Waseem to fight for world title in January

Published: September 13, 2017
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HOPES HIGH: The proposed title fight will take place in Higa's hometown of Japan but Waseem's promoter is confident his fighter will get the job done. PHOTO COURTESY: ANDY KIM

HOPES HIGH: The proposed title fight will take place in Higa's hometown of Japan but Waseem's promoter is confident his fighter will get the job done. PHOTO COURTESY: ANDY KIM

KARACHI: Pakistan’s World Boxing Council (WBC) silver flyweight champion Muhammad Waseem is expected to take on world champion Daigo Higa in a mandatory title fight in January, according to the pugilist’s manager Andy Kim.

The planned bout would likely take place in Higa’s home country of Japan, which puts Waseem in a position of major disadvantage.

“I tried my best to gather enough money to hold the fight outside Japan but couldn’t pull it off,” Kim told The Express Tribune. “Waseem is the mandatory challenger as the top-ranked boxer in WBC ratings so the fight should take place in January.”

Higa, in Kim’s opinion, is at his most comfortable fighting in Japan, which is why he tried so hard to make the fight happen on neutral turf.

However, he believes Waseem is a world class talent —just like his upcoming opponent— and so he should be able to overcome that disadvantage.

Waseem’s flouring professional career has so far seen him win all seven of his fights, including five knockouts.

The 22-year-old Higa is also undefeated but has 13 bouts under his belt, 11 of which have been staged in Japan, which is where he thrives.

“I’m hoping Waseem can pull off a stunning win,” said Kim. “He can defeat Higa, it is not entirely impossible, but Waseem will have to knock him out as getting a decision in Japan will be difficult.”

Waseem, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist, is currently training with Jeff Mayweather in Panama after scoring consecutive knockout victories over Eliecer Valdezz and Ivan Trejos in the last two months.

But before the big Higa fight, Waseem will have to tame another unnamed opponent next month in Columbia.

“It’s going to be an important few months,” said Kim. “The next bout of Waseem’s isn’t a title bout, but he is still training hard for it.”

Kim also urged Waseem’s Pakistani fans to support him so he can turn his popularity into sponsorship deals.

“I understand there is a great emotional support from Pakistanis for Waseem, but we aren’t getting any sponsors from there,” said Kim.

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