ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s proud son M Waseem comes down hard on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) DG for fulfilling their promise of sponsoring him for international bouts.

In an interview with The Nation, Waseem said: “It was a highly tough contest against world ranked player Pilipino Magramoin Korea, who has marvelous international record. I managed to defend my World Boxing Council (WBC) sliver flyweight title just because of prayers of my parents and nations’ all-out backing. The media also played very supportive role, as it is the sports journalists overwhelming and unconditional backing, which helped me in pleading my case at the highest level.”

Waseem said he went to Las Vegas for training purposes. “For two months, my Korean promoter Andy Kim bore all the expenses and it was wonderful short-training period, which really helped me, otherwise, I could have not even dreamt of defending the title. I am very grateful to Kim for extending all-out help, as without his help and sponsor, I could not be able to even think about representing Pakistan at such highest level.”

“IPC minister Riaz Hussain had promised me to provide Rs 3 million sponsor for training and residence and other expenses in America, but despite several meetings and requests to issue me promised amount to travel to USA for training purposes for my international bout, no heed was paid. Same was the case with Baluchistan CM Sanaullah Zehri, who gave me a lot of respect and termed me son of soil and also promised me to provide Rs 6 million, but not a single penny was handed over to me,” he added.

Waseem said he was highly grateful to Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi, who announced Rs 2.5 million sponsorship for him and also promised to sponsor him for the upcoming world title fight for WBC Gold Weight. “The dates of world title are yet to be announced, but I think the proposed fight would take place in late March or early April next year, either at America or Korea against world No 1 fighter Roman Gonzalez. Advance negotiations with his representatives are going on as he had a career record of appearing in 46 bouts and won all of them.

“It would be a battle royal for me and I am confident enough to beat him. But to achieve that milestone, I need sponsors, training and entire nation’s prayers. I need to train in USA for at least 3 months to make me ready for the toughest fight of my short career. The IPC minister and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should look into this matter of grave concern and announce cash prizes for me like he announces for cricketers and other sportsmen,” he added.

“I request multinationals, businessmen and private sector to lend a helping hand to me and provide me with financial assistance so that I may fully focus on my game and training and win laurels for the country globally. I hope the PM will ponder over my request and pass on directives to the IPC minister and provide me with financial assistance, which is need of the hour,” Waseem concluded.