Francisco Hernandez Roldan -File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) is looking to reappoint the highly-rated Cuban coach Francisco Hernandez Roldan after the country’s pugilists failed to perform impressively at the recently held International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The PBF suffered a major blow just ahead of the event after Haroon Khan, their biggest medal hope, was banned to vie for the country by AIBA on the pretext that he had boxed for England at the youth level. He was to represent the country in the 52kg category at Baku.

The 20-year-old lightweight, who is the younger brother of WBA and IBF light welterweight champion Amir Khan, is appealing the ban with the hope that he can represent Pakistan at the 2012 Olympics. But the issue left Pakistan reeling ahead of the championship and things were not well for them in Baku.

The three boxers, who represented Pakistan at the event, remained unable to impress. Mohammad Waseem was knocked out at the last-32 stage along with Amir Khan. Waseem fought in the 49kg category while Amir contested in the 64kg category.

Mohammad Hussain, who competed in the 56kg, exited after his first bout.

The fact that none of the boxers made it to the quarter-finals means that Pakistan has not qualified for London 2012. However, they will have another chance to do so at the Asian championship that starts at Almaty, Kazakhstan in March next year.

But PBF Secretary General Akram Khan wants Roldan back as he led the team to the double bronze medal success at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games shortly before his contract expired. “We can hire the services of any foreign coach. But we’ll prefer Roldan because our pugilists performed well under him,” Akram said on Wednesday.

He added that the PBF had requested Mohammad Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, director general technical Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), to reappoint Roldan.

“We just want the PSB to reappoint him immediately. His contract only needs renewal.”—APP


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