ON OUR RADAR - USMAN WAZEER, PAKISTAN’S SHINING STAR HERE TO CONQUER THE BOXING WORLD
An undefeated champion, Usman Wazeer has been boxing for seven years now and has a spotless career with the record of eight wins, zero losses. We had the pleasure of interviewing this victor, and getting to know his life journey, from issues such as lack of governmental support to giving back to the community. Read below to know more.
Hello Usman! Before we begin, tell us a bit about yourself, your journey and where you’re from?
I am the first ever international professional boxer from Gilgit-Baltistan and also the first ever boxer of Pakistan who won the ABF Asian title for the country.
In 2018, I started work with two-time world champion Amir Khan and right now I am the world boxing council (WBC) Middle East champion and WBA world boxing association Asia title champion with the record of eight wins zero losses, undefeated.
In such a tough and hard work lifestyle, how do you manage to not get burnt out?
There is no doubt that the conditions are very difficult, the resources are non-existent, and more importantly, the sport is one that the general public does not know much about. It is a very difficult task to take such conditions and play to this level, but when your goal is clear to you and you are clear about what you want to do, then no matter how hard times are going on, you can do it. My goal is very
clear to me, I know that I will bring the world title for Pakistan. Insha’Allah, I will bring it and I am focused. Even if the situation becomes more difficult, I will still carry the flag of Pakistan all over the world and I will raise it and this is my promise to you.
Have you lost any fight till now?
I have played eight professional fights in my career against different countries and by the grace of Allah I have not lost any fight till date. Six out of eight times, I have knocked out the next fighter.
Apart from boxing, what is an activity that you love to do?
Apart from boxing, there is no other hobby that I pay much attention to at the moment because when you are boxing, you have to give it time in the morning, afternoon, evening and night and if you are doing something else, if you try to pay attention to that, it starts to become difficult.
Six or seven years ago, when I was not at this level of boxing, I was very fond of cars. I also had a very good type of motorcycle. I used to play football as well. I like to spend time with my friends so whenever I have spare time, I hang out with them.
Yes, of course, it is very difficult because you don't know what the next guy is going to do with you. You're a hundred percent blind to what's going to happen to you. You're going to fight the fittest guy of another country and for me, it's also like I said earlier those resources are less. There are also problems because I fight with those countries that have a lot of experience in boxing and in generally everything. They have good partners to train with and they have good coaches and facilities. So, when all these things come together, you have an excellent fighter standing in front of you. Anxiety is definitely when you enter the ring with the flag of Pakistan and you have in your mind that you have to win no matter. I have the flag of Pakistan on my chest, so the pressure is on but I turn this pressure into my strength. The prayers of my parents, the hard work of my coaches, and the prayers of my Pakistanis are with me, so I hope that I will not disappoint anyone in the future.
What or who is your source of motivation?
Love of Pakistan, love of Gilgit- Baltistan and love of my fans. These are all the things that are motivating me to do something.
How has the Pakistani government been for your career? Have they provided any assistance?
The government of Pakistan and especially the government of Gilgit- Baltistan have disappointed me so far.
Many promises have been made in different places, but none of the promises made to me have been fulfilled so far.
Boxing is an expensive sport and a dangerous sport that can kill you if you get a wrong punch but I have not seen the government doing well with me in it yet.
You previously announced that you were planning to set up a boxing academy in an orphanage. Is this your way of giving back or does this purpose hold special meaning to you?
Yes, I want to build an academy and, in this academy, I am trying to find good talent by supporting all the poor children who have no help. With this action of mine, children will be saved from going down the wrong path and shift their focus towards a very good activity.
Boxing requires 100% fitness and if you go up and down even a little, you will not be able to reach your goal. Hence, there is no room for doing anything wrong. And I want to save any child who has no support or help and bring him to a good side and maybe, by my help, he will become a very good boxer.
So, this is the goal of my life. I will try to open an academy in all the provinces of Pakistan which will provide good facilities to all the poor children for free and we can show the talent of Pakistan to the whole world. I am trying in this regard, if any organization comes forward, let us work together and we can do a lot of good for the society by making Usman Wazeer Academy.
INTERVIEW: HANIA SEHR
PHOTOS: COURTESY USMAN WAZEER