KARACHI: Pakistan’s teenage boxing squad is leaving for Azerbaijan today to take part in the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA’s) World Youth Championship that is scheduled from April 25 to May 4 in Baku.
There are 110 countries participating in the championship which acts as a qualifying round for the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics that will take place in Singapore from August 26. Pakistan is sending four of its young pugilists – Muhammad Tanveer in welterweight, Attaullah in bantamweight, Muhammad Asif in flyweight and Obaid Ali in junior flyweight categories along with their Cuban coach Francisco Hernandez Ronald. “I want the boxers to qualify for the Summer Youth Olympics,” Ronald told The Express Tribune.
“We had a very short time to prepare for such a huge event but I have faith in my team.” Ronald has been eyeing the youth championship since February when he picked up young talent from different clubs in Pakistan. The boxers will qualify for the Youth Olympics if they reach the quarter-finals of the tournament. “Ronald had called me and he said if I do well in the camp he can help me become a professional boxer,” said 17-yearold Attaullah, “I came to the camp as a result and after several rigorous sparring sessions, Ronald announced that we’re going to Azerbaijan. It is for this tournament that we’ve been training every day since then.”