KARACHI: The recent decision of UK government to impose restrictions on travellers from Pakistan may also affect the country’s premier professional boxer Mohammad Waseem who aims to resume his training in Glasgow.
“Yes, it’s a big issue,” Waseem told ‘The News’ on Thursday.
Eying the world title this year, Waseem wanted to proceed to Glasgow in near future but the restrictions may either further delay his flight to Glasgow or he may opt for an alternative training venue.
“If I could not proceed to Glasgow then I would try to train in Kazakhstan where I will be able to get some good sparring partners,” the two-time WBC world silver flyweight champion said.
“Dubai is not a good option as I won’t get good sparring partners there,” the former WBC No1 fighter said while responding to a query from this correspondent.
The issue is that in Kazakhstan too there is border restriction but Waseem said it would be eased out after Ramadan.
“Yes, it will be opened after Ramadan,” he said.
Waseem said that in Kazakhstan there is a healthy boxing culture and that can benefit him during his stay.
“I have the experience of playing in Kazakhstan. Their boxers play pure boxing. They have a great reputation in amateur boxing. Their fighters box fast and you can develop your speed there,” said Waseem, who has been in Pakistan since playing his last fight in Lahore against Jenny Boy Boca of the Philippines on December 19, 2020, which the Quetta-born fighter won.
He has so far played 12 bouts, won 11 (8 KO) and lost just one — against Moruti Mthalane of South Africa in 2018. It was a world title shot which the Pakistani fighter lost in a controversial manner, having put the South African in deep trouble in the entire fight.
Holding fourth IBF slot, Waseem expects he will go directly for a title shot. “I had a few text messages with my official and it seems that I will be given a direct world title bout and so I will not have to play an eliminator. You know I have beaten some tough boxers like Ganigan Lopez of Mexico and it can help me and I can get a direct world title fight,” said Waseem, who is playing under MTK Global, one of the major boxers management companies of the world.
He said that he is working to create some new techniques ahead of his next fight which may be the world title shot. “I am working on developing some new techniques,” Waseem said. “Unless you have a surprise weapon it is not easy to oust the opponents. Bringing innovations in your style is very important,” the 2014 Incheon Asian Games bronze medallist said.
“I am watching videos of some tough fighters who play very technical boxing and am trying to explore something different,” he said.
“It will be a crucial year for me and I want to bring in some happy moments for my nation in this Covid-ridden environment where everyone is in deep trouble,” Waseem said.