Friday April 19, 2024

Consistent foreign training of boxers essential: Waseem

By Alam Zeb Safi
March 20, 2024
This image released on July 13, 2023, shows the Pakistani professional boxer Mohammad Waseem. — Instagram/iamfalconwaseem
This image released on July 13, 2023, shows the Pakistani professional boxer Mohammad Waseem. — Instagram/iamfalconwaseem

LAHORE: Pakistan’s premier professional boxer Mohammad Waseem has said unless players are trained on foreign soil consistently and in the best environment the country will not be able to achieve anything big.

“It’s impossible to produce results only by training your athletes at home and under low standard trainers,” Waseem told ‘The News’ in an interview. “The things have changed now. The stone-age training is now no more. You need to train your athletes at the best available foreign facilities before any major event. Your trainer needs to understand how growth of an athlete should be ensured. If growth falters trainer must know why it did happen. Is there anything relating to nutrition or other things which affect the development. Our trainers don’t have exactly the same knowledge,” Waseem said.

It is pertinent to mention here that national boxers recently flopped in the World Qualifying round for the Paris Olympics in Italy following a marathon two and a half months training at Lahore.

Similarly, national wrestlers these days are undergoing training at the PSB Coaching Centre Lahore to prepare for the Asian Championship and the Paris Olympics Qualifiers. With just a month time at their disposal there is no foreign training plan n sight which has also left grapplers utterly disappointed.

Waseem said that foreign training is highly essential. “Without sufficient foreign training at the best possible destination nothing will happen,’ stressed Waseem, who last played his world title bout in 2022 in Birmingham against Sunny Edwards of England.

He recalled how they used to train under former AIBA and Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) chief Professor Anwar Chowdhry. “You remember Chowdhry sahib used to manage marathon training camps on offshore venues for the boxers. In 2006 we had visited Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan for a few months training. After undergoing training in Russia we came to Kazakhstan and engaged in training with the Kazakhstan’s boxers,” Waseem recalled.

“And believe me we were so much whipped that we could not even move. My lip had torn at three different places and I never even used to see anything. However after a month our standard improved and then when we started sparring with their Olympic and world champions on equal footings,” he said. “Our coach came to me and told me that we have now improved a lot. This also had created a big unrest in Kazakhstan’s camp as they were feeling that Pakistani fighters had now achieved the top momentum,” Waseem said.

“Moreover training in the best facilities instill in you confidence and it also gives you an opportunity to share skills with the best boxers and it brings a lot of improvement and develop you as an athlete,” Waseem said.

He said that India has improved a lot as a sporting nation but still it focusses to train it’s athletes offshore. “Look India has developed a lot but it still sends it’s athletes abroad for training and it is reaping reward,” Waseem said. “I trained recently for entire one year in the most modern way and it has opened my eyes that the things have totally changed” he said.

“There is no room for training under coaches who have linked with old mode of boxing. You need modern training and this is the only way which if follows can produce world beaters,” Waseem said.

Asked about the country’s senior boxer Zohaib Rasheed who recently vanished in Italy just before the kick-off of the World Qualification Tournament for the Paris Olympics Waseem said that nothing like this happens if players are treated well financially.

“I think financial issues have forced him to vanish in Italy. If you give Rs200,000 per month to an athlete and other facilities so I think no one will slip abroad. But what we offer our players. It’s a big question mark on the way we manage our sports,” Waseem said.