Mohammad Waseem’s huge achievement of winning the World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Flyweight title did not prove to be beneficial for him as he failed to attract sponsors or support from the government.
Waseem become the first Pakistani to win the belt after defeating a much experienced opponent, Jether Olivia of Philippines last month via a unanimous decision. It was just his fourth fight of his pro career, his earlier three wins were from knockout.
Despite of his big achievement, the Silver Flyweight Champion is utterly disappointed by the kind of response he has gotten from the sponsors and government.
Waseem talked to Express Tribune and expressed the excitement he felt after winning the bout, “After the title win, I immediately wanted to be here in Pakistan.” However, he is disheartened now, “I wanted to make my country proud and also hoped for an attitude change, but nothing has changed. Even the Balochistan minister, who promised to sponsor me, never got back to me.”
He exhibited his frustration saying, “I’m just chasing government officials and going to different companies asking them to sponsor me. But I haven’t got much of a response.”
Waseem is eyeing a fight against the WBC Lightweight Champion, Roman Gonzalez later this year, but, for that he needs fair bit of funds. Despite of being supported by his Korean promoter, Andy Kim, he needs more financial help.
“When I go to Korea, they would want me to represent Korea eventually. The companies there have been showing interest in sponsoring me and I had to choose to carry on as a Pakistani or settle in Korea; I chose Pakistan,” said the 28-year old boxer.
He strived to meet the PM Nawaz Sharif, but, there was no one in the PM house to see him. On the other hand, he could not meet the business tycoon, Malik Riaz as well, who announced a Rs. 1 million reward for his feat.