Azerbaijan's powerful super heavyweight boxer, Magomedrasul Medzhidov became the country's second AIBA Men's Elite World Champion after his triumph on home soil in Baku. The country had waited eight years to see another World Champion after Agassi Mamedov's Bantamweight success in Bangkok in 2003.
Magomedrasul Medzhidov was born in Dagestan on 27 April 1986 and started boxing in Makhachkala, a place familiar with great fighters, having already given the world Russia's former AIBA World Champions Albert Selimov and Artur Beterbiev.
Medzhidov's big breakthrough in terms of international success was a bronze medal at the Umakhanov Memorial Tournament four years ago. Russian National Championships are notoriously hard to enter due the country's territorial selection criteria but Medzhidov managed to take part three years ago. He was however eliminated in the first preliminary round by the experienced Maksim Babanin.
Despite this loss, he participated in three massive international events in 2009, first securing a bronze medal at the Great Silk Way Tournament in Baku, having lost to Kazakhstan's Asian Games silver medallist Ivan Dychko. Then earning another bronze medal at the Utemisov Memorial Tournament in Atyrau, Kazakhstan before victory at the Umakhanov Memorial Tournament in Makhachkala where he stopped Russia's tough Gadzhi Murtazaliyev in the final.
Medzhidov grew as a fighter and developed an impressive technique following a successful World Series of Boxing (WSB) first season when part of the Baku Fires Franchise. He was undefeated in seven fights during the regular season thus qualifying for the Individual Championship Finals which were held in Guiyang, China in May. In the final he was narrowly defeated 67:66 by Italy's former AIBA World Champion Clemente Russo. Medzhidov was then selected to the national squad in August in preparation for his debut at the AIBA World Boxing Championships. Medzhidov and his Azeri teammates trained in the build-up to the championships with the Russian squad.
He started furiously in Baku with two quick victories, firstly stopping Uzbekistan's former AIBA Junior World Championships silver medallist Sardorbek Abdullayev, then Colombia's Isaias Mena, both within the distance. For the Olympic qualification and a medal position, Medzhidov had another great victory, stopping Cuba's former AIBA Youth World Champion Erislandy Savon. The semi-final stages saw him dismantle Kazakhstan's Ivan Dychko, winning 16:9 in what had become a trademark bruising style.
In the final he came up against England's rising star Anthony Joshua and after three riveting rounds of top quality boxing, Medzhidov triumphed 22:21 to become World Champion in front of his home crowd. Elated after the final, he said: 'I can't believe it that I am World Champion. I am absolutely exhausted, the final was my fifth fight of these Championships but it was also the hardest. To defeat this phenomenal English boxer here in an amazing accomplishment, I am so proud'.
Following his achievements at the AIBA World Boxing Championships, President Ilham Aliyev presented Medzhidov with several gifts and showered him with even praise, stating that the boxer was now a national hero and a true role model for others.
His main goal is now the London 2012 Olympic Games where he will be going all-out for gold.
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