KABUL: President Hamid Karzai yesterday hailed the victory of an Afghan boxer who defeated his Tanzanian opponent in the war-torn nation’s first professional bout.
Hamid Rahimi, who grew up in Germany, beat Said Mbelwa in Tuesday night’s clash after the Tanzanian withdrew with an injury in the seventh round.
Karzai “congratulated Rahimi and the Afghan nation” on the victory, which sparked jubilant scenes at the venue, Kabul’s Loya Jirga (grand assembly) tent.
“The president, besides congratulating Rahimi, thanks his Tanzanian opponent who came to Afghanistan to take part in this fight,” a statement from Karzai’s office said.
Thousands packed into in the Loya Jirga tent to watch the bout.
It is the first of its kind in war-battered Afghanistan, and fans mobbed the ring to congratulate Rahimi after he won.
The bout billed as the “Fight 4 Peace” marked another sporting landmark for the war-torn nation after the resounding success of the Afghan Premier League football tournament.