KARACHI: National boxers will assemble in Islamabad on February 5 to kick-start their preparations for the Commonwealth Games slated to be held in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15.
“Yes, we have told the pugilists to report for the camp on February 5 in Islamabad after taking consent of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB),” Pakistan Boxing Federation’s (PBF) secretary Col Nasir Tung told ‘The International News’ on Tuesday.
As many as 22 boxers have been invited for the camp which will be supervised by AIBA 3-star coach Arshad Hussain and one-star coaches Sajid Raja, Liaquat Ali and Nisar Khan.
Nasir said that all the finalists of the recently held National Championship in Lahore would be part of the training exercise.
He added that they had planned to begin the camp quite early but the PSB told the federation to start it on February 5 as before that the venue would not be available due to sports gala.
AIBA 3-star coach Ali Bakhsh is not on the panel.
When Nasir was asked why highly experienced Ali was not there on the panel, he said he would be tasked to train the boys in the camp for Asian Games which would be held in Karachi in the middle of March.
“Ali will be there in the camp to be held for Asian Games in Karachi. The youth will also be inducted in that camp to prepare them for future national duty,” Nasir said.
Pakistan will field four boxers in the Commonwealth Games.The final selection will be made by February 15.
“Definitely, we will make it final by the middle of next month after taking input from coaches. We have already sent names of six boxers and we will look in which weights we can perform well in Australia,” the official said.
Pakistan is expected to field its boxers in the Commonwealth Games in flyweight, light welterweight, light heavyweight and most probably the bantam weight.
In the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Pakistan’s now professional boxer Mohammad Waseem won silver medal in flyweight, losing to an Australian boxer in the final.
Nasir, who recently attended world boxing governing body’s (AIBA) extraordinary congress in Dubai, said that they met with the top officials of AIBA who promised help to Pakistan.