From humble beginnings to international glory, Asghar Ali Changezi has had an inspirational journey in the ring and beyond. Changezi's story from humble beginnings to international boxing glory embodies the indomitable human spirit. With 32 accolades to his name, he has made Pakistan proud and etched his name in the annals of boxing history.
Born in Quetta in 1967, his passion for boxing was kindled by watching Muhammad Ali Clay on a neighbour’s TV. Changezi's unwavering determination propelled him to success despite limited resources and challenges. He not only became a champion but also a respected coach, imparting life lessons to young athletes. Changezi's story inspires all, demonstrating the power of determination, hard work, and belief in one's dreams.
Sports have the power to produce amazing stories that reflect deep changes in the history of a country. These stories showcase the bravery and perseverance of legendary individuals who tirelessly work to represent their nation on the world stage in sports. Asghar Ali Changezi is one of these legends.
Born in 1967 in Quetta, Pakistan, Changezi hails from a Hazara family deeply rooted in athleticism and education. With two brothers and one sister, his upbringing was far from privileged, but his unwavering love for boxing knew no bounds. After school, in the gritty eastern suburb of Quetta, he practiced tirelessly, overcoming the lack of proper facilities with sheer determination.
At the tender age of nine, Changezi took his first step into the world of boxing. Television played a pivotal role in kindling the passion of many, including Changezi. He often visited a neighbor's house to catch the electrifying matches of the world boxing champion, Muhammad Ali Clay. Watching Ali's remarkable skills and heroism on the screen left an indelible mark on young Asghar Changezi. During those times, television wasn't readily accessible to everyone, so Asghar relied on the hospitality of his neighbour's home to witness these bouts. This experience left a profound impact on him, ultimately paving the way for his legendary status in the world of boxing.
Inspired by Muhammad Ali Clay's electrifying matches, Asghar Changezi developed a profound motivation to pursue boxing seriously. In 1978, he made his debut in the All-Pakistan Amateur Boxing Tournament, competing in the 36-kg weight category. Unfortunately, this initial foray into the ring resulted in multiple physical injuries and defeat. However, it was a pivotal moment for Changezi, a lesson that ignited his determination to strive for future gold medals.
Asghar Changezi encountered many challenges at the outset of his sporting journey. Proper nutrition for an athlete was a luxury he couldn't afford, and access to a well-equipped gymnasium was a distant dream. Despite these formidable obstacles, Asghar's unwavering determination, boundless enthusiasm, and indomitable will propel him towards his goals. Gradually, he improved his boxing skills so remarkably that even his trainers admired his abilities.
Shabir Hussain, the manager of Asghar Changezi, describes him as a responsible and dedicated individual who never wavers in his commitment to boxing. As the first one to arrive at training and the last to leave, Changezi's unwavering passion for boxing shines through. His aspirations transcended personal glory; he aimed to become a great boxer and a source of pride for Pakistan and the Hazara community. Shabir Hussain attests, "Changezi was a rare blend of character, athleticism, and sportsmanship. The first time I saw him, he left a lasting impression."
According to Asghar Changezi's manager, Shabir Hussain, no tournament was taken lightly by Changezi. Each competition came with a meticulously crafted plan. With his towering stature and keen intellect, Changezi was a natural fit for the world of boxing.
Shabir Hussain further emphasises that despite attaining fame and popularity, Asghar Changezi remained refreshingly humble and devoid of arrogance. His path to success in boxing was paved with unwavering perseverance and relentless hard work, a journey that set him leagues apart from his competitors within Pakistan. Changezi emerged as an athlete and a perfect professional in his field.
Changezi had the privilege of being mentored by some of the finest coaches throughout his illustrious boxing career. Among his early guides were Habibullah Jafari and Ali Juma Tata, who instilled foundational boxing skills in him. Additionally, Sayed Abrar Hussain Hazare, a close friend and sparring partner, played a pivotal role in shaping Asghar's journey in boxing.
Asghar Changezi attributes his boundless motivation and enduring inspiration to these dedicated coaches. He holds his athletic career as a shining example among the youth of Pakistan, crediting his mentors as the defining force behind his professional transformation.
