KARACHI: Former Asian Games silver medallist boxer Zaigham Maseel has opposed the idea from different Pakistan’s boxing experts who say that national pugilists should be sent to any strong boxing country for training.

“I want to bring a few things to your notice. First, the people are confusing each other. Usually, most of our boxing lovers give statement in their interviews that our national boxing team should be sent for training tour to a strong country. Sorry to say it is wrong now,” Zaigham told ‘The News’ from Bahrain.

“Unfortunately, they don’t have experience, game knowledge, and sense of coaching,” Zaigham was quick to add. “Actually, they’re just quoting the message of previous people instead of observing the present condition of our available boxers, their behaviour, interest, commitment, psychological and mental level,” he said.

“Here I would like to ask an easy question. Can a 10-year-old weak boxer (having weak muscles, low level of coaching, weak character and personality) fight or train with a very strong 20-year-old boxer from a developed country,” Zaigham questioned.

“We are very young in boxing as compared to the developed countries of the world. The above is the demand of our boxing lovers,” he said.

“Can a sensible person put his goat in front of a lion in his cage,” he questioned.

“I agree with them that our boxers should be sent abroad for training tour but not now with our immature coaching. Even the coaches don’t have control on the boxers in the national team,” the three-time South Asian Games gold medallist said.

“No doubt, a few people are making efforts to promote boxing in Pakistan by developing strong provincial and national teams. But they should not give such statements without considering all relevant issues,” Zaigham said. He said a lot of measures are required to be taken prior to sending the team abroad. “The same statement has already been given by many other stupid people in different times. We should study our strong and weak areas first,” he said.

“Secondly, we need sensible and educated persons to support us physically and morally,” he said.

“I have one question for the present members of the national federation: do they have a new idea, a fresh idea for boxing in Pakistan?” Zaigham said. “We have to bring new plans, new strategies,” he said.

“An educational wing or committee should be established in the national federation for leading the people concerned. The committee should convey the latest knowledge to all units of the federation and deal with the ethical concerns,” Zaigham suggested.

“A competent referee/judge commission is required. We need a politically strong team to play a role at the international level. After Prof Anwar Choudhary, India has strengthened itself in AIBA. Sri Lanka is stronger than us in AIBA. Prof Choudhary and Major Abdur Rasheed had a noteworthy political control in AIBA for 20 years,” Zaigham pointed out.

“An educated and honest selection committee is required for selection of the best team and effective reward system should be introduced. A media team is also required to develop awareness of the game and generate funds for running the system of the federation,” Zaigham said.


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