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July 13, 2020

Waseem stresses need for trainers in Pakistan boxing


July 13, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan’s star professional boxer and former World No1 Mohammad Waseem on Sunday said that there is no concept of trainer in the country which he thinks should be introduced.

“Here a coach does everything. That’s not the right way to train boxers,” Waseem told ‘The News’ in an interview during his brief trip to Karachi. “You know physical fitness is a very important area, around 60 percent. We should have a trainer as well as a coach in future if we want to develop boxing.

“I didn’t see this in my entire career as an amateur boxer in Pakistan. We never had a trainer. I knew its importance when I went to professional boxing,” the former Asian Games bronze medallist said.

“I worked with a Cuban coach and he knew both things but overall a trainer’s role is undeniable,” the two-time Commonwealth Games medallist said.

He advised the national amateur boxers to work harder to achieve their goals. “Hard work is a must. You will have to shape your body through disciplined training. Yes, training camps organised by the authorities are important, but I used to do extra training. I am still working hard and that’s the main reason behind my achievements. I always focus on my goal,” Waseem said.

“If I recall my bronze medal in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, I knew that Pakistan had not claimed any medal for over a decade. I told myself to go all the way in training to capitalise on the opportunity and claim a medal for the country. And that hard work yielded results,” the two-time WBC world silver flyweight champion said.

He said that a coach can hardly train two boxers at a time. “For a whole camp, you need at least five coaches,” Waseem said.

He said that he would continue professional boxing for five or six more years, and when he had achieved his goals would try to give some input in the coaching area of Pakistan.

“But I will never hold a camp here. I will hold the camps abroad, especially in the central Asian states. Here boxers go to their homes during weekly break which is not good. If you hold a camp on foreign soil, boxers remain completely involved and prepare seriously to achieve their goals,” Waseem said.

“When I switched over to professional boxing I thought that I had wasted my career. Had I been provided with the facilities and the training opportunities which I now have I would have achieved much more during my amateur career,” he said.

Waseem remained the most prominent fighter of Pakistan’s amateur circuit for over a decade. Since his switch to professional boxing in early 2015, no Pakistani boxer has pulled off anything big in international circuit.

Waseem aims to become a world champion in professional circuit. He is associated with MTK Global, a world renowned boxer management company. He trains for pro fights in its Glasgow gymnasium.

He won two big fights last year and was expected to fight for the world crown in March this year but COVID-19 prevented that.

Waseem has to get his England visa renewed before resuming training in Glasgow for future assignments.