Paris Olympics 2024: Pakistan boxers gear up for final qualification event

The camp will be held here at the PSB Coaching Centre

April 16, 2024
The camp will carry ten male boxers and four female fighters. - PSB

LAHORE: Having failed to impress in the 2024 Paris Olympics World Qualification Tournament 1 in Italy last month, Pakistan boxers will start assembling here on Tuesday (today) to kick-start their preparation for the final world qualifying event to be hosted by Bangkok from May 25 to June 2.

The camp will be held here at the PSB Coaching Centre under the supervision of coaches Arshad Hussain and Tariq Siddiqui. Arshad, also a former Olympian, will arrive here on Tuesday evening (today) to settle the things for the camp along with Lahore-based Tariq.

The camp will carry ten male boxers and four female fighters. It was learnt that sparring partners belonging to various departments and Balochistan will also be arranged. A senior official of Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) told The News that it would be decided later how many boxers would be sent to Bangkok.

“By May 15 we will confirm how many boxers will go. We have sent entries and we will need just confirmation that how many boxers will be fielded in the qualifiers,” the official said. “We definitely will be trying our level best to give chance to the best lot,” the official was quick to add.

The official also said that London-based Laura, who got injured in the world qualifiers held in Italy last month, is also training in London. Mohammad Faheem of Army is also part of the camp. He will be tested in the light flyweight in place of Zohaib Rasheed who ditched Pakistan and vanished in Italy last month before the official start of the world qualification event for the Paris Olympics.

New York-based fighter Rizwan has also been invited to the camp. Rizwan has already been seen in trials by Pakistan’s key coaches. “If proper work is done on Rizwan he can deliver,” Pakistan coach Arshad Hussain told The News on Monday.

“He plays on the pattern of professional boxing. Amateur boxing is fast and he needs hard work. He has good punches, he is a man of big heart and very strong and he can be developed as a good fighter. We had arranged his sparring with Pakistan’s two top fighters and he was not bad,” Arshad said.

“We are hopeful he will join the camp,” he said. Ibrahim, Saeed, Ihsanullah, Sumama, Afzal Khan, Fatima Zehra, Malaika, Areeba and Azka are some of the key invitees for the camp.

Arshad said that boxers from Army and Navy will join the camp late due to their engagement in the Inter-Services Boxing event which will begin from April 28 at Karachi. “They will join the camp on May 2,” he said.

Arshad said that young blood has been put in the camp. “We have put some new blood in the camp. Sumama, Afzal Khan, Idrees and Ihsanullah are young and highly talented.” Arshad said.

Alam Zeb Safi is a senior reporter for The News