LAHORE - Pakistani-origin British boxer Amir Khan has vowed to train the young boxers in his international standard academy to be inaugurated in mid of the next year here at the Nishtar Park Sports Complex.

Speaking at the press briefing, Amir said: “Pakistani youth has great potential and they are capable to clinch medals in Olympics and other major events as they used to win medals in the past in mega events. With standard training and proper grooming, they will again start earning medals at international level.”

The British boxer urged the youngsters to get maximum benefit from his academy which would be open for all the age group players. “If the youngsters work hard with commitment and apply whatever they will be taught, they will start winning medals in near future. There will certainly be a noticeable difference in Pakistan boxing after the academy starts functioning,” he claimed.

When asked whether it would be easy for him to manage time for his academy the boxer replied: “Yes, I will give enough time to my academy. Pakistan is my motherland and I will try my best to whatever I can for the betterment of Pakistan boxing.”

To a query regarding establishing more academies in the country, he said: “If the launching of boxing academy in Lahore remains successful, I will surely go for establishing more in Karachi and Islamabad.”

Amir also disclosed that he would do his training in Pakistan academy before his next fight. “I will feel happy to do my training in Pakistan for my next fight which will probably be against Mayweather.”

During the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing here at National Hockey Stadium, Amir exchanged documents with SBP Director General. According to MoU, the Sports Board Punjab will build an international standard boxing academy in the Nishtar Park Sports Complex where Amir will train the young Pakistan boxers and provide all the technical and coaching expertise to young talent of the country.

Talking to media, Punjab Minister for Sports and Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan said about the objectives of the proposed academy. He said it was a historic occasion for Pakistan sports particularly for boxing. “We have signed an MoU with the great son of the land to give a new life to Pakistan boxing. The Amir Khan Boxing Academy will be built as per international requirements and according to the advice of Amir Khan. The academy will be of 800-man capacity and handed over to Amir in mid of 2015. The proposed academy will start function in July 2015,” he added.

Earlier, Aamir met Punjab Chief Minister M Shahbaz Sharif and visited Data Gunj Bakhsh and prayed for the martyrdom of Peshawar tragedy during his visit to the city. Aamir condemned the Peshawar tragedy and expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the martyrdom of innocent children and teachers. Prayers were also offered for the departed souls of martyrs on this occasion.

Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif has said that every Pakistani is grieved over Peshawar tragedy. “The entire nation is now united against terrorism. The political, religious and military leadership is also united for curbing the terrorists.”

He said that the trends of extremism can be eliminated through promotion of sports and healthy activities. “That is why, Punjab government is pursuing a comprehensive programme of promoting sports and healthy activities in the province,” he added.

The CM said that the biggest youth festival was held in the province in which a number of international records were set. He said that there is a great talent regarding sports in Pakistan and youth festival is the biggest programme for bringing out the hidden talent of youth. Shahbaz said that in those societies where sports grounds are with events, hospitals present deserted look. He said that youth can also be stopped from negative activities through promotion of sports. He said that new sports grounds and state-of-the-art sports centers have been set up in Punjab. He said that modern facilities of sports have been provided in sports centers and gymnasia.

Congratulating boxer Aamir Khan on becoming champion of Silverlight Welterweight Category of World Boxing Council, the CM said that Aamir has won laurels for Pakistan in the field of boxing. “There is a need of modern training for Pakistani boxers in boxing. A modern boxing academy is being set up in Lahore in collaboration with World Boxing Council (WBC) and Punjab Sports Board (PSB) for providing training to Pakistani boxers. President and Vice President of World Boxing Council will visit Pakistan next month in this regard. With the setting up of academy, boxing will be promoted in Pakistan and professional boxers will be polished by imparting modern training.”

The CM offered Aamir to impart training to Pakistani boxers in boxing academy being set up at Sports Complex Ferozpur Road. “It will be pleasure for us if Aamir provides training to Pakistani boxers in this academy.”

Aamir has said he is pleased to see that Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif is doing positive work for the promotion of sports in Punjab and he is willing to impart training of international standard to Pakistani boxers. He also appreciated the efforts of Punjab government for establishing boxing academy. Provincial Minister for Education and Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, DG Sports Board Punjab, Political Secretary to Chief Minister Punjab Afzaal Bhatti, Sajjad Khan father of boxer Aamir Khan, brothers Haroon Khan and Tahir Khan were also present on the occasion.