Lack of finances threatens to strip Waseem of title

Pugilist has to defend crown within 90 days or face giving up his belt

Natasha Raheel December 10, 2016
Muhammad Waseem. PHOTO COURTESY: Andy Kim

KARACHI: WBC Silver flyweight champion, Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem, is in danger of being stripped of his title if he does not defend his belt within the next 77 days.

According to World Boxing Council (WBC) regulations, a title-holder has to defend his crown by February 24 — 90 days since his last title fight — or the title gets taken away from him.

And Waseem, whose promoter Andy Kim has been financing his bouts till now, says that he might have to give up his title as the already-thin resources that he had are running out.

Muhammad Waseem successfully defends WBC Silver flyweight title

“I think this is the end; all the hard work, all the effort, everything is on line,” Waseem told The Express Tribune. “How much money can Andy put in? He has already spent a lot on me.”

Waseem — who has been the most successful boxer from Pakistan, taking the flyweight title in just four fights and successfully defending it last month — revealed that he has been requesting the government, the authorities and corporations to finance his fights but to no avail.

The government had announced Rs30 million for him but has yet to deliver on that promise.

“I’m just running after these officials to give me the money so I can give it to Kim. But that hasn’t been bearing fruit,” he said. “Should I train for my next fight or run after these officials?”

Peshawar Zalmi owner announces Rs2.5 million for Muhammad Waseem

Kim, on the other hand, believes that if Pakistani television channels purchase the rights for Waseem’s fight it would generate enough revenue to cover the expenses.

“It’s very expensive to host a world title fight. If television channels purchase the video of the match then we can generate some revenue,” said Kim. “I’m not trying to offend anyone, but had this been any country other than Pakistan, we would have gotten a great reception. Unfortunately, people in Pakistan don’t understand professional boxing management or promotion.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2016.

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