Pakistan has produced some highly talented boxers over the years, but not many of them have been able to get recognition in the country. Muhammad Waseem is one of those who have.

Hailing from Quetta, Waseem is the only Pakistani professional boxer. He goes by the name of ‘Falcon Khan’ due to his quick and swift style of boxing. He holds the professional record of 5-0 and has the WBC Silver flyweight champion belt.

While talking to The Nation, Waseem shared his life story. “I started boxing at the age of 10 in 1997 at a local gym near my house. The reason why I opted for boxing was my aggressive nature, because I used to get into a lot of street fights,” he recalled. “I still train at that gym when I am in Pakistan, although it is very small and has only a single room,” the boxer added.

While talking about his boxing fight experiences, he stated that after winning a number of medals at junior level, a trainer from WAPDA, Muhammad Tariq, picked him up. “In 2004 I fought in the National Championship, took  part in the President Cup in Azerbaijan and trained for two months in Kazakhstan,” he said.

“I won the bronze medal in 2009 in Thailand, bronze in 2010 Commonwealth games, gold in 2010 World Combat Games and bronze in 2010 AHMET CÖMER Boxing tournament in Turkey,” Waseem added.

Waseem, however, told The Nation that much of the prize money from his victories was not given to him by the Boxing Federation. “Boxing Federation’s officials kept on promising me that they will give me my rightful money but they just kept on ignoring me,” he said.

“I even won the silver and bronze medals in 2014 Commonwealth and Asian game s respectively, but the federation was not ready to support me. As we were not sent to any training camps, so we just took part in the tournament on the go.

“I, myself went to the Federation and pleaded them to send us to Uzbekistan for training but no one heard me.

“I got disheartened because of this behavior of the Federation, so I decided to start my professional career,” Waseem said.

While answering a query about his professional career, he replied that he found a sponsor from South Korea which gave him chance to train in the gym of Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.

“That helped me a lot and improved me as a boxer,” he said.

“I started my professional career in 2015 and won my first three fights by KTO and KO,” Waseem told The Nation.

“After that I earned the fight for WBC Silver flyweight title with Filipino boxer Jather Oliva who had a 25-7 record. I defeated him and won the belt. This made me the first ever Pakistani to win a WBC championship.

“To defend my championship, I fought with another Filipino boxer Giemel Magramo on November 27, who had a record of 17-0, but despite his experience I beat him on a unanimous decision,” Waseem added rather proudly.

Waseem’s overall ranking was 9 before the last fight but he is expected to be crowned as the number 1 in WBC’s rankings next month.

“I fight for Pakistan, to raise its flag at international level and to promote the positive image of Pakistan,” he says.

About the response by government on his victories and being a champion, Waseem said no government official has contacted him or appreciated him. “I am, however, really thankful to Peshawar Zalmi’s CEO Javed Afridi who announced Rs 2.5 million prize money for me and nominated me as the ambassador of his cricket team,” Waseem said.

While discussing about the future of boxing in Pakistan, the champion emphasized that the country has immense talent in the sport, but lack of government assistance and sponsors are wasting it.

“I urge sponsors like Javed Afridi to come forward and support the boxers because we will make Pakistan proud,” Waseem concluded.