KARACHI: World Boxing Council Silver Flyweight Champion Muhammad Waseem said he wanted to come back to his home in Quetta as soon as he won the belt so that his city could celebrate his achievement.
Waseem won the title after defeating Philippines’ Jether Oliva on July 17 in South Korea and became the first Pakistani to do so, while it was only his fourth professional fight that makes it an all the more unique feat.
“I just wanted to come home, even though my manager suggested otherwise,” Waseem told The Express Tribune. “It is a big moment for me and people in Quetta were extremely happy, the celebrations are still on. My promoter, Andy Kim, told me to stay back in Korea, but I convinced him to let me come. I’m happy I gave them a reason to celebrate.”
Waseem added that Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri had also contacted him and offered to sponsor his US tour that will be confirmed in a week.
“It’s like I forced the authorities to see this… this belt is prestigious, and now cheif Minister Zehri has told me that he wants to sponsor my training and hopefully a fight in the US too. It’s great news for me and Kim as well, as he had put up a lot of money for me to get the title,” said Waseem.
While Zehri announced Rs0.5 million cash prize for Waseem, business magnate Malik Riaz also announced Rs1 million as a gift for the champion’s achievement.
However, Waseem said that he has not been contacted by Riaz. “I haven’t met Riaz. He hasn’t contacted me as yet, so I can’t say anything,” said the boxer.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2016.
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