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August 17, 2019

Waseem to return to ring after 13 months with ranking fight in Dubai


August 17, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier professional boxer and former world No1 Mohammad Waseem will return to ring after 13 months with a ranking fight in Dubai on September 13.

The fight is part of the Rotunda Rumble event. Ahmed A Seddiqi’s Round 10 Boxing, in association with MTK Global, are promoting the event which will be held at the Caesars Palace in Dubai.

Waseem played his last fight on July 15, 2018, when he lost to South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) world title fight. Waseem’s opponent for Dubai’s fight will be officially announced soon. “It would definitely be a tough fight as my opponent has played a few world title bouts,” Waseem told ‘The News’ from Glasgow on Friday.

This correspondent learnt that a Thai fighter was expected to face Waseem, who is working with MTK Global, a major boxer management body of the world. Waseem has been in Glasgow for the last six months. He has trained hard. He was settled to return to ring last June but could not do so for lack of medical clearance from the British Boxing Board.

Waseem said that his Dubai fight was announced suddenly. He added that he would start sparring from Monday. “Due to hectic training my body had fatigued a lot, so I reduced the training load as there was no fight in sight. Now as the fight has been announced I will resume sparring from Monday and hopefully I will be in top shape when I go to Dubai next month,” the former Asian Games bronze medallist said.

Waseem, who served Pakistan in amateur circuit for over a decade, turned pro a few months after winning bronze in the flyweight competitions of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. And he created ripples in the professional boxing world by winning World Boxing Council (WBC) world sliver flyweight title when he beat Jether Oliva of Philippines in Seoul on July 17, 2016.

The Quetta-born fighter, then working under AK Promotions, defended the title on November 27, 2016, when he got the better of Giemel Magramo of Philippines in a gripping fight in Seoul. During his pro career so far, Waseem has had lengthy training stints in South Korea, Japan, Las Vegas, Panama and Glasgow.

Waseem became WBC world No1 in June 2017. Now under MTK Global, Waseem will resurrect his boxing career which had been halted for some time because of lack of finances. The Dubai fight will help him improve his ranking.

Waseem wants to play a few ranking fights before going for a world title shot. “Yes, that is my basic aim. When I have improved my ranking, I will go for the big prize,” the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist said.

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