Portrait of the German World Championships team: Ibrahim Bazuev (middleweight)
Hamburg’s boxing fans certainly still remember the first successes of Ibrahim Bazuev. The 23-year-old German World Championships participant in the middleweight class up to 81 kilograms drew attention to himself as long ago as 2008 by winning the finals at the Hamburg Boxing Association Championships and the North German Championships. At any rate, Bazuev’s former coach, whom he holds in high esteem to this day, Frank Rieth, still knows very well: “Even then, he was an outstanding fist-fighter in that he landed punches without getting hit himself.”
“Landed punches without getting hit himself.”
As the oldest child in a family from Dagestan in Russia, born in 1994, this talented boxer came at the age of eleven to the Agon sports school in Hamburg, where the sports scientist and fully licenced coach Rieth is a boxing coach with heart and soul. The Agon sports school has for a long time been well known for its outstanding work with young people and encouraging integration, also producing Susi Kentikian, who in 2004 won the German Youth Championships and later became professional world champion. Bazuev, however, was unable to achieve a breakthrough initially: his family was only granted the status of ‘tolerated’ by the immigration authorities. As Rieth emphasises, however, his protégé won the international “Tournament of Olympic Hopes of the North” in Wismar in impressive style.
The lump is cracked
In the meantime, Bazuev had been granted citizenship and the famous Gordian knot was cut when he transferred to the Olympic training centre in Cologne with the full consent of his Hamburg home club in the autumn of 2014. There, with better finances and more staff, it was much easier to help this top athlete achieve his full potential. The plan succeeded: only one month later, Bazuev finally won his second German championship title, this time at the under-21 championships in Moers. Since then, he has been able to maintain his position at the top level of German boxing. Wearing the colours of SC Colonia 06, he was twice runner up in the national championships in the elite class. Shortly before Christmas 2016, both he and the super heavyweight Max Keller won bronze medals for Germany at an international tournament in Siberia that featured a very strong field.
Finally at the national squad
“Ibrahim is finally where he wanted to be and where he belongs: in the national squad,” says Rieth, immensely happy about Bazuev’s career reaching its zenith with his nomination for the 2017 World Championships in his home town Hamburg. Previously, the middleweight had won the international Chemiepokal tournament (CPT) and there, alongside Abbas Baraou (welterweight) and Murat Yildirim (lightweight), picked up one of the three gold medals for Germany. The altitude training with five other World Championships participants in the Ötz Valley in Tyrol is something that Bazuev deserved. “The training camp improved endurance and strength,” said Bazuev. The middleweight 2017 CPT winner, who boxes for SC Colonia but comes from Hamburg, sees his basic techniques as his strong point, putting him “on the right path towards the World Championships in my home town of Hamburg”. The training was “well structured as regards the exertion involved”. He felt very strongly motivated by his experienced Cologne OSP coach Gregory Tolkovets and by the new German Boxing Association coach Eddie Bolger from Ireland, who definitely seems to have the right touch for middleweights: He shaped Joe Ward, Ireland’s European champion and runner up the World Championships in this class in 2015. These are all good indications for the World Championships in Hamburg from 25 August to 2 September… and Bazuez is prepared do to all he can.
At boxing2017.com we introduce further top athletes of the German World Championship Boxing Team: Salah Ibrahim, Omar-El Hag, Igor Teziev, Silvio Schierle, Hamza Touba, Abbas Baraou. Follow us at Facebook or have a look at boxing2017.com regularly – there will be more news to come!
© Peter Jaschke