Sunday, August 10, 2014

Taipei City event: Pakistan pugilist Asif reaches semi-finals

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif won his quarter-final match against Singapore’s Mohammad Haaurdeen in the 52kg event of the fourth Taipei City International Boxing Tournament on Friday.

The Quetta-based pugilist won his bout 3-0, while compatriot Jahanzaib Khan lost his last-eight encounter 29-28 in the 49kg category to his Thai opponent Tanes Ongjunta.

According to Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) official Ali Akber Shah Qadri, it was a close fight for Jahanzaib, but there is a chance for Asif to finish the campaign with a medal.

However, Qadri said he had kept his expectations modest, stating that the most important thing was to send out a positive message to the international boxing community.

“The standards of boxing have improved significantly in the last few years,” Qadri told The Express Tribune.

“Earlier, we could’ve taken our opponents from China very lightly, but now, even they have improved their standards and it’s hard to compete against them.

“On the other hand, our boxers last competed in an international event back in 2011 [in Islamabad]. The tournament will be a learning experience for them more than anything else.”

Qadri said that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) invited Pakistan to compete in the event, divided into six weight categories, along with 15 other countries including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Italy, Russia, Hong Kong, and Macau.

“We wanted to send more boxers to this event, but there were restrictions on funds. This is just a step towards giving exposure to our boxers. For now, the goal is to catch up with the international boxing circuit.”

The two boxers are accompanied by Akram Khan and manager Suleman Islam.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2014. Like Sports on Facebook, follow @ETribuneSports on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

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