IN­SIDE THE RING

Qatar Today - - AFFAIRS > SPORTS -

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.”

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