On Saturday in Islamabad, Pakistan local fans saw 20 year old Usman Wazeer (4-0, 2), aka the "Asian Boy" record one of the biggest wins in Pakistani boxing.
The youngster was up against Indonesian veteran Boido Simanjuntak (24-55-3, 10) in a bout for the Asian Boxing Federation Welterweight title, in a bout staged at the Amir Khan Boxing Hall.
The Hall, which was genuinely packed despite the on going global situation, was full of fans cheering on Wazeer. Every moment of success he had drew roars from the fans, who were there in the hope of seeing a new sporting hero emerge from their homeland.
From the first moments it was clear that Wazeer was too strong, too big and too powerful, and he dropped his man early in the bout. From there on it always seemed like it was a case of when, not if, the Indonesian was going to get stopped, and eventually the stoppage came.
When it did the crowd went crazy, with many of the climbing in to the ring to celebrate with the new champion.
On one hand this was a mismatch from the moment it was signed. Wazeer looks like a very strong, powerful and imposing Welterweight whilst Simanjuntak was small at Super Bantamweight, and looked like he was carrying a pea shooter into the ring against a tank here.
On the other hand it was a big win for Pakistani boxing, and it was, potentially, the start of a movement in the country. It's clear, given how rocking the venue was, that there is a market for the sport in Pakistan, which has always been an untapped market of potential fighters. If Wazeer, and Amir Khan, can unlock that market, then boxing could have another major player in Asia. It would be great to see the country getting into the mix, and if a few mismatches for Wazeer helps create the buzz needed we can't complain.
Sadly however, we do need to wonder about the health and safety here. There was no social distancing, there was no mask wearing, there was a lot of chanting, a genuinely large and packed crowd fingers crossed that nothing comes of this event to perhaps throw a spanner in the works of a future show.
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