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September 15, 2019

Training in Glasgow paid dividends, Waseem says after knockout win

Sports

September 15, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier professional boxer Mohammad Waseem on Saturday said that he had worked hard in Glasgow which paid dividends when he recorded the fastest knock-out win of his professional boxing career by toppling Conrado Tenamor of the Philippines in the first minute of the first round in Dubai.

“I had worked really hard in Glasgow for the last six to seven months and that really paid dividends in the end when I won a ranking fight on Friday in Dubai against Conrado and that too in the minimum possible time, the best so far of my career,” Waseem told ‘The News’ in an interview from Dubai on Saturday.

Waseem, on Friday night, knocked out Conrado in the first minute of the main fight of the Rotunda Rumble event at the Caesars Palace, Dubai.

“I had done a massive punching practice in Glasgow. I found Conrado on the rope and managed a sharp body shot that helped me win the fight,” the former two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) silver flyweight world champion said.

This was after a long 14 months that Waseem returned to the ring. The Quetta-born fighter had played his last fight in July 2018 when he lost to South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) world title fight in Malaysia.

Waseem is working with MTK Global, one of the major boxers management body of the world.

“In Glasgow I had got world’s best sparring partners, the Olympic champions and that is why I have completed a marvelous return to the ring. My trainer Danny Vaughan also helped me a lot. I hope the win in Dubai will help me improve my ranking,” said Waseem, who currently stands at the ninth place in the WBC world ranking in the flyweight category.

Waseem was scheduled to return to ring in June but could not do so due to medical issues.

After serving Pakistan in amateur circuit for over a decade, Waseem turned pro months after lifting bronze in the flyweight competitions of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. And soon he created ripples in the professional boxing world by lifting the WBC world sliver flyweight title after beating Jether Oliva of the Philippines in Seoul on July 17, 2016. He became a rare boxer of the world to secure world title only in his fourth pro bout. Then working under AK Promotions, he defended the title on November 27, 2016, when he got the better of Giemel Magramo of the Philippines in a gripping fight. Waseem also became WBC world No1 in June 2017.

“After the fight I went to Conrado and he also came to me. The crowd in Dubai was amazing. The locals and Pakistanis showed a lot of affection for me and they appreciated the way I boxed,” the former two-time Commonwealth Games medallist said.

Waseem said that by Monday he would know about his next fight. “I think by Monday it will be decided when I will play my next bout. I will come to Islamabad on Sunday and then my plan is to come to Karachi for a couple of days,” the 2014 Incheon Asian Games bronze medallist said.

The win in Dubai was the seventh knock-out victory from Waseem in his ten fights which he has played so far. He lost only one fight against Mthalane, the IBF world title fight in Malaysia last year. This was the fourth loss for Conrado in 15 bouts in which he won 11 with four knock-outs.

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