Pakistan’s Waseem Reaches Boxing Finals

December 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

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File:  Mohammad Waseem, right, hits Haroon Khan.

Pakistan’s star boxer Mohammad Waseem fought his way into the finals of the Second Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Boxing tournament at the Liaquat Gymnasium in Islamabad earlier this week. Waseem defeated India’s Madan Lal in the semifinals of the 52 kg division.

Waseem emerged as the only boxer from the host Pakistani contingent to fight for gold as seven other Pakistani fighters had to settle for bronze medals after they were beaten in the semifinals of their respective categories. Mohammad Nisar, Jamal Nasir, Nisar Khan, Ghulam Mustafa, Niamatullah, Nadir Khan and Yasir Javed all fell in the semifinals as part of a disappointing overall performance by Pakistan, who fielded a whopping total of 34 boxers in the event.

Waseem, who crushed Senevira from Sri Lanka in the quarter-final on Monday, faced even less adversity against Madan Lal in the semifinal and edged the Indian 19-12. “Thanks God, I qualified for the final,” Waseem told The News after his fight. “I did not face much difficulty and am confident to lift gold for Pakistan,” he said. Waseem is scheduled to face Benson Gicharu from Kenya in the final. Benson got a walkover against Latipovr Jasurbe from Uzbekistan in the semifinals.

By beating Madan Lal, who had outgunned England-born Haroon Khan in the quarter-final on Monday, Waseem proved that he is better than Amir Khan’s brother in the 52kg weight category. The superb show from Waseem must have convinced the authorities that they were wrong when they were compelling the Quetta-born lad to reduce his weight and play in the 49kg in the World Championship held in Baku back in the fall of this year.

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Haroon Khan Barred from Representing Pakistan

September 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Compiled by Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

_ABU2203, 2203British-Pakistani boxer Haroon Khan has been told by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) that he cannot represent Pakistan in international competition. Khan’s father, Shah Khan, told the BBC that they intend to appeal the decision, which if supported, would prevent Haroon from representing Pakistan at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Khan, age 20, is the younger brother of WBA and IBF light welterweight boxing world champion Amir Khan. Their father told BBC Radio Manchester, “The Pakistan boxing federation got an email that Haroon can’t represent them as he represented England as a youth. We sent letters out to AIBA and we’re hoping that they’ll accept all this.”

Haroon Khan was originally scheduled to represent Pakistan in the upcoming World Boxing Championships in Azerbaijan, which act as an Olympic qualifying even. Khan represented England as a youth in 2009. He initially hoped to box for England in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, but after being overlooked, opted instead to fight for Pakistan, and won a bronze medal.

“Their rulings say when a boxer becomes a national in more than one country then he has decided which country he wants to represent,” Shah Khan added. “He became a national of Pakistan in 2010, now that was after he’d boxed for England. Then he decided he wanted to box for Pakistan, which he did in the Commonwealth games, where he won a bronze medal. If you go by that rule he did decide to box for Pakistan so he should be entitled to box for Pakistan. There is another qualifier in February and we’re keeping our fingers crossed he’ll be going there.”

Hopefully this can be resolved so that Khan can box for the country of his heritage. It would make especially great theater for it to take place in in his newly-adopted country of England.

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Amir Khan Fighting for Africa

September 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

AmirKhan1Pakistani-British boxer Amir Khan has joined forces with United Kingdom-based  Islamic Help to support the victims of the devastating drought that has hit the Horn of Africa. Khan will be fronting the charity’s iHelp Knock Out Poverty campaign. Amir Khan will be making a guest appearance at Islamic Help’s fundraising dinner on September 17th at the Hilton London Metropole. Over 800 people are expected to attend the event to take advantage of the unique opportunity to meet this rising star in the world of boxing.

The Horn of Africa Crisis is, according to the United Nations, set to worsen over the coming months and as many as 750,000 people may lose their lives. It is estimated as the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in over 60 years. The United Nations has recently declared a famine in Bay, the sixth area in Somalia to have been declared a famine zone. The most vulnerable are still at greatest risk and acute malnutrition rates amongst children are at a staggering 58% in Somalia. Islamic Help launched an appeal for drought victims over three months ago and has carried out work on the ground to reach those in most need.

Since being propelled to fame by his silver medal victory at the Athens Olympics in 2004 Khan, now the Unified World Light-Welterweight Champion, has utilized his position as one of the England’s leading athletes to inspire and work with young people and with the socially and economically disadvantaged. He set up the Gloves Community Centre and Boxing Gym in Bolton and continues to support a number of grass roots initiatives.

