KHOROG, September 10, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- Famous boxer Raimkul Malakhbekov, who is one of highest titled boxers in Russia, is currently in Gorno Badakhshan to hold meetings with local youth.

During a meeting with students at Khorog State University, Malakhbekov said that using his vacation, he decided to visit his homeland to meet with relatives, friends and young boxers in the region.

During his meetings with local youth, Raimkul made a number of proposals on how to involve Tajik youth in a health lifestyle.

“Using my position and opportunities, I am ready to provide assistance to those who want study and work in Kalmykia (Russia’s republic),” Malakhbekov said.

During the meeting with members of the boxing club at the Khorog children’s sports school, he said that he would be glad to provide assistance to children going in to sports.  “I am ready to receive two young talented boxers with their coaches in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia within the next few days in order organize all necessary conditions for staying and training there.”

Malakhbekov will hold similar meetings with youth across in all districts of Gorno Badakhshan. 

Raimkul Malakhbekov, born on August 16, 1974 in Dushanbe, is one of highest titled boxers in Russia, who won two Olympic medals in the Men''s Bantamweight (54 kg) category.

Malakhbekov’s origins take root in Gorno Badakhshan.  He graduated from the Tajik Institute of Physical Culture, majoring in boxing.  His interest and passion for boxing grew when as a kid he visited the Dushanbe Sports Palace with his older brothers, who were training as boxers.

It is in Dushanbe that he met his future coach and mentor- Tsiren Balzanov who was his trainer in Dushanbe initially, and after leaving to his native Republic of Kalmykia of the Russian Federation, invited Raimkul to Kalmykia.

Although born and brought up in Tajikistan, Balzanov left after a civil war engulfed Tajikistan and his grandfather''s name, noble status and part of property were rehabilitated.  His grandfather is said to have been from a noble family, had high military rank, and numerous honors for his heroism in World War 1, who was subjected to repression and expulsive to Tajikistan, where Balzanov was born.

In 1993, at the age of 19 Malakhbekov left Tajikistan was devastated from civil war for Russia to seek better opportunities.  Initially, he settled in Moscow, but after reconecting with his former trainer Tsiren Balzanov he moved to Elista and restarted his boxing career. The right mixture of his unique physical conditioning, hard work and determination was noticed by his trainer promised a bright boxing career.

In his boxing career Malakhbekov won two Olympic medals in the Men''s Bantamweight (54 kg) category. He also won the title at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 1993 and 1997, and the European title in 1993 in Bursa, Turkey and 2002 in Perm.  During his boxing career he has won seven times the Russian National Championships and numerous other tournaments.  He was also among the winners of the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York USA.