Home » THE OLYMPIC GLORY AND THE TRAGIC END OF THE KAZAZKO BOXER BEKZAT SATTARKHANOV – SportHistoria

THE OLYMPIC GLORY AND THE TRAGIC END OF THE KAZAZKO BOXER BEKZAT SATTARKHANOV – SportHistoria

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THE OLYMPIC GLORY AND THE TRAGIC END OF THE KAZAZKO BOXER BEKZAT SATTARKHANOV – SportHistoria

article by Nicola Pucci

A certain sadness comes in tell the competitive story and the tragic end of Bekzat Sattarkhanov, Kazakh boxer who in the short space of a few months experienced glory but also a fatal existential parable. But the memory must be nourished, and some mention of the news helps so that his name, chosen among the greats of Olympia, is perpetuated forever.

The year is 2000, and the New Millennium opens with the Australian edition of the Sydney Gameswhich calls 28 athletes from every corner of the planet to the featherweight category. Among the protagonists expected at the performance, the 27-year-old Thai Somluck Kamsing, holder of the title won four years earlier in Atlanta by beating the Bulgarian Serafim Todorov in the final, the American Rocky Juarez, world champion among amateurs in Houston in 1999 where he got the better of the Uzbek Tulkunbay Turgunov, the Turkish Ramazan Paliani (Georgian by birth and already a bronze medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Games, as well as European champion in 1998 and 2000) and the Romanian Ovidiu Bobirnat, also in contention to the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre.

We start on September 18th with the first round, ed it was Sattarkhanov, a 20-year-old Kazakh from Şymkent, Asian vice-champion the year before in Tashkent where he was beaten by Turgunov, who provided the first surprise of the tournament, eliminating Bobirnat on points, 14-5. And if the most authoritative contenders for victory, namely Juarez (who among the Americans takes up the baton of a certain Floyd Mayweather, bronze in Atlanta among the featherweights), Kamsing and Turgunov, advance without worries, in the second round the scoreboard pits the reigning champion and the Uzbek against each other, with Kamsing ultimately winning on points, 7-2who seems well intent on granting a golden encore.

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Sattarkhanov advances, in turn easily overcoming the South African Jeffrey Mathebula, 16-5, and finds Paliani on his way, in the quarter-finals, with whom he engages in a last-ditch challenge, finally resolved by a points verdict in favor of the Kazakh , 12-11 which opens the doors to the semi-finals and guarantees him, at least, the bronze medal.

At this stage of the competition Juarez himself also enters, also forced to sweat the proverbial sweats in the second round to overcome the resistance of the German Falk Huste, 17-15, but who then fully confirms his value by knocking out after 1’52” of fourth round Kamsing in the quarterfinals, the Moroccan Tahar Tamsamani, winner of the Argentine Hector Perez, and the Russian Kamil Dzamalutdinov (silver among the bantamweights at the 1999 World Championships), who easily eliminates the Cuban Aguilera.

Effectively the two semi-finals are much less balanced than one might expect, with Juarez entering the final at full speed by eliminating Dzamalutdinov, 23-12, and Sattarkhanov doing the same with Tamsamani, 22-10, and on October 1, 2000, at 1.00 pm local time, the two boxers entered the ring with the intention of prevailing over each other. Which would guarantee Olympic glory.

Juarez enters the decisive fight with a winning streak of 68 (!!!) matches, but if Sattarkhanov, almost without pedigree or almost at the beginning of the tournament, has earned the final, he confirms that he fully deserved it, decisively taking control of the match and closing the first two rounds with a clear advantage, 15-4. Finally adapting to his rival’s boxing, the American boxer comes back down, 13-18, reaches the last round seven points behind, but Sattarkhanov, in the lead but with his strength reduced to nothing, adopts a defeatist tactic at this point, squeezing his opponent and escaping his blows , ultimately winning the match, 22-14.

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The American delegation forwards an official complaintusing a video that demonstrates how the Russian referee of the match, Stanislav Kirsanov, gave the Kazakh boxer a warning for nine holds without issuing a “warning“, i.e. a warning that would have been worth a penalty point and in case of future recurrence, disqualification. L’International Amateur Boxing Federation he refuses to overturn the verdict but, curiously, later suspends Kirsanov for four years.

Bekzat Sattarkhanov returns to his homeland, acclaimed like a god and with the Olympic gold around his neck, but the satisfaction is very short-lived. Three months later, on New Year’s Eve, thanks to the fog, a dramatic car accident takes him away. And that glory, dreamed of and then grasped, truly flies to heaven. Alongside the unfortunate but certainly not forgotten heroes of Olympia.

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