LAHORE (APP) – Punjab Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada on Friday said that famous British boxer Amir Khan would attend the closing ceremony of the first-ever Inter-Division Punjab Open Boxing Championship, which would go into action from May 12 at Nishtar Park Sports Complex Gymnasium Hall.
Addressing a press conference at National Hockey Stadium on Friday, he said that the presence of world known boxer at the closing ceremony on May 15 will definitely be a great source of encouragement for our young pugilists.
Khanzada said that the Inter-Division Punjab Open Boxing Championship will explode into action with a colorful opening ceremony.
He said that 770 boxers including 100 women from across the province took part in the trials held for selecting talented boxers.
“The large number of boxers from all parts of province took part in the trials activity in three classes – Elite Class (Boys), Youth Class (U-16 Boys) and Elite Class (Girls). And it happened for the first time in the history of Pakistan that young boxers from remote areas of the province featured in boxing trials.”
The minister further said that 177 male and 22 female boxers have been shortlisted for the Inter-Division Punjab Open Boxing Championship. “The shortlisted pugilists have been selected through a transparent selection process,” he added.
He said after completing trials process across the province, now we have complete data of all male and female boxers and their categories and we can make better planning for our future boxing events and ultimately it will help in further promoting boxing.
Elaborating about the prizes to be awarded to the notable performers of the event, Khanzada said: “Punjab Government is going to award huge cash prizes to the winners and overall Rs 2.6 million will be spent on the championship. The winner, runners up and third position holder in different categories will pocket Rs 50,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 12,000 respectively.”
He said that there is no dearth of boxing talent in the province. “Punjab Government has decided to establish modern boxing rings at nine divisional headquarters to polish boxing talent in all parts of province. Boxing rings will also be established at district level in the next phase,” he revealed.
The minister said that provincial government under the vision of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was taking best possible measures for the promotion of sports in all parts of the province. “As many as 22 sports gymnasiums and 18 E-Libraries have been completed in different cities of the province. Moreover, seven cricket grounds, six hockey grounds with top class turfs and lights, State of the Art Punjab International Swimming Complex, international level tennis stadium have also been completed.”
Jahangir Khanzada said eleven cricket academies under the supervision of legendary cricketer Zaheer Abbas have also been functional in various cities. “Qualified coaches are imparting modern training to young cricketers at these academies. Similarly, Punjab Government also taken sufficient measures for the promotion of squash, tennis, football and other games throughout the province,” he explained.