Mirage Khan of Malaysia has more than 10 years experience in combat sports including Wushu, MMA, kickboxing and western boxing. - Filepic
GLASGOW: Martial arts exponent Mirage Khan is confident that Malaysia can produce world champions in boxing.
The 24-year-old national boxer, who is of Pakistani and Malaysian parentage, feels that there are enough raw talents in combat sports and that a more concerted effort is needed if Malaysia are to emulate their neighbouring countries like Thailand and the Philippines, who have produced world champions in boxing.
He said that Malaysia have outstanding potentials in the Commonwealth Games boxing team – like Mohd Fuad Redzuan (49kg), Jaya Rahman (52kg) and Khir Akyazlan Azmi (64kg).
But what they lack, he feels, is the technical support and exposure to take their standard to greater heights.
“We have trained hard to stay in the shadows of our fighters from Thailand and the Philippines. It’s time the world come to know us,” said Mirage, who will be competing in the 91kg event.
Mirage has more than 10 years of experience in combat sports. The former wushu exponent in sanshou (Chinese boxing) is also a top fighter in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and kick-boxing.
“However, the Commonwealth Games is my first real boxing competition,” said Mirage.
The Malaysian Amateur Boxing Federation (MABF) are counting on the boxers to be among the medallists this time after returning home empty-handed from the New Delhi Games in 2010.
Malaysia have not struck gold since Sapok Biki’s feat (light flyweight - 49kg) at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.
Malaysia last won a medal when Mohd Zamzai Azizi bagged a bronze at the 2002 Manchester Games.
Team manager Datuk Zakaria Nordin agreed with Mirage and pointed out that steps to raise the level of boxing in the country were made a long time ago.
“There had been plans to send promising boxers for long-term attachments but the idea fell through,” said a disappointed Zakaria.
He said that Mohd Fuad and Jaya, who began training at the age of 14, were products of their junior development programme in Paroi, Negri Sembilan.
“Unfortunately, the programme stalled due to the lack of funds,” said Zakaria.
Hopefully, some knockout performances by our boxers in Glasgow will revive interest in the sport.