ISLAMABAD - Boxer Naimat Ullah looked highly confident about defending his Bantam Weight 56kg weight title in South Asian Games boxing events, starting from 13th.

Naimat, who won the gold medal for Pakistan in SAG held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2010, is all set to depart to India today early. Talking exclusively to The Nation on Wednesday, he said: “I had trained very hard just for one purpose and aim as I want to win another gold medal for Pakistan. Our camp was shifted to Islamabad on 18th of last month. We didn’t even take a singles day rest and trained very hard with head coach Ali Baksh, who is giving his all, just for us.”

Naimat said he got a very nasty cut on my left eye last week during training, but now it was healing.”I had participated in world military games in Kazakhstan and China for Pakistan Air Force, even though, I didn’t win any medals in those games, but I did managed to get lot of international exposure, which I am going to utilize in SAG.”

He said Pakistani coaches are no less to any top international coaches but Pakistan players lag behind due to lack of training facilities and international exposure is concern. The players didn’t get even handful national event, added the 24-year old Naimat who is undefeated national champions since 2007. He said if provided with training at China, Korea or Kazakhstan or Cuba, it can help not only me but also country a great deal when it comes to international stage is concern. “I know federation is cash starved, but the PSB and others should step forward and help Pakistan boxing and boxers to scale new heights.”

When asked about his realistic chances of defending gold medal in India and who would he considered his main opponent and hurdle in his way, Naimat replied he was sure about winning the gold and I stand 99 percent chances of retaining my medal. “Indians would be hot favourites and crowd would definitely on their side but I would be least bothered about that. I would focus on fights and task ahead. I feel no pressure at all, as I had played under tough conditions before and coach had given me lectures and taught me to concentrate on fights rather than worrying about the noisy crowds. I am going to India keeping in mind, my aim is to win gold and that’s all, I would play out my heart and return with gold medal in my neck,” Namiat concluded.

While sharing his views Pakistan Boxing team head coach Ali Baksh termed his team had great chances of winning 2 to 3 gold medals and as many silver medals. “We have selected 10-member squad for SAG including 7 male and 3 females, who would participate in SAG for the very first time in the history. “Yes I know, they (females) have almost no chance of winning medal, but at least they would get much-needed international exposure and could learn great deal while playing alongside best in South Asia.”

“I don’t know why the PSB is not releasing annual grant of Pakistan Boxing Federation. We are in dire need of funds. It is my request to IPC Minister and DG PSB to look into this matter and release grant so we could focus on task ahead and participate in international events. If provided with international exposure to our key players, they can win medals just like they did in the past. Russia is fast becoming boxing hub, players should be sent abroad for training, which would transform them and make them much better ones,” Ali concluded.