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KARACHI: Pakistani boxer Nadir Baloch believes that two-time former world champion Brit Amir Khan’s Super Boxing League is a mixed bag for the local pugilists as they do not know what to expect.
Baloch, former national champion, fights in the featherweight category believes Super Boxing League launch should benefit local boxers.
“It is a 50-50 thing,” said Baloch, who knocked out Tanzania’s Juma Fundi last year to take the Universal Boxing Organization’s Super Bantamweight title and won another fight on June 10 in Karachi. “They want to earn money through it, but we need to see the Pakistani boxers thrive as well. We haven’t got much activity as it is. But this is a business, the league, and we know it.”
While Amir arrived with his wife and partner Bill Dosanjh at a local hotel in Karachi nearly three hours late from the scheduled time for the press conference where they launched their league, the local boxers were not invited at the event.
The League will have eight teams and each team would have one female player along with foreign boxers joining in as well, the announcement was made at the launch.
Meanwhile, owners of franchises include big names like former Pakistan T20I captain Shahid Afridi, owner of the Pakhtoon Warriors, along with Zeshan Afzal. Pace legend Wasim Akram owns Multan Nawabs. Television actor Fahad Mustafa along with Salman Iqbal own Karachi Cobras. Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan owns Faisalabad Falcons. Ali Sheikh owns Lahore Cobras, whereas Quetta Gladiators have Nadeem Omar and Saif Malik as the owners.
On the other hand Islamabad Kings do not have any takers so far.
The league is supposed to start in September, while the Pakistan Boxing Federation has not approved of the league.
Amir began the first Super Boxing League in India last year, with eight teams and celebrity franchise owners and they seem to be repeating the format in Pakistan as well. The Indian national boxing federation had also disapproved of the league.
But Amir adds that the league is a professional platform for the Pakistani boxers and new talent to make their career in the sport.
But the local boxers are still in the dark.
At the launch event they announced that the trials will take place for the teams as well.
“They did contact me a few months ago telling me about the league but I don’t know the rest,” said Baloch. “As far as the trials are concerned, I’m not afraid of the competition, but I am the top boxer in my category at the national level. I’m hoping that since celebrities are involved, maybe that may guarantee future sponsorships for boxers. Only time can tell.”
Ref: The Express Tribune