In addition to his coaches, General (retired) Musa Khan Hazara, Sardar Khair Mohammad Hazara, President of the Balochistan Boxing Association, and AIG (Retired) Faqir Hussain, Secretary General of the Balochistan Boxing Association, also left indelible marks on Changezi's professional trajectory. Their unwavering support provided emotional sustenance and professional guidance, contributing significantly to Changezi's success in boxing and his personal life.
Asghar Changezi, a prominent boxer, stood tall as he proudly represented Pakistan in an impressive 32 international boxing tournaments, bringing tremendous honour to his homeland. His journey to success took flight when he clinched his first gold medal at the World Championships, a hard-fought victory against formidable opponents from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This momentous achievement fuelled his motivation to reach even greater heights, leading to multiple gold medal triumphs in 2013, where he faced formidable South and North Korean adversaries.
Changezi's illustrious career was studded with participation in prestigious events, including the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Furthermore, he proudly sported the colours of the Pakistani boxing team at the Safe Games on five separate occasions, spanning from Nepal in 1984 to Chennai, India in 1995. His competence was showcased at the Asian Championships, Asian Games, Kings Cup Boxing Thailand in 1992, President Cup Boxing Jakarta in 1985, and the Mair Cup Boxing in the Philippines.
Among his numerous accolades, Changezi clinched gold medals in two KESE International championships held in Karachi, Pakistan, in both 1990 and 1993. Additionally, he secured a gold medal at the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) International Boxing Tournament in Islamabad in 1989, triumphed at the Pak-Iran Boxing Tournament in Karachi in 1991, and emerged victorious at the Fajr Tournament in Iran in 1991. Notably, he also represented Pakistan in the Acropolis Cup in Athens, Greece 1990, further underscoring his international competence and unwavering dedication to the sport. Changezi's remarkable boxing career left an indelible mark on the boxing world, and his achievements continue to be a source of immense pride for Pakistan.
Established in 1974 and under the management of Tanzeem Nasle Nau Hazara Mughal, the Tanzeem Boxing Club shines as a prominent institution. Nestled on Alamdar Road in Quetta, this club goes above and beyond by providing free coaching classes. Asghar Changezi and Syed Abrar Hussain later played a pivotal role in shaping its legacy, utilizing the newly constructed Khadija Mahmudi Hall to coach aspiring boxers, both young and adult.
These distinct phases of Asghar Changezi's sporting journey offer a compelling narrative of his profound influence on Pakistani boxing. They underscore his stature as a true legend in the field, leaving an indelible mark on the sport's development in the nation.
Asghar Changezi received invaluable guidance and training from renowned coaches throughout his illustrious career. Anwar Pasha, Jaan Baloch, Ali Bux, and Qadir Zaman played pivotal roles in improving his boxing skills. Additionally, the esteemed Cuban coach Julian Gonzalez led the Pakistan National Boxing Team for five years (2003-2008), during which Asghar Changezi was also part of the National team.
As a coach, Asghar Changezi extended his expertise to many aspiring boxers in Balochistan. One of his most notable students, Muhammad Ali (Khamai), began his boxing journey under Asghar's coaching at the age of 12. Asghar's training and inspiration proved instrumental in propelling Muhammad Ali to the pinnacle of success in the world of boxing. Ali held his mentor in the highest regard, once stating, "Asghar Changezi was a unique sports coach and mentor who treated his students like his own children."
Asghar Changezi's persona is characterised by honesty and competence, a fact underscored by Muhammad Ali. He consistently and transparently imparts his skills and experiences to his students, instilling in them a sense of self-confidence. This approach, built on the bedrock of honesty, has had a profound impact on the personal development of his students.
Muhammad Ali, currently employed as a bank manager at one of the National Bank of Pakistan's branches, attributes much of his personal and professional success to Changezi's mentorship. Ali acknowledges that his role at the bank today is a direct result of Changezi's guidance, which nurtured his passion for sports and emphasised the importance of striking a balance with formal education. Muhammad Ali holds deep gratitude for Changezi and acknowledges the valuable life lessons he received, with Changezi's mantra "study first, then sports" firmly etched in his mind.
