KARACHI: Pakistan’s top professional boxer Muhammad Waseem can take on any flyweight in the world and even contend for the World Boxing Council title, his American coach Jeff Mayweather has claimed ahead of the pugilist’s July 29 fight with Panama’s Ivan Trejos.
The 29-year-old Waseem, since turning pro in 2015, has gone from strength to strength, winning the WBC Silver Flyweight title in just the fourth fight of his flourishing career against Jether Oliva before successfully defending his title twice.
After his win over Giemel Magramo last November, Waseem was forced to put his career on hold due to a lack of sponsors, and this Saturday’s fight —made less than a month after his KO defeat of Eliecer Valdez — is supposed to help him shed his ring rust.
And his coach Jeff Mayweather, the uncle to his world famous nephew Floyd, is confident that Waseem, whom he calls a “trainer’s dream”, will past this test with flying colours too.
“He is a trainer’s dream,” said Mayweather of his Pakistani pupil in an interview with The Express Tribune. “He is one of the rare boxers who train at the highest level. He is like a machine. But you can’t over-work [before fights] so sometimes I have to also pull him back a little from working so hard.”
The 53-year-old coach, who has a bout with the great Oscar De La Hoya on his CV, also shed some light on how he found Waseem as a person. “We have a great chemistry, we understand each other,” he said. “With Waseem it’s not work, it is like two friends hanging out together. What I like about Waseem is that he has supreme confidence in his ability.”
So far, Waseem has won all six of his pro fights and will be hoping to make Trejo his seventh victim. But both he has his sights set on the flyweight world title, a target Mayweather feels is a definite possibility considering the sacrifices he is making.
“I perceive Waseem as a world champion,” said Mayweather. “He will win against anyone he is pitted against. When we train I tell him that if there is a world champion in him, I’ll find it. Of course, it wouldn’t be easy but anything that is easy isn’t worth it. You need to make sacrifices, and he is making a lot of them. He is away from his family and friends, and he has this language barrier too; it’s tough.”
Trejos may not be a high-ranked challenger, but Waseem is not taking him lightly.
“No matter how big or small, it is still a fight and as the title holder losing is not an option for me,” he said. “I haven’t seen Trejos yet, but I know I’m prepared for anything he throws at me. My eyes are on that world title and this is one of the steps to get there, I can’t afford to falter.”