Top Pakistani boxers have called for a quality foreign coach to aid their preparation for next year’s Olympics as they go through qualifying events in the coming months.
A group of national boxers, who started flexing muscles earlier this year at a training camp in Islamabad, are trained by a local coach Ali Bukhsh. The squad has been without a foreign coach since the contract of Cuban coach Francisco Hernandez Roland expired after the Asian Games in November.
The Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) planned participation in various events before September’s World Boxing Championship that also acts as the first round of qualifiers for the global event next year. However, the boxers felt that, apart from participation in international events, it was also important to have a quality trainer.
“We need a coach who can train us in line with the changing trends,” experienced middle-weight boxer Nisar Khan told The Express Tribune. “It’s an important year in which we need to improve our game and prepare to face the best in the world.”
Nisar, who won gold in the 2004 South Asian Games and a bronze at the Asian Championship, clarified that his comments were not against Bukhsh but just concerns keeping the competition in mind.
“We have no issues with our coach. He’s working very hard but he has limitations.”
‘Cuban coach not missed’
Meanwhile, light-flyweight boxer Mohammad Waseem echoed Nisar’s views about a foreign coach who can train them on the modern techniques of the sport.
“It’s not about the Cuban coach, we just need a coach who can train us the aggressive Russian style of boxing,” said last year’s Commonwealth Games bronze medalist. “This approach is what is successful now and the defensive Cuban style has become obsolete.”
Meanwhile, the PBF Secretary Akram Khan said that financial support has been assured by the Pakistan Sports Board which will aid the hiring of a foreign coach.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2011.
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