Ali fondly recalls a story from a boxing competition in Uzbekistan 2015, where Asghar Changezi prepared him precisely, imparting essential boxing skills and techniques. Selected as one of the top 32 boxers in the Pakistan national team, Ali acknowledges Changezi's unwavering commitment to merit and hard work. According to Muhammad Ali, Asghar Changezi was a dedicated coach who believed in his potential and prepared him thoroughly for the competition.
Changezi's boxing career is a testament to his remarkable achievements, having secured 44 medals in international and domestic boxing tournaments. Among these accolades, he boasts 22 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 14 bronze medals, showcasing his competence in the ring.
Notably, Asghar Changezi played a pivotal role as an integral member of Pakistan's national boxing team, serving as its captain for a remarkable five-year period from 1992 to 1996. His dedication and leadership were further recognised when he was awarded the prestigious Best Boxer Award at the 1984 Safe Games held in Nepal. It's worth mentioning that only two Pakistani boxers, Asghar Ali Changezi and Hussain Shah, secured a hat-trick by winning gold medals three times at the Safe Games.
Securing a spot on the Pakistan national boxing team is a challenging feat, according to Changezi. He acknowledges that, at times, individuals attempt to exert influence over the selection committee to favour their preferred players for the national team. However, Changezi attests to the integrity and commitment of Professor Anwar Chowdhry, the President of the Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF), who consistently presides over the selection committee. Chowdhry's unwavering dedication lies in identifying and selecting the nation's most promising boxers solely based on merit and talent, ensuring that deserving individuals have a fair opportunity to represent the country.
Changezi's journey began at 16 when he was first selected for the Pakistan National Team in 1983, marking his debut at the "Invitational International Boxing Tournament Nepal," where he clinched a silver medal. Under the astute selection of Anwar Chowdhry, Changezi and his close friend and sparring partner, Syed Abrar Hussain, were selected to represent Pakistan in boxing. Together, they both went on to win several gold medals and honours for Pakistan.
According to Changezi, two iconic neighbourhoods in Pakistan that have made significant contributions to the Pakistan boxing team are Alamdar Road in Quetta and Lyari in Karachi. These areas have a deep-rooted passion for boxing and have produced talented athletes who have gained recognition nationally and internationally.
Following his retirement from Pakistan's National Boxing Team, Asghar Ali Changezi received the prestigious "Pride of Performance" Presidential Award on March 23, 1997, presented by Pakistan's then-President, Farooq Laghari. Embarking on a new chapter in his life, Changezi furthered his professional training and education, shifting his career path to join law enforcement. Today, he serves as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Balochistan, boasting a Master's degree in Political Science.
Changezi imparts valuable advice to young athletes, stressing the importance of humility in the face of fame and popularity. He encourages aspiring sports stars to express gratitude towards their supporters and to cultivate deep respect for their coaches and teachers. Asghar Changezi emphasises the essential role of education alongside sports, recognizing it as a critical foundation for long-term success and fulfilment. He believes that while a career in sports may be fleeting, dignified employment remains paramount for one's lifelong journey. Changezi also underscores that while financial success is important, it should not overshadow the significance of humanity and moral development in leading a fulfilling life.
Asghar Changezi's life story is a compelling testament to the transformative power of determination, hard work, and unwavering belief in one's dreams. He embodies perseverance and triumphs over adversity, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.
Changezi, the boxing legend from Pakistan, has notched up 32 occasions of national pride in international boxing tournaments, elevating his nation to great heights. He symbolises the indomitable human spirit, serving as a role model for generations to come, not only in the realm of sports but also in personal life and education. Changezi's achievements vividly illustrate that anyone can scale the heights of greatness with dedication and determination.
Beyond his accolades as a champion, Asghar Changezi has emerged as a formidable influence, both as a coach and a role model for young Pakistani boxers. His impact extends beyond the boxing ring, encompassing character and competence training. Through his unwavering commitment to honesty and competence, Changezi imparts invaluable lessons to his students, teaching them that success is attainable through hard work and determination. Asghar Ali Changezi's inspirational journey inspires all, urging us to relentlessly pursue our goals and evolve into more effective individuals.