INSIDE THE RING
The AIBA World Boxing Championships showcased the talent of youngsters, record holders and world champions in this sport. Between October 5 and 15, 260 athletes from 74 countries arrived in Doha to fight for pride, gold medals and the ultimate prize of qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The sporting event was held at the Ali bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena at Al Sadd and boxers were delighted to be here. Mohammed Flissi, the Algerian who won a silver medal in the light-flyweight category in the last World Championships in Kazakhstan, said: “Everything in this arena is perfect to push me to do my best. It's probably the best facility that I've ever come across.”
The nation also welcomed boxing superstars such as world boxing champion and congressman Manny Pacquaio and two-time former world boxing champion and current WBC Silver welterweight belt holder Amir Khan as special guests to witness the event and encourage the athletes. Pacquaio announced that his next fight could be against British boxer Amir Khan and may take place in Doha early next year.
Yousuf Ali Al Kazim, President of the Qatar Boxing Federation, at the close of the event said, “This has been a defining moment for boxing in this region and, as history was made, new generations of boxing talent are left inspired. We will undoubtedly see Qatar continuing to be an integral part of the development of boxing here in the Middle East and across the world. That is our commitment. That is our pledge.”
AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, who was also spoke at the closing ceremony said, “Bringing the AIBA World Boxing Championships to Qatar and the Middle East for the first time in history was really special. The organisers have been first class, from the spectacular arena to the incredible facilities for our boxers and the full logistical side of the event. Doha has really set a new benchmark for the AIBA World Championships, and I think it is safe to say that this was the best ever.”