Khan has also been very active in supporting humanitarian causes. He raised substantial sums of money for survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami as well as for survivors of the Pakistani Earthquake in 2005. At that time he even went to Pakistan to deliver aid in person. Islamic Help is a UK based charity that has worked in over twenty countries globally. Its head office and Tanzania office will be co-coordinating the relief effort in Somalia.

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Kassim Living the Dream

July 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

KassimOuma4Kassim Ouma is a Ugandan boxer who is the current North American Boxing Association middleweight champion.  His life has been so interesting that he was the subject of a documentary entitled “Kassim the Dream” which was made in 2008. It went on to become an official selection at several film festivals.

Born the seventh of 13 children, he started out in poverty, and at the age of six he was kidnapped and forced to join the National Resistance Army in Uganda. As a result he did not see his family for the next five years. Ouma started boxing after leaving the army. He racked up an impressive 62 and 3 amateur record and subsequently made the Ugandan national boxing team and was selected to fight at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. However, he did not attend due to financial difficulties.

On a Ugandan national amateur team trip to the United States, Ouma decided to stay to undertake a career as a professional boxer to support his family in Uganda. Ouma later won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Middleweight world title.

Ouma has been a champion and top-level contender in the Light Middleweight division, ultimately earning the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Light Middleweight title. He later lost this title in a unanimous decision defeat against Roman Karmazin. However, on September 25, 2010, Ouma defeated Joey Gilbert in the 6th round of their 10-round bout for the vacant North American Boxing Association middleweight title at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.

Among the twists and turns in his life chronicled by the documentary, Ouma was shot twice in Florida in December 2002. Among the violence in his life, Ouma also reports that his father was beaten to death by the Ugandan army in retaliation for his leaving the country. Ouma’s younger brother, Hamza Wandera Ouma, is also a professional boxer. So, Kassim Ouma hopes that, moving forward, his dreams, and the dreams of his family, are only happy ones.

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Amir Khan Retains Title Belt

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

news-graphics-2008-_660030aBritish-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan retained his WBA light welterweight title by a technical decision on Saturday against challenger Paul McCloskey in Manchester, England. The fight was stopped by the referee in the sixth round because of a nasty cut over McCloskey’s left eye.  The ending was somewhat controversial, as referee Luiz Pabon deemed that the cut was a result of an accidental clash of heads. He summoned ringside doctor Phil Sahu, who believed McCloskey couldn’t continue with blood seeping into his eye and impairing his vision.  McCloskey was livid as Pabon sent the fight to the judges for a decision. And all three judges not only had Khan leading 60-54 in the 6th round, but they also had Khan the victor in each of the first five rounds, giving Khan the technical decision. 

After the fight, McCloskey’s camp was adamant that the fight should not have been stopped and that he was deserving of an immediate rematch. While Khan’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was somewhat sympathetic to McCloskey’s sentiments, he was firm in stating that Khan would be moving on to other challengers in the immediate future. In fact, even before this fight, word had been circulating that a unification bout with WBO and WBC title holder Timothy Bradley had already been penciled in for July 23rd of this year in Las Vegas. With the win, Khan improved to 25-1 with 17 knockouts.

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Amir Khan in Final Preparations for McCloskey Fight

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

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Pakistani-British boxer Amir Khan is in the final stages of training for the next rung in his ladder of success. He takes on Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey this weekend in a defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight title. Khan has been so focused in fact that he shut down his Twitter and Facebook accounts several weeks ahead of the bout in order to avoid additional distractions. He even spent a few weeks in the Phillipines to train with boxing superstar Manny Pacqiao as well as the expert trainer whom they share as clients, Freddie Roach. Roach has now come to Manchester, England to assist Khan in the days leading up to the April 16th fight.

There was some controversy this past week when the Khan-McCloskey fight was dropped from pay-per-view to regular cable television viewing on England’s SkySports 3. Khan took this as an insult to the fighters, and he and his camp have now shifted the fight to a lower level of pay-per-view on Primetime TV. The reasons for the downgrade were apparently related to the underwhelming caliber of fighters on the undercard, which came into view in particular after fellow Muslim boxer Hasim Rahman pulled out of his fight against undefeated Brit Tyson Fury.

McCloskey himself is in fact undefeated, so this will be no cakewalk for Khan. And there is already talk that a unification bout with World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley has already been penciled in for July 23rd in Las Vegas. And if Khan were able to win that fight, he would be, at age 24, the youngest undisputed world champion in British boxing history. So even more than Twitter or Facebook, that is the kind of distraction that Khan will have to keep out of his mind if he wants to be known the world over as King Khan and not A Mere Con.

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