KARACHI: Boxer Nadir Baloch has said that the decision to skip the recent Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, Azerbaijan was a conscious one on his part and one he had to take for the sake of his nascent professional career.
In March, Nadir became the Universal Boxing Organisation’s International Super Bantamweight champion by knocking out Tanzania’s Juma Fundi.
“I’ve been a national boxer; there is an honour in it,” Nadir told The Express Tribune. “But now I want to take my career further. I felt that it is a good time to see if I can make my mark in professional circuit too. The Pakistan Boxing Council (PBC) is helping me, and I repaid their faith by defeating Fundi with a knockout in my first major fight.”
Explaining why he skipped the Games in Baku, he said: “I chose not to join the national camp because there are more fights coming my way from next month, and I will be required to defend my UBO title,” said Baloch.
In his absence, the national boxing contingent had a torrid time in Baku, failing to manage a single podium finish in any weight category, and Nadir says such showings are also one of the reasons he chose to concentrate more on his pro career.
“Our boxers trained as best as they could, but our best is not good enough,” he said. “We can’t win medals without putting enough money and effort into our boxers. I hope this would change with time, but for now I think this alternate option with PBC is the way to go.”
But since his next pro bout hasn’t been finalised yet, Nadir is not ruling out rejoining the rival Pakistan Boxing Federation’s national camp either. “I think my next fight can be in Philippines, but again the details aren’t confirmed yet,” said Nadir. “Hence, I can also go back to the national camp for training abroad next month.”