Madan loses to Waseem in semifinals

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.