Islamabad: Indian boxer Madan Lal was beaten by Pakistan`s Mohammad Waseem in the semi-finals of the 52kg category of the second Benazir Bhutto Shaheed international boxing tournament being held at the Liaquat Gymnasium.
In the semi-finals held yesterday, Lal, who had beaten Haroon Khan, the younger brother of world champion Amir Khan in the quarter finals, was outclassed by Waseem, who is one of Pakistan`s fastest improving boxers.
India has sent a 12-member delegation to the international tournament.
Waseem`s win over Lal prompted Pakistani boxing coach to say that Waseem was a better boxer than Haroon Khan.
"It was a very tough match compared to the earlier one," said Waseem.
"However, all the effort that I put in the training is paying off. My morale was high after realising I was up against an Indian boxer. Now I`m focussed on the final, aiming to defeat my Kenyan opponent and take home a gold medal."
Meanwhile, there has been a rift between top brass of the Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) and the Quetta-based Waseem, as the federation wanted Haroon to compete in the 52kg category.
The PBF Secretary Akram Khan said that Waseem had a better chance to perform well at the Olympics in the 49kg category and Haroon should feature in the 52kg category because he gets better training in the UK.
Pakistan`s coach, Ali Baksh, thinks otherwise.
"The result of this tournament shows that Waseem is a better boxer than Haroon, so I think we must prepare him for his preferred category," said Baksh.
All the Pakistani boxer except for Waseem have failed to make the finals of the different weight categories.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.