic Solidarity Games, which begin next month in Baku.



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