Sports: Boxing: Pugilists feeling insecure of their future

Karachi: With no international action for nearly a year and no sight of any participation in international event in future, the pugilists have started feeling insecure of their future in the game of boxing.

“I don’t know what to do and what would happen to the federation,” one of the top Pakistani boxers told PPI on condition of anonymity. The athletes throughout the country normally doesn’t speak ill of federations, fearing retaliation from the federation, which could even hurt their departmental appointments.

“We have not participated in international tournament or camps since we took part in Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in Kazakhstan in April last year. And the federation has yet to give us any plan for any international tournament in future,” he said.

“The rankings of the Pakistani boxers in the world circuit have gradually been falling and I believe soon we would be out of the ranking table,” he said. Rankings in the world are one of the most important criteria for making draws for major tournaments including Olympics.

“We have to spar and train regularly in order to maintain our form and fitness. But there is no one to guide us under these circumstances. International tournaments and camps are compulsory for us to keep up with the international standard of boxing,” the boxer added.

Meanwhile, world boxing governing body AIBA has refused to accept the recently held elections of the PBF and has decided to investigate the matter.

AIBA in a letter recently issued to the PBF President Doda Khan Bhutto said that, “it is with regret that we must inform you that according to article 34 of the AIBA bylaws, AIBA cannot, at this stage, approve and recognize the PBF elections results due to the following reasons.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Doda Bhutto had proclaimed himself to be the newly elected president of the PBF with Iqbal Hussain as his secretary during the meeting held in Lahore on December 20.

But his rival Akram Khan did not accept the result and claimed that it was just a drama and no such elections had been held.

Whether the elections of PBF were conducted in line with the AIBA guidelines or not, there is sense of insecurity looming large among boxers.

It is high time that the top officials at the helm of boxing affairs in the country step up and clear the obscurity surrounding the federation and take the boxers into confidence as insecurity among boxers would bring down their dedication towards boxing.

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