KARACHI: As many as 30 boxers, three in each weight category, will be picked for the national camp for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games during the 36th National Boxing Championship which begins at the WAPDA Sports Complex, Lahore, on Saturday (tomorrow).
“The selection committee, consisting of representatives of all major units, and senior coaches will pick 30 boxers for the camp,” Pakistan Boxing Federation’s (PBF) secretary Col Nasir Tung told ‘The International News’ on Thursday.
He said that the camp would be held at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad, after the National Championship which would end on January 24.He said that Pakistan would send four boxers for the Commonwealth Games slated to be held at Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15.
Nasir said that the camp would continue till the Asiad which would be staged by Indonesia in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.It is pertinent to mention here that this is after two years that such an event will be conducted. Karachi hosted the last National Championship, in November 2015.
The PBF said that more than 130 pugilists would be showcasing their talent in the five-day competitions. They are from Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Islamabad, Army, Navy, PAF, WAPDA, Railways, Karachi Port Trust (KPT), K-Electric, Police, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The managers meeting and draws will be held on Friday (today) from 2pm to 3pm at the competition venue. The PBF said that daily schedule of events would be notified on day-to-day basis.
Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) President Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan would grace the opening ceremony at 2pm at the venue which is located at Chungi Amar Sidhu, Ferozepur Road. WAPDA chairman Lt Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain will attend the closing ceremony.
Nasir added that a unit could field only one boxer in one weight category. There are ten weights in boxing.He said that the PBF wanted to stage the national event last year but had to postpone it twice because of National Games which also had to be postponed several times due to various issues.
This is the first time that the PBF set-up led by Khalid Mehmood will hold the national event.Khalid, who is also secretary of POA, early last year replaced Doda Khan Bhutto as PBF president. Doda now serves as PBF chairman.
Nasir said that during the men’s national event the 1st National Women Boxing Championship would also be held. “We are also going to hold women’s national in three weights: 51kg, 60kg and 75kg,” Nasir said.
He said eight units would field their women boxers in the competitions: the four provinces, Islamabad, AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA. Nasir also said that men would play without headgear, but women would play with headgear. He said that PBF does not have electronic scoring machine, so scoring would be manual but under the new scoring system of AIBA, the world boxing governing body.