Sports

Pakistani boxer Muhammad Waseem tops WBC flyweight rankings

Pakistani becomes world number one boxer in flyweight category

Pakistani boxer Muhammad Waseem, the current World Boxing Council (WBC) silver flyweight champion, has become the world’s top-ranked boxer in his category for the month of June. Waseem has become the first Pakistani to top the monthly world rankings.

The country’s only professional boxer will now head to Panama to participate in two training fights that will be held under the aegis of the WBC. According to The Express Tribune, Waseem, also known as Falcon Khan, expressed his delight at being declared world number one, but his ambitions remain even higher.

“I’m very happy with the ratings, but my aim is to win the world title,” said the flyweight champion. “I’ve had to wait a long time to get here — to get this top rating and to be in a position to fight again as I haven’t done so since November because of a lack of funds and sponsorship. I’m just focusing on winning.”

Flyweight boxing includes fighters who weigh between 49kg (108lb) and 52kg (112lb). Waseem revealed that he has to put in significant work to maintain his weight for this category.

“My natural weight is more than what we have in the flyweight category,” he said. “I have to put in a lot of effort before each fight to maintain this weight.”

The WBC silver flyweight champion also said that once he wins the world title in this category and fully proves himself as a silver flyweight boxer, he ultimately wishes to move to the super flyweight category.

Before turning professional in 2015, Waseem was the country’s leading amateur boxer, representing Pakistan at various international contests, including the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the South Asian Games. He won the silver medal for Pakistan at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland and the bronze medal at the 2010 edition of the Games in India. He also won the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, as well as another bronze medal at the 2011 President Cup held in Indonesia. In addition, the WBC silver flyweight champion holds the distinction of remaining undefeated in national boxing competitions for seven years.

After turning professional, Waseem created history in July 2016 when he defeated Jether Oliva to become the first Pakistani to win the WBC silver flyweight title. Since then, he has won all his professional bouts, most of them through knockouts. The silver flyweight champion will also be fighting the WBC world champion Daigo Higa in a mandatory title fight in January 2018. The Express Tribune has also reported that the Quetta-based boxer is now hoping that local television stations will broadcast his future fights to garner support for the sport in the country.