The sixth edition of the Doha Open boxing championship will be held at the beachfront amphitheatre of the Katara Cultural Village from February 15-17, a Qatar Boxing Federation release stated yesterday.
The three-day event, which the organisers hope will help unearth local talent, is open for all nationalities and residents of the country, and will be unique in the sense that it will be held in the open as against the previous editions which happened in closed venues.
The 6pm start, feels the QBF, will also help draw more fans and visitors to the venue.
QBF President Yousuf Ali
al-Kazim has said he wants more and more youngsters to embrace the sport and expects that events like the Doha Open will help in garnering more interest for the sport of boxing.
“We have been getting inquiries from youngsters interested in playing the sport seriously. So we thought of getting everybody together and make them compete in different weight categories,” said al-Kazim.
“The unique thing about this event is the open air feel to it. Even the boxing rings will be built in the open. Many visitors come to Katara daily and the event would be easily accessible to all,” the QBF chief added.
Anyone above the age of 17, irrespective of nationality, can take part in the event provided he has got his name registered with the QBF. “This will be a new addition to the QBF calendar besides the Qatar International Boxing Championships in May,” al-Kazim said.
Doha hosted a hugely successful AIBA World Boxing Championships in October last year which saw around 260 boxers from over 50 countries vying for the honours. The Doha Worlds also served as a selection event for the Rio Olympic Games to be held this August.
“Our boxers are better than their counterparts in the region but they have to do much more to match the international boxers. We hope to unearth some good talented boxers from this event who can represent Qatar in the future.
“We are developing boxing as we go along. We have won medals at the regional level. We are now looking to promote in a bigger way and this event is just one of the many that we have planned for the future,” the QBF chief said.
The medicals and weigh-ins will be held on Sunday, a day before the tournament. The QBF also organized a community boxing event – Boxing for All – at Katara on Tuesday on the occasion of the National Sport Day.
The one-day event was attended by fans and visitors of all ages and nationalities. The activities on the day included interaction and meeting with stars of the Qatar national boxing team, boxing tips and training, and fitness programs.
Qatar Boxing Federation chief Yousuf Ali al-Kazim