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A walkover and two bouts as women’s boxing begins

KARACHI: Anam Qambrani stood in a corner of the room practising sparring with her father and coach, Younus Qambrani, before her fight.

In the end, she won without having to flex a muscle after no one turned up in the ring to spar against her.

“I am very excited to be here,” she told Dawn moments earlier at the Jinnah First Ever Karachi Women Boxing Championship held at the Pak National Boxing Club at Peoples’ Stadium on Mauripur Road, Lyari.

“I am going to beat my opponent,” she said. “I have been training for quite a while now and feel confident about this fight.”

Anam and 16 other girls from her father’s club — the Pak Shaheen Boxing Club, have taken part in the district level championship which will go on till Sunday.

Anam’s fight was scheduled to be the third in a long lineup. It ended in anticlimax.

The two bouts before Anam’s were well-contested ones — won by Aqsa and Razia.

Abdul Rauf Qureshi, a former boxer and coordinator of the Sindh Boxing Association, said that the tournament was focused on four districts — East, West, Central and South.

“We have around six clubs taking part in this championship, including Yousuf Academy and Young Lyari Boxing Club,” he said, adding that it was important to give the girls a space to fight.

Nawab Ali Baloch of the Young Lyari Boxing Club said he had 36 girls training with him at the moment.

“Some of our star players such as Gul Jabeen, Sara and Maria are taking part in this tournament,” he said.

From Orangi Town, Mohammad Yousuf of the Yousuf Boxing Academy said he had brought five girls to the event. “We started teaching girls how to box almost three months ago,” he said.

“This is a good opportunity for the girls. My daughter, Mahnoor, is also taking part in this,” he said, adding that they did not get the chance to practise and showcase their skills that much.

HIGH HOPES

District Central’s Naeemur Rehman who looks after the Kalyana/ North Karachi club said that nine of his students were taking part in the tournament.

“Aqsa is one of our best boxers and she will be representing the club at this event,” he said, adding that he had high hopes for his team.

He recalled an incident from two years ago when he first introduced the girls to boxing. “We were invited to an event but it was a boys boxing tournament and we took our girls — they managed to get through many rounds and it felt good,” he said.

Aqsa, 18, said she was feeling pumped about her fight and knew she would win. “I have always been interested in the sport. My mother was the one who enrolled me at the centre to learn more,” she said talking to Dawn, adding that her family had been very encouraging.

She ended up winning against club-mate Ansa.

The tournament is being judged by three former boxers — Ahmed Abdul Aziz, Sher Mohammad Baloch and Fida Hussain — while Rustom Baloch is the referee.

Murad Bux Baloch, the club’s chief coach who is one of the main organisers, said: “There is an interest in the sport so we thought why not organise a tournament for the girls. Boxing has always been a part of Lyari. We want these girls to go further in life and be as successful as possible.”

Halima, the mother of one of the boxer’s from Mr Qambrani’s club and a boxer herself, said she was very excited to see her daughter, Razia, fight.

Razia delighted her mother, living up to her hopes by winning against Young Lyari’s top boxer Gul.

courtesy : dawn news

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