Is it Too Little, Too Late For Muhammad Waseem?
Muhammad “Falcon” Waseem 12-1 (8 KOs) is in a do-or-die situation when it comes to his career. He was a former amateur standout for Pakistan, winning multiple national titles and competing regularly at the world level. When he turned pro in 2015, hardcore heads had high hopes. He was signed by Andy Kim of Korea’s AK Promotions. Things looked very promising. His reputation grew and he even spent time training with Jeff Mayweather at the famed TMT Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada.
NOT LIVING UP TO HIS POTENTIAL
Having fought a ten-rounder in his pro debut, Waseem moved quickly up the world flyweight rankings. Insiders at the TMT Gym believed he would become a world champion. By 2017, he had become the WBC’s number one contender at 112 pounds. Waseem fought Moruti Mthalane for the vacant IBF world flyweight title in July 2018. Despite a late rally, he lost by a close unanimous decision.
Since that time, his career has become somewhat stagnant. Plagued by promoter/managerial issues outside the ring, he’s unbeaten since the defeat to Mthalane and remains high in the world flyweight rankings (fifth by the WBA).
NOW OR NEVER
On November 26, the 34-year-old stepped into the ring to face and defeated Rober Barrera (23-4, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision (115-114, 115-113, and 117-111) in a WBA world flyweight title eliminator. Taking place at the Motospace Dubai Investment Park in Dubai, Arab Emirates, it was the most physically demanding battle of his career. At one point, Waseem looked to be on the verge of being stopped. However, he gritted his teeth to pull out a hard-earned win. With the victory, he will now become the WBA flyweight mandatory challenger and is in a position to fight current WBA world flyweight challenger Artem Dalakian at some point in 2022.
Can Waseem realize his potential and finally achieve his life-long dream of becoming the first fighter from Pakistan to win a professional boxing world title? Given his age, he cannot afford to waste any more time. His goal for next year is to make that dream a reality.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.