The unbeaten World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Flyweight Champion, Pakistan's Muhammad Waseem, has expressed disappointment again over the lack of funds and support, and said he is thinking of accepting offers from other countries and fight for them.
The country's ace boxer announced his decision through a video message on Monday, saying he had no sponsors to fund his participation in the international boxing events and represent Pakistan — therefore he was thinking of switching sides.
Waseem, who hails from Quetta, told his fans that his upcoming fight for the WBC title might be the last time he represents Pakistan.
"I have an upcoming fight for the world title [in January 2018] and before that I have a fight in Colombia, but I am facing problems as I have no sponsors," Waseem said in the video.
"I don't want to stop representing Pakistan but unfortunately I am stuck," the boxer added.
He said that after his upcoming fights, he may consider taking the nationality of the United States or South Korea — and represent them instead.
He has repeatedly expressed disappointment that the government has not offered him any support despite his achievements.
Waseem, also known as Falcon Khan, said that when he won his first WBC title for Pakistan, the federal government and the Balochistan government had "promised to help him and commit to other financial help".
He added he feels "extremely disappointed that no one from both governments fulfilled their promise and did not even bother to call him".
Waseem said that in order to move forward as a professional boxer he needed sponsorship.
In July, Waseem won the World Boxing Council (WBC) silver flyweight title after defeating favourite Jether Oliva from the Philippines.
He maintained his title in October when he defeated Panama's Carlos Melo.
Waseem, Pakistan's only professional boxer, began his professional career in South Korea last year and won the Korean Bantamweight title on debut.
In August last year, Waseem had lamented that Korean promoter Andy Kim had sponsored and borne all his expenses instead of the Pakistani government.
“I’m a Pakistani, not Korean; [so] why is my government not providing me with the required patronage?” he had said.
However, after Waseem won the WBC Silver Flyweight Championship, the federal government had transferred a sum of money to Kim.
Last year, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had approved a grant of Rs30 million for the boxer as he successfully defended his WBC Silver Flyweight title after defeating Giemel Megramo.
The federal government, however, released only Rs24.675 million in March this year on the recommendation of the Inter-Provincial Coordination Ministry.
In 2014, the then Inspector General of Balochistan Frontier Corps, Maj Gen Ejaz Shahid, had handed a cheque of Rs50,000 to Waseem and gifted boxing equipment and exercise machines worth Rs0.7 million to the international boxer's club.