LAHORE: Zulqarnain Khan of Punjab on Tuesday claimed the Pakistan Boxing Council Challenge Belt after beating Naseebullah Agha of Balochistan in the professional heavyweight bout held here at Islamia College Civil Lines boxing arena.

The PBC event organised in the memory of late Punjab boxing president Sayad Mohammad Ghaznavi had two bouts on the day and with Zulqarnain winning the heavyweight title, Muzamil Usman of Punjab clinched the light flyweight bout after a very close contest against Bashir Ahmed of Balochistan.

The PBC chief organiser Javed Ashiq conducted the light flyweight and heavy weight bouts in six and 12 rounds respectively with the support of Col ® Arif Malik and Malik Saddique, who acted as jury while Bashir Shuja, M Babar, Imtiaz, Hameed and Imran acted as judges and Arshad Qureshi supervised the entire activity technically.

Zulqarnain started of his campaign for the title in a technically sound style and kept Naseeb at bay right from the start. He used the combination of ones and twos most of the time to get points and maintained his upper hand throughout the 12 rounds. Naseeb on his part showed great courage and despite heavy bashing at the hands of Zulqarnain, he did not step back for a single moment.

Despite having bruises and a slight cut under the left eye by the seventh round and similar condition of the right eye by the 11th round, he fought like a knight till the final bell was rung after the 12th round.

In the end, Zulqarnain won the belt and also the prize money of Rs 14000 while Naseeb pocketed Rs 6000. Though the money is not enough to even cater the needs of the boxers but the PBC has taken the initiative of somehow benefitting the boxers.

In the light flyweight fight, Muzamil had to use all his powers to overcome the resistance unleashed by Bashir. Even as some points it looked certain that Bashir had taken away the game from the hands of Muzamil. But in the end it was a split decision of 2-1 and Muzamil sneaked away with a minute margin. 

Later speaking to the media, Zulqarnain dedicated the win to late coach Mahmood Yousuf Butt for bringing him to boxing and vowed to maintain the spirit in the game. He also wished to show the same dedication at the international level while playing the World Boxing Council bout with the support of PBC.

Naseeb, however, praised the PBC for taking the steps of introducing professional boxing in Pakistan and vowed to come up for another challenge soon. He further said that Pakistan have quality boxers and they need proper training and support, if provided now in a year or two they will be world champions.