Waseem strikes deal with VGM; set to return soon

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LAHORE: Pakistan’s premier professional boxer and three-time WBC world silver flyweight champion Mohammad Waseem has struck a deal with new promotion Vaughan Group Malta for a period of one year.
As per the agreement, Pakistan’s premier professional fighter will be provided with fights by the promotion besides training facilities. Waseem, who remained inactive for quite sometime will now soon be seen in action in international professional boxing.
His new promotion, owned by Liverpool-born former professional footballer Stephen Vaughan, wanted Waseem to play a fight next month but it has been shifted to September now because Waseem wants to get Schengen visa first before kick-starting his training in Liverpool.
“Yes my promotion was set to give me fight in July but it has been rescheduled for September now. The issue is that it’s difficult to get an appointment for Schengen visa,” Waseem told this correspondent.
“You have to wait for long for an appointment. Yesterday my promotion contacted me and told me to come to Liverpool for training but first I want to get Europe visa. I already possess England visa but it would be of huge value if I got Europe visa before moving to England in order to avoid problems which I faced in the past which damaged my career,” he said.
Waseem faced visa issues in the past which deprived him of golden opportunities to play top fights. While training in Glasgow last year his UAE visa was rejected for the IBO bantamweight world title fight against the Filipino legend and former four-time world champion Donnie Nietes. The fight was scheduled for July 22, 2023, in Dubai.
Waseem also could not play fights in France, Spain and Mexico because of visa issues. He requested the federal government to help him in getting Schengen visa so that he could start training for his future fights.
“I faced visa issues in the past. My UAE world fight was cancelled because of this. I could not fight in Mexico, France and Spain because of visa issues,” Waseem recalled. “Previously, we would apply for visa directly in the relevant embassy and now it’s difficult to get an urgent appointment these days and that’s why my July fight has been shifted to September,” Waseem said.
Troubled by visa issues Waseem in 2020 requested the then government for issuing him diplomatic passport but failed to get any response. And Waseem on Wednesday stressed if the government wants then visa will not be an issue for him.
“I am an experienced sportsman and have earned many laurels for the country and I expect a good treatment from the state,” said Waseem, who also played amateur boxing for the country for a decade.
Waseem said that he is itching for proper training. “I am doing fifty percent training here but it is not 100 percent as I need sparring and it would be important to undergo tough training in England,” he said.
“But first I want to get Europe visa and then will start proper training inshaAllah,” Waseem said. “I will play the first fight in top 15 and then will go inshaAllah directly for the world title fight,” said Waseem, also a former Asian Games bronze medallist.

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