ISLAMABAD  -  Fajr international boxing championship gold medal winner and national boxing champ in fly weight category Syed M Asif Ali was upbeat about his chances of winning gold in the upcoming Islamic Solidarity Games to be held in Baku next month.  

Talking to The Nation at Pakistan Sports Complex, where Asif has been training for the last two months with his coach Arshad Hussain, he said: “Boxing is my passion and it is in my blood. I am from Quetta and reside at Alamdar Road. I am training when I was only 9 and Quetta is the home of a number of top national boxers, who, if provided with facilities, could win a lot of medals for the country at international level.” 

Asif said the Islamic Games were just round the corner. “We have trained very hard and I am highly optimistic about winning gold medal for the country, but I request IPC Minister Riaz Pirzada and PSB DG Akhtar Ganjera to ensure training abroad at Cuba, Uzbekistan or any other place, where we may learn modern-day techniques.  

“Boxing is changing with each passing day and we need to adapt to the conditions and that is only possible by gaining international exposure and foreign training. Our coaches should also be sent abroad for advance courses, or a highly-qualified international coach should be hired to train boxers in Pakistan, as it will help us a great deal,” he added.  

About his aims and goals, he said: “My main and lifelong dream is to play in the Olympics. I have set my sights on the 2020 Olympics, where I want to win gold for my country. Pakistan is our pride and wherever I go, I always put country way ahead than personal glory. I can assure, if provided with training and international-standard facilities, Pakistan boxers can excel globally,” Asif concluded.