ISLAMABAD - Pakistan boxer M Waseem added yet another feather to his already decorated cap, as he knocked down Panama’s Ivan Trejos in Panama City in a bout held on Sunday.

Pakistan’s top professional boxer and two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) silver flyweight champion Waseem knocked out Trejos in the third round of the international ranking fight. It was the second fight for the 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist, after he knocked out Panama’s Eliecer Valdez on his way to preparing for the world title bout.

Waseem, who hails from Quetta, has been preparing in Panama since June 29 with Las Vegas-based trainer Jeff Mayweather, uncle of world-famous Floyd Mayweather, for a probable WBC title fight in December this year. The 29-year-old turned pro when he won world silver title by beating Jether Oliva of the Philippines on July 17, 2016 in Korea. He went on to defend his crown on November 27 last year, also in Korea, after downing Giemel Magramo of the Philippines.

Talking to The Nation soon after the fight, Waseem attributed victory to his hard work, nation’s prayers and his trainer Jeff Mayweather, uncle of world-famous Floyd Mayweather. “Trejos is a veteran of 14 international fights and he is really tough and sharp boxer while the local crowd was also supporting him. After tough battle of first two rounds, I managed to hit him on the eye, which started bleeding heavily. Soon after my punch on his eye, the fight was stopped, as Trejos was technically knocked out.”

Waseem said he had been training very hard for the last two months and so and now he managed to win both of his fights. “I am waiting to know the opponent for my fight in December this year. I am highly grateful to Pakistani government, former Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Pakistan Sports Board Director General AKhtar Nawaz Ganjera for timely release of special grant, which is helping me a lot in meeting my day-to-day affairs and concentrating on winning laurels for the country.

“I am quite hopeful that the government will continue to keep me supporting both financially and morally and provide me with much-needed sufficient funds, as without working on my training and fitness levels, I can’t achieve the task of becoming world boxing champion and winning gold medal for my country in Olympics,” he added.

“I would keep Pakistan flag high wherever I go, nothing else can give me more happiness and joy than winning something big for Pakistan. I am doing my job sincerely and I hope private sector and multinationals will also lend a helping hand to me to achieve my goals. I am thankful to Pakistan nation for their support and prayers and I want them to keep on praying for me,” he added.

Meanwhile, former IPC minister Riaz Pirzada lauded Waseem’s efforts and termed a wonderful gift of Independence to entire Pakistani nation. “I am glad that Waseem is producing wonders for the country and I hope he will win more titles for Pakistan.”

PSB Director General Akhtar Ganjera was also full of praise for Waseem and said: “The PSB always helps the athletes in the best possible fashion and it will continue to do so in future too. I, on behalf of entire nation, congratulate Waseem and hope he will carry on winning laurels for the country.”

When asked would PSB do something for Waseem, Ganjera said: “Off course, we will lend a helping hand to Waseem as much as we can and our doors are always open for the sons and daughters of the soil, who are playing their hearts out and winning laurels for Pakistan.”

MOHSIN ALI