The Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) will send five to six Pakistani boxers to Kazakhstan for one-and-a-half-years training.
According to PBF Secretary Akram Khan, the boxers will be trained in cooperation with Gofur Rahimov, chief of the Asian Confederation Organisation of the International Boxing Association (ASBC).
“Our boxers will receive training in Astana where we’ll send them in April,” Khan told The Express Tribune. “But in order to promote local boxers and choosing the best ones, we’ll hold the Open Ranking Championship in Islamabad early next month.”
Khan emphasised that this move will train boxers for the Asian Championship and World Boxing Championship 2015 which will also serve as the qualification round for the next Olympics.
“It’s a long-term plan, and we want to have the best preparations for the boxers. We want Pakistan boxing to flourish,” said Khan. “We’ll begin with the talent hunt. We’ll shortlist the 40 best boxers from the Open Ranking Championship in April. Later in the same month, a coach from Astana will come to Pakistan to choose five or six players who will get the training in Kazakhstan.”
He said the club in Astana has offered to train the boxers for a year-and-a-half and the PBF will only have to bear the travel expenses of the athletes.
“It’s a good opportunity. I believe that if our boxers prepare alongside experienced Asian pugilists, they will improve. Our aim is to reach at least the quarter-finals of the World Boxing Championship next year so that we can book our place in the Olympics as well,” said Khan.
The official further said that one of the aims for the PBF is to groom players for the Olympics.
“Last time we competed in the 2004 Olympics. It’s been more than a decade but now things should improve,” said Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2014.
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