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February 16, 2018

Waseem loses world silver crown, slumps to fourth spot


February 16, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan’s prolific professional boxer Mohammad Waseem has experienced not only a slump in his world rankings but he was also stripped of his world silver crown he held for over one and a half years, according to World Boxing Council (WBC) rankings released on Wednesday.

As per the WBC official website, Waseem fell from number one to the fourth spot. The website also shows that the WBC world silver title now stays vacant. The development has saddened the fighter. “It is unfortunate,” Waseem told ‘The News’ from Islamabad on Thursday. “You know neither could I play my world title bout nor could I go for silver crown defence due to financial issues,” Waseem said.

This correspondent tried several times to contact Waseem’s promoter Andy Kim of Korea but he did not respond.Waseem last defended his world silver crown on November 27, 2016, when he upstaged Giemel Magramo of the Philippines in South Korea. Giemel stands 16th in the fresh rankings. The Quetta-born fighter had won the silver crown for the first time on July 17, 2016, when he ousted the Philippines’ Jether Oliva in only his fourth pro bout.

A few months ago it was expected that Waseem would fight Japan’s Daigo Higa, the reigning world champion, but financial constraints denied him the chance to go for the historic fight. There were also indications that Higa, who is also known as a knock-out artist, was scared of Waseem and showed reluctance to fight against the 2014 Incheon Asian Games bronze medallist.

As per fresh rankings, Wales’ Andrew Selby has now occupied the No1 spot. Christopher Rosales of Nicaragua and Japan’s Kosei Tanaka stand at the second and third places, respectively. “It means that all my efforts went in vain,” Waseem said. “I had reached very close to grabbing the world crown but now the situation has drastically changed,” he added.

However, he was quick to add that he was not discouraged and was determined to achieve the milestone of becoming the world champion.Waseem said that British boxer Amir Khan gets protocol and is fully backed in Pakistan whenever he comes while he does not get the support of the corporate sector.

“Amir raises a lot of money from Pakistan whenever he comes. The corporate sector showers money on him but I have been treated differently. I don’t want to blame my promoter but here sportsmen are not treated fairly,” Waseem said.

After getting some support from the government when he defended his world silver title, Waseem went to Panama in summer last year to prepare for the world title. He also played three bouts against local fighters and won them all. He has overall played eight bouts, winning them all with six knock-outs.

Waseem turned pro in early 2015 after winning a silver medal in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and bronze in Incheon Asian Games in 2014.According to WBC, Waseem currently is #4 in the Flyweight category. He has not defended his WBC Silver championship since November 27, 2016, it says.

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