PBF to field seven box­ers in Baku qual­i­fiers

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

ISLAMABAD—Pak­istan Box­ing Federation (PBF) will field seven pugilists in the fi­nal world qual­i­fy­ing round for Rio Olympics with the hope to seal a cou­ple of tick­ets for the world’s most pres­ti­gious multi-sports event.

The qual­i­fiers will be held Azer­bai­jan, from June 16 to 25.

“Yes, we’ll send seven box­ers to Baku to ap­pear in the Olympic qual­i­fier round in dif­fer­ent weight cat­e­gories,” Sec­re­tary Pak­istan Box­ing Federation (PBF) Iqbal Hus­sain told APP.

The world qual­i­fiers of­fer last chance to Pak­istani box­ers to make the cut for the Games in Au­gust. Iqbal said the federation was well aware of the fact that this would be the last op­por­tu­nity for the coun­try’s pugilists to claim Rio tick­ets; hence they were be­ing given tough train­ing at a camp at Pak­istan Sports Com­plex Islamabad.

“Cur­rently 20 box­ers are un­der­go­ing ex­ten­sive train­ing at the camp un­der na­tional box­ing coach Ar­shad Hus­sain,” he said. at Baku,

Ar­shad, an AIBA three-star coach, is be­ing as­sisted by for­mer in­ter­na­tional and AIBA on­es­tar coach Nisar Khan.

Though Iqbal said that the fi­nal lineup for Baku qual­i­fiers would be an­nounced dur­ing the on­go­ing week, a source in PBF re­vealed that the federation had fi­nalised six pugilists for the event. “It is al­most de­cided that Awais Ali Khan (81kg), Muham­mad Tan­veer (75kg), Amir Khan (69kg), Ali Ahmed (60kg), Nia­mat­ul­lah (56kg) and Muham­mad Asif (52kg) will be vy­ing in the event to ful­fill their Olympic dream”, he said.

How­ever, the federation has two to three choices for 64kg cat­e­gory, in­clud­ing the US-born fighter Umar Cheema, who has ar­rived in Pak­istan. “Cheema may be picked up for the qual­i­fiers as he seems in great shape,” the source said.

If picked the 21-year old, who has been train­ing in Miami, would be the first US-born boxer to rep­re­sent Pak­istan in an in­ter­na­tional event.—APP

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