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February 16, 2018

Boxer Waseem experiences slump in world rankings


February 16, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan’s prolific professional boxer Mohammad Waseem 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’s ranking plummeted 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 I could play my world title bout nor I could 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 now stands 16th in the fresh rankings. The Quetta-born fighter had lifted the silver crown for the first time on July 17, 2016, when he had ousted Philippines’ Jether Oliva in only his fourth pro bout which was a rare achievement.

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 early this year. There were also indications that Higa, who is also known as knock-out artist, seemed scared of Waseem and has shown reluctance to fight against the 2014 Incheon Asian Games bronze medallist.

As per fresh rankings, Wales’ Andrew Selby has now occupied the No1 spot, previously possessed by Waseem. Christopher Rosales of Nicaragua and Japan’s Kosei Tanaka stand at the second and third place respectively. Waseem said that he thought he would have to begin from the start now.

“It means that all my efforts went in vain. I had reached very close to grab the world crown but now it seems that the situation has drastically changed,” Waseem said.However he was quick to add that he was not discouraged and would achieve the milestone of becoming the world champion.“Although the situation has hurt me but I am not discouraged,” the fighter said.

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 lifts 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 our culture where sportsmen are not treated fairly,” Waseem said.

After getting some support from the state after defending his world silver title Waseem went to Panama in summer last year in connection with his preparations for the world title. He also played three bouts against the 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 lifting silver medal in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and bronze in Incheon Asian Games in 2014.

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