Look what happened to Alfiya Pathan, whose father agreed to her badminton-to-boxing switch. On Friday, she became Maharashtra’s first Asian C’ships gold medal winner
India’s 81+kg boxer Alfiya Pathan with her Asian Championships gold medal she won in Jordan on Friday. Pic/Boxing Federation of India
Nagpur-based boxer Alfiya Tarannum Khan Pathan’s father Akram hopes that his daughter’s winning momentum spills over to the World Championship in March.
In Amman, Jordan on Friday, Alfiya became the first Maharashtra woman boxer to win a medal at the Asian Championships. Alfiya, 19, won gold in the 81+kg category. In the final, she was declared the winner after her opponent—Islam Husaili of Jordan—was disqualified, bringing an end to the bout in the first round itself.
Hence, the tougher bout for Alfiya was her triumph over 2016 world champion Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan in the semi-final which she won 5-0 on Wednesday. The greater challenge in this bout was not lost on her father Akram. “After her semis win, I was confident that she could win the gold; the semis opponent was tougher.
Alfiya Tarannum Khan Pathan’s father Akram, mother Noorjehan and brother Sahil at their Nagpur residence on Friday
“Which parent will not feel proud when his or her kid does well? I don’t have words to express my pride for what my daughter has achieved. This is just the beginning. Since we do not have a TV in our house, we [mother Noorjehan and brother Sahil] watched her final on a laptop. Now, I want her to do well at the World Championships in March and hopefully represent India at the Olympics [Paris],” said Pathan Sr.
The teen boxer has now defeated Kungeibayeva twice this year with the 2021 Youth Boxing World Champion stunning the Kazakh on her own turf in the 2022 Elorda Cup final for gold in her senior international debut event.
Akram revealed that Alfiya was inspired to take up boxing after watching her idol—six-time world champion MC Mary Kom’s biopic—released in 2014.
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‘Alfiya is a blessing’
The teen boxer’s dad also revealed that Alfiya’s first sport was badminton. “Alfiya is a blessing to our family. It was only in the fourth generation that our family was blessed with a baby girl. In 2014, when Alfiya and I came back from a pilgrimage in Haj, she expressed her wish to switch from badminton to boxing. I told her I cannot let her enter the boxing ring as she had just come back from Haj. But somehow she convinced me. There has been no looking back since,” Akram signed off.