Waseem faces Edwards in the IBF world title fight today

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DUBAI: Pakistan’s premier professional boxer Mohammad Waseem is on the brink of creating history. The Quetta-born fighter and the reigning WBC flyweight silver champion is set to face Sunny Edwards of England in the IBF world flyweight title fight here at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Saturday night (today).

The 26-year-old Edwards will defend his IBF flyweight crown for the second time.

Waseem was seen focused and was planning for the huge fight on Friday. He did not talk more and was seen mainly absorbed in his thinking here at the Irish Village on Friday on which he also attended the weigh-in session. Both the fighters also shared an intense face-off after weigh-in.

While Sunny Edwards looked a bit relaxed and over-confident, Waseem was seen extremely determined to win the first-ever world crown for the nation.

Having achieved the WBC and WBA No1 spots in his assertive career, Waseem also has to his credit three WBC world silver flyweight tittles during his brief but illustrious career.

Waseem’s physical appearance showed that he has worked extremely hard for the big clash which will also be witnessed by former two-time world champion Amir Khan of Great Britain.

“Yes, I have prepared well and am ready for the showdown,” Waseem told ‘The News’ here on Friday.

“It was a tough preparation period of around three months during which I also held sparring with the fighters from Kazakhstan and England. Although I did not go any other country for training but I had all the resources for training here at my disposal and it went very well,” Waseem said.

It will be a 12-round fight and will be a real test of temperament of both the fighters who are regarded as tough ones.

Having won all his 17 fights Edwards has played so far during his fine career, the English fighter was seen more outspoken but Waseem said that it will be decided on Saturday (today) who is the best.

“Yes, Edwards is a good fighter but InshaAllah I am confident I will beat him tomorrow,” said Waseem, also a former Commonwealth Games silver medallist and Asian Games bronze medallist.

Waseem is too excited as he has been blessed by God with a baby son a few days ago. “It’s a real blessing and now I am double motivated for this fight. Hopefully my hard work will bear fruit,” Waseem said.

His coach Danny Vaughn is also happy with the way Waseem has prepared for the major clash.

“Yes, he is hundred percent ready and I am very pleased with his preparations,” Danny told ‘The News’.

“We had provided all the resources which were necessary for training. We had managed sparring partners from Kazakhstan and England and those helped Waseem to prepare well. It’s a huge fight as he waited for three years for it,” Danny said.

“I am confident he will win the fight. It will be a life-changing outcome if Waseem is able to beat Edwards. It will bring huge money to Waseem and his whole life will change,” Danny said.

Asked whether Waseem will go for a knock-out of his opponent, Danny said not at all. “There will be planning for every round. We have thought what we will need to do,” Danny said. Asked how long the 34-year-old Waseem will be able to play professional boxing. “I think he still has three years boxing left in him,” Danny said.

The series of shows will start at 5:35pm local time. And it is expected that Waseem-Edwards fight will be after 11pm local time. The weather in Dubai is hot but windy.

Edwards and Waseem’s hotly anticipated clash headlines the second night of Probellum Evolution with the WBC super-lightweight title final eliminator between Regis Prograis and Tyrone McKenna acting as the co-main event.

Liverpool’s Peter McGrail, a supremely gifted amateur who is unbeaten as a professional, also fights on the impressive card, which includes TJ Doheny, Hovhannes Bachkov and others.

While Edwards has swept all his 17 fights he has played, Waseem has lost one fight out of 13 he has played so far. The only loss Waseem faced was against Moruti Mthalane of South Africa in the world title fight a few years ago which ended in a controversial manner as Waseem had almost won that fight.