ISLAMABAD - Former British boxing champion Amir Khan has said that Amir Khan Boxing Academy (AKBA), which will soon start working in the capital city, will provide boxing champions to Pakistan.

Talking to The Nation, Amir Khan said: “I will invest heavily in the boxing academy named after me and unearth Pakistani boxing talent to rest of the world. I have already placed order for two boxing rings from Japan, which will arrive in next few days, while latest equipment will be installed at the academy soon. The renovation and whitewash work of Amir Khan Boxing Academy (AKBA) is in full swing here at Pakistan Sports Complex, which, I believe, will be completed in next couple of days. We have signed life-time contract with the PSB and I am investing from personal pocket just for the sheer love and passion for the country of my forefathers.”

He said: “I am quite sure the academy in Islamabad will be functional in next 4 to 6 weeks, as I first want to complete the academy with latest equipments and then start working on first conducting open trials to select players from different age groups. I know I have to work from ashes, as I am quite surprised the PSB is fully cooperating with me, but I am amazed nobody from Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) bothered to contact me.

“My academy facilities are open for national boxers as well, but the federation is completely staying away. They should have come and meet me so that we may chalk out plans. They should have recommended top boxers of the country to the academy, so that we might have started working on their mental and physical conditioning. It could have served Pakistan quite well. No worries as I am fully prepared to dig deep and find and groom raw talent, as it is my firm belief that Pakistan is blessed with natural boxing talent but the only need is to find and groom that talent and transform them into champions,” he added.

To a query regarding hiring trainers for the academy, Amir replied: “My academy will have blend of national and international trainers.”

“I am deeply shocked what happened to the Army Public School (APS) kids in Peshawar. I also have a daughter and I know what it means to the parents. I had visited Peshawar to express my condolences to the martyrs families,” he said.

Amir termed Pakistan Super League (PSL) a healthy sign for Pakistan cricket and was very excited about the future of the league. “My younger brother Haroon Khan will soon arrive in Pakistan and represent the country in international events. I am very excited about my fight to be live-telecasted in Pakistan in March next year.”

“People tried to scare me and advised me against visiting Pakistan under present conditions, but I decided to go ahead with the proposed plan. My services are always available for my beloved country. I know, when I manage to provide champions, the academy will be self-reliant,” he asserted.

To a query regarding expanding his academies to other major cities of the country, Amir replied: “First, I am fully focused on Islamabad academy. When I get desired results from this academy, then I will think about other plans. We must have to buck up youth and engage them in sports to present actual face of Pakistan to international community.”