Pakistan’s national boxing squad team captain Muhammad Waseem won a bronze medal in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games, and is seeking to achieve an even better result this time around.
The 27-year-old Flyweight class (52 kg) boxer has not taken part in many competitions over the last couple of years, but he is experienced and talented enough to challenge for medals in Glasgow.
Pakistan will be sending six boxers to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with Waseem the spearhead, and the most experienced member of the team.
We caught up with Muhammad ahead of the start of the Games to get his thoughts on the upcoming tournament, and his history in boxing.
Who was the biggest influence to start your boxing career?
My biggest inspiration in boxing was the US star Mike Tyson who is my idol in the sport. I used to watch boxing bouts on TV, that is why I got interested in pursuing this game as my passion back in 1999.
Who is your coach in your club and in the national team? How many boxers train in your club?
My club and national team coach is Muhammed Tariq. There are approximately 25 boxers in my club in Quetta.
Could you please describe your boxing style? Are you planning to change your style in the Commonwealth Games?
I love courage in the ring, so therefore I use an attacking style. I will focus more on counter-attacks in Glasgow, and I feel that will help me. I have also changed my block defence, and all of the spectators will now see me in a different form as a boxer.
How often can you train in a week? How many hours can you train in a week? Do you have any special methods or facilities in training?
I train twelve-times a week and two-times per day. The number of my training hours is 20 to 22 per week, but it depends on the preparation period. I just try to do the basic training because we lack special training facilities in Pakistan.
Which was your first event in Pakistan and which was your first international competition outside of Pakistan?
I first took part among the elite boxers at the Pakistani National Championships in 2005 where I won the gold medal. My first ever international competition was the President’s Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2006.
How did you feel yourself in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010? Were you satisfied with the bronze medal?
I felt proud when I achieved the bronze medal in the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, it was a great feeling to reach the podium. Yes, I was satisfied to get a bronze in a such a great event in the sporting world.
How has your preparation been for the Commonwealth Games?
This time I am not so satisfied with the training in the national camp, which was conducted for a short period of time, but I will try to do my best in Glasgow.
Could you let us know your target in the upcoming Commonwealth Games? Who will be your biggest rival in Glasgow?
I will try to do my best to get a gold medal in the Games, but many things depend on the draw. My biggest rival will be the Welshman Andrew Selby, who has claimed several medals in international events.
I know you ranked third in New Delhi and you are targeting the gold medal this time, but would you be also satisfied with another bronze medal in Glasgow?
I would definitely be satisfied keeping the bronze medal in Glasgow.
What are your future plans in boxing? Are you planning to take part in the Asian Games in Incheon in September?
Yes I do, I have been selected in the national squad for the Asian Games, while in the future I would be happy to fight in the APB or the WSB.
What are your hobbies outside of boxing? What are your favourite foods?
I love to play football and love to eat Rosh which is a local food in Pakistan.