Waseem aims to win world title with new promoters

Date for boxer’s next fight could be confirmed next week

April 06, 2023
Waseem said that there are also chances that they will arrange his fight with the four-time world champion Donnie Nietes — Twitter/MohammadWaseem

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier professional boxer and three-time WBC flyweight world silver champion Mohammad Waseem on Wednesday confirmed that he has joined the Dubai-based Disrupt Promotions.

It will be setting up fights for him as it has acquired most of the assets from Probellum with which he was associated in the past.

“Yes, I can confirm that I will now be working with the Disrupt Promotions as Probellum has handed its assets to this company and has ceased operations,” Waseem told ‘The News’ from Islamabad.

“I have confirmed through the Disrupt Promotions’ legal adviser that I will not require any new contract and the one I signed with Probellum will be intact,” he said. “I was also told that the company is trying to manage a fight for me in near future. I was told that in the next week my fight date may be confirmed,” Waseem revealed.

He said that there are also chances that they will arrange his fight with the four-time world champion Donnie Nietes of the Philippines.

“Donnie is a four-time world champion in four different divisions and currently he is in the top four in the WBC flyweight rankings,” Waseem said.

“If arranged, it will be a tough fight as he is a top-ranked fighter but beating him will help me acquire top rankings,” he said. “You know I have not played a fight since my world title shot a year ago in Dubai. The bad luck was that my former managers MTK Global ceased operations and this year Probellum also ceased its operations and handed over most of its assets to Disrupt Promotions."

“The issues wasted my crucial time and it also deprived me of top rankings due to barren patch. Now I will have to play a few ranking fights in order to improve my rankings before going for a title clash,” the fighter said.

“Despite such matters my aim is to win the world title one day. I will not give up and will continue working hard to achieve my goal one day inshaAllah,” Waseem said. 

Disrupt Promotions is owned by a group of businessmen from England and South Africa.

Waseem last played the IBF flyweight world title on March 19, 2022, at the Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Dubai where he lost to England’s Sunny Edwards despite almost dominating the fight.

Waseem has to his credit three WBC world silver titles so far. He won two in 2016, in the second year of his professional career, toppling Jether Oliva and Giemel Magramo, both of Philippines, in Seoul in July and November, respectively. He beat Rober Barrera of Colombia in Dubai in November 2021 to win his third such title. Waseem said that he is training hard. 

“I am in top training here in Islamabad. I run for 15 kilometres daily on Margala Road at night and after that I do my sehri with an intake of around three litre of water which is very necessary,” said Waseem, also a former Asian Games bronze medallist.

Waseem eyes training in the US for his next fight. 

“The US is my favourite training destination but it will depend on where they give me training opportunity. The US is the hub of the world’s boxing, having countless gyms and there I will easily get sparring partners with diverse styles. I have trained in Las Vegas. In Scotland, on the other hand, you will not get sparring partners easily,” Waseem said.

“I have now planned to visit Dubai after Eid-ul-Fitr to meet the Disrupt Promotions management and decide the future course of action. They have told me that next week my fight date may be announced and if it is announced then I will further intensify my training. I will never sit calm until I win the world title,” said Waseem, also the 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist.

Following a decade-long impressive amateur career Quetta-born Waseem entered the professional circuit in 2015 and lifted the WBC world silver title in only his fourth professional fight which is a rare feat in professional boxing. Waseem has so far played 14 fights, winning 12 with eight knock-outs, losing just two and both were world title bouts.

Alam Zeb Safi is a senior reporter for The News