ISLAMABAD - The players of Amir Khan Boxing Academy (AKBA) prevailed over Quetta boxers during the friendly bouts arranged by the academy here at Amir Khan Boxing Hall.

As many as 24 boxers took part in different weight categories bouts. Eleven boxers represented Amir Khan Boxing Academy while 13 were from Quetta. After 12 fights, seven were won by Amir Khan Academy boxers while Quetta boxers emerged winners in five bouts.  In 60kg category, Usman, Zahoor and Usman Wazir of Amir Khan Academy won the bouts while in 50kg, Saqib was victorious. Luqman and Attique were triumphant in 52kg and 64kg bouts respectively while 59kg, Kamran of Amir Khan Academy emerged winner. For Quetta, Ahmad Ali, Zulfiqar, Asghar Ali and Ali Ahmed won the bouts in different categories.

Talking to The Nation on Saturday, AKBA head coach Daud Naeemi, who hails from Iran, said: “The main objective of conducting the fights here in Islamabad was to find fresh talent and provide them opportunities to come and enjoy world-class facilities. Pakistan is blessed with immense talent and that’s why I decided first to invite Quetta boxers.  “I had in mind that Lyari and Quetta are known as nurseries of boxing talent, but for the last year or so, I am working on Islamabad-based pugilists, who have great talent and potential and they eager to make impact at national and international level,” he added.

The coach said he had joined Amir Khan Boxing Academy from the day, when it was started in 2016. “Being head coach, it is my utmost priority to provide local players chances to train and learn boxing art. I have around 50 students, who are training at Amir Khan Boxing Academy, while four boxers came from Mansehra to fulfill their boxing needs.  “My boys played exceptionally and posed serious challenge to Quetta-based boxers. Now, the first phase of holding bouts between Quetta and Islamabad boxers is over. We will expand the network to other major cities and I welcome all to come and enjoy training in Islamabad and also have bouts with our academy boxers. In nearly three years, we are working on different weight categories and Amir Khan himself trains boxers when he visits the academy,” he added.

“The signs are very encouraging as we have prepared a lot of fresh boxers, who are ready to excel at any given level. Soon we are going to launch a professional boxing league in Pakistan, which will set new trends and attract fresh blood. The local talent will benefit a lot from this league,” Daud concluded. Sharing their views, boxers of Islamabad and Quetta thanked Amir Khan Academy and especially Daud Naeemi for arranging such a wonderful event. They hoped that such events will come thick and fast in future too, which will help them in regaining new confidence in their abilities. Later, the prize distribution ceremony was held, where the boxers were given prizes.