The journey of Pakistani boxing "Rise and Fall"

Muhammad Waseem

 'If I were in Pakistan today, I would be driving a donkey'

If the economic problems of Pakistani boxers had been solved, Olympic boxer Malang Baloch would not need to say that "he could not fight because he had not eaten since nightfall"

This was said by Nadir Shah Adil, a senior journalist from Lyari. He says no one has tried to alleviate the poverty of Pakistani boxers even though these boxers continue to show their best despite economic oppression.

If practical steps had been taken to alleviate the poverty of these boxers, Khan Mohammad, Mohammad Ali Mushki and other boxers would not have been forced to put carts in the bazaars and Abdul Aziz Jonah would not have been sitting on the sidewalk of the market making locks and keys.

Someone has told the truth about boxing that "it was born out of poverty". Like many other countries in the world, Pakistan is no longer a game of boxing.

Boxers here have faced stiff blows from their rivals in the ring and from outside the ring, but over time the situation has become so depressing that Pakistan has moved out of the mainstream of international boxing and in the past it Location was lost. All this has happened with a sport in which Pakistan has won the most medals at the international level

Amir Khan

Bright past but then what happened?

Pakistan's record in international boxing competitions has been impressive.

Pakistan has won 6 gold, 20 silver and 35 bronze medals in boxing competitions at the Asian Games. The number of gold medals won by Pakistan in the Asian Boxing Championship is 17, besides 9 silver and 16 bronze medals.

At the Commonwealth Games, Pakistan won three gold, one silver and four bronze medals in boxing.

Apart from hockey, the two sports in which Pakistan has won medals in the Olympics are wrestling and boxing. Boxer Hussain Shah won a bronze medal at the 1988 Civil Olympics.

The performance of Pakistani boxers in the South Asian Games has been excellent. In these games, Pakistan has won 62 gold, 28 silver and 19 bronze medals. Hussain Shah has the honour of winning gold medals in five consecutive South Asian Games.

But then the same boxers who made the country famous got into so much financial trouble that some of them got lost in obscurity and some were forced to leave the country for a better future.

Hussain Shah travelled abroad with the help of the great squash player Jahangir Khan and settled in Japan via the United Kingdom and the United States.

"If I were in Pakistan today, I would be driving a donkey," says Hussain Shah Barnala. In Japan, he taught boxing to others but his son Shah Hussain Shah became an international judo player who won a silver medal for Pakistan in the Commonwealth Games.


Anwar Khurshid Choudhary
AIBA president 1986-2006

Who was Professor ANoor Chaudhry?

Professor Anwar Chaudhry's services in bringing Pakistani boxing to the forefront are unforgettable. It was in the sixties when Brigadier Radim, who had played a key role in organizing Pakistani sports, tarnished the image of the Boxing Federation and appointed Professor Anwar Chaudhry as its secretary.

Professor Anwar Chaudhry was a versatile figure in the world of boxing who made the sport internationally recognized and respected. He was president of the International Boxing Association (IBA) for 20 years. He was also the secretary-general of the world organization for 12 years and vice president for eight years.

In Olympic boxing, when the non-transparent points system was heavily criticized and the International Olympic Committee threatened to exclude boxing from the Olympics, Prof.  Anwar Choudhary, as an engineer, solved the problem in the form of a computerized points system and made it international. He eliminated all disputes by introducing them in competitions.

Professor  Anwar Choudhary has the honour of establishing the Asian Boxing Federation. Former Indonesian President Suharto was elected the first president of the federation.

Due to the powerful personality of Professor  Anwar Choudhary, Pakistani boxers benefited a lot in terms of training. As 'AIBA' president, he had ties to several of his leaders, most notably Cuban Fidel Castro.

That is why in the time of Prof. Anwar Choudhary, Cuban coaches used to come to Pakistan regularly to train Pakistani boxers. Besides, Pakistani boxers used to go to other countries for training.

How did things turn out?

After the departure of Prof.  Anwar Choudhary, Pakistani boxing became rusty. Anyone who joined the Pakistan Boxing Federation after him did not know the intricacies of the sport nor did he have any international influence. As a result, Pakistani boxing Position weakened. Sometimes the drama of two federations was created, sometimes the faces changed and now only specific faces are seen in the federation.

The last time Pakistani boxers competed in the 2004 Athens Olympics was when Pakistani boxers missed out on the Olympics for 16 years. They can't go beyond qualifying competitions.

Lyari, the stronghold of boxing

Boxing was taking place in Lyari even before the establishment of Pakistan. The most notable name in the game is that of coach Ustad Sotto, who knew how to find and cut diamonds. Many Pakistani international boxers were his students.

Nadir Shah Adil says he himself has seen the best boxer and trainer like Ustad Nazar Mohammad suffer in the latter part of his life.

"I am an eyewitness to this," he said. "When Ustad Abdullah Baloch was given money for children's Eid by an industrialist, he burst into tears." What could be a greater tragedy?

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