Waseem loses despite demonstrating impressive bravery

Alam Zeb Safi
Monday, Mar 21, 2022

DUBAI: Despite displaying impressive boxing skills, Pakistan’s premier professional boxer Mohammad Waseem fell short of his first world title when he was downed by England’s Sunny Edwards in the IBF flyweight world title bout here at The Irish Village inside the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Centre late Saturday night.

In the much anticipated fight for the world title, Waseem and defending champion Edwards squared off in a twelve-round bout, and when the dust settled, it was Edwards who left the ring with a decision victory ( 116-110, 115-111 and 115-111).

However Waseem contested the result by saying that his opponent did not win the fight but it was “given” to him, as according to him, the referee was “unfair”.

“Yes, Edwards did not win the fight but it was given to him,” Waseem told ‘The News’ after keeping his opponent under terrific pressure witnessed by a sizable crowd.

“The referee was very unfair. He was very rude and was working against me. He kept giving me warnings when I was playing so well and so clean,” Waseem said.

“We will meet to discuss what has happened. It’s a matter of concern!” said Waseem, a boxer of Probellum promotion, which was bringing this terrific fight night to the boxing fans around the world.

Besides, the ‘shock’, Waseem looked resolved and vowed to come back stronger soon.

Clearly, for the Pakistan’s pugilist, he was at the wrong end of the referee .”The referee was highly unfair,” Waseem said who also holds the No1 spot in the WBA rankings.

Waseem, coached by Danny Vaughan, came onto the ring amid a charged environment on the chilly night. Coming onto the ring, Edwards tried to terrify the seasoned Falcon (Waseem) with a few forceful punches just in the start but Waseem pushed him back with his super counter-attack. Waseem mixed-up both defence and aggression in a sublime way. London-born Edwards was seen running around as it seemed he had calculated the strength of the Pakistani fighter.

While on his back-foot, Edwards’s counter attacked but he struggled to rip through Waseem’s strong defence. Waseem, throughout, kept exerting pressure. In the third round, Waseem took Edwards around the ring and sprayed with a volley of punches and hooks and left him hugely unsettled.

In the fourth round, both fighters struggled and after a tough fifth round, Edwards looked dangerous in the sixth round but Waseem counter-attacked sharply but had to face point deduction for rough tactics.

In the seventh round, Waseem faced point deduction again. In the eighth round, Waseem had an upper hand and showed great stamina and unleashing terrific punches got the better of his opponent. However, it was the turn around at the ninth round when Edwards showed great agility; chiefly his hooks on back-foot were a treat to watch.

In the penultimate three rounds, a gruelling fight was witnessed as both fighters wanted to secure maximum points.

And with the result, Edwards defended the IBF flyweight world title for the second time. “There was a lot on the line tonight but I did not want to just run, run, run, and I wanted to mix it up and I felt I won comfortably in the end,” Edwards said.

Unlike his pre-bout statements, Edwards was seen in a controlled mood, giving respect to both Waseem and his coach Danny Vaughan when he was handed the belt. “Mohammad Waseem is a world-class operator and he and his coach Danny came with a good game plan,” Edwards said after his title defence.

Both boxers were also seen posing together for a photograph after the fight.