KARACHI: British boxer Amir Khan launched the Super Boxing League (SBL) here on Thursday at a local hotel.

Two-time world champion Amir Khan is promoting the event backed by British business tycoon Bill Dosanjh.

Khan and CEO ARY Digital Network Salman Iqbal, who also owns Pakistan Super League franchise Karachi Kings, will jointly serve as the league’s chairman which is set to feature eight teams owned by cricketing and showbiz celebrities.

The teams are named after major cities of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot and Quetta. Each team will comprise of 10 men and two women boxers.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi owns Pakhtoon Warriors, legendary pacer Wasim Akram bought Multan Nawabs, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan owns Faisalabad Falcons, while Iqbal and actor Fahad Mustafa jointly own Karachi Cobras.

Khan said he aimed to provide the right training to potential boxers which will help in producing more professional world champions.

Super Boxing League will be organised in association with Punjab Sports Board (PSB) and World Boxing Council (WBC) from September 28 to November 3 at the Amir Khan Boxing Academy in Islamabad.

The league, in its first season, will have a mix of experience and youth and will bring in talent across the featherweight 57 kg, welterweight 66.7kg, middleweight 72.57 kg, super middleweight- 76.2 kg, heavy weight unlimited and female super fly 52.16 kg categories.

However, the Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF), in a statement released on June 19, has said it does not recognise the SBL due to it not being in line with the Constitution of the national federation and the statutes of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

“The league is being organised under the banner of WBC shall have adverse effects upon national boxing which could have been mitigated, if the league was organised through PBF as laid down in AIBA statutes,” the PBF statement said.

“The PBF shall be readily available to assist Mr. Amir Khan in his all plans aimed for the promotion and development of boxing in Pakistan once [his league] in line with the statutes and rules of AIBA and Constitution of PBF.”

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2018

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