Agajan Abıyev expects both boxers to succeed in Beijing Olympics

“I am still in close relations with AIBA”

Baku. Elshen Mammedov - APA-Sport. Azerbaijan Boxing Federation president, National Olympic Committee secretary general Agajan Abiyev interviewed by APA-Sport

-Azerbaijan is to join Beijing Olympics with two boxers whereas the number was 9 in 2004 Athens. Do you believe the reduction of quantity will not negatively affect the quality?
- I see more improvement in the performances of our boxers now compared to the beginning of the year. This leads to the point that both Samir Mammedov and Shahin Imranov are joining the Olympics in order to score medals. I expect both to succeed in Beijing. They had perfect shows in several international tournaments and proved to be the best. Mammedov beat some Olympic and world champions in late competitions, as well. They have carefully prepared for the Olympics. Of course, we would gain more chance to succeed if we had 5-6 boxers in the competition. I feel pity for the absence of Elchin Alizade. But I think 2 boxers will show their best in the competition.
- Considering 2 bronze medals from Athens Olympics, do you think we will do much more in Beijing?
- I think it is not bad even to win one gold medal. Both Samir and Shahin are capable of scoring any medal in 51 kg and 57 kg weights.
- What is the reason of less number in qualification for the Olympics?
- The press has talked about the issue for many times.
- Some say your relations with International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) went wrong after the changes in the management board…
- I am not in bad relations with the AIBA board-in-office. They first organized a world boxing championship qualifying for Olympics in Chicago, USA. If I were in bad relations with the organization, they wouldn’t have invited me to referee the fights. Secondly, European Boxing Confederation Executive Commission has 24 members 5 out of which are bureau members. I am one of them. Besides, AIBA has lately appointed me a chief of European Referees Committee. I am going to Beijing as an official delegate of AIBA and I will be a member of jury board in boxing competitions. International Federations meets all my visit expenditures. As you se, I am in close relations with the AIBA. They chose Baku to host world junior boxing championship in 2007. Our capital will also host world militants boxing championship in November as well. They have appointed me a main referee of world students boxing championship to be held September 19-27 in Kazan, Russia. They consider my opinion essential in some cases. I reply their letter in a half an hour. Sometimes they tell me, “You are professor indeed”. There will be celebrated a day of America in the frame of Beijing Olympics. US Boxing Federation asked me to take part in the event. They want to discuss the idea to organize a friendly between Azerbaijani and US boxers.
- Then what is reason of their less successful performance?
- The reason is mistakes during the competitions. It doesn’t mean that Mammed Eyvazov is a less qualified coach. After the Athens Olympic, there came a new generation to our boxing team. They couldn’t substitute the previous ones. I read an interview of a Russian boxer a few days ago. I said he had postponed his wedding because of Olympics. What does it mean if 7 members of our team are getting married before the qualifying competition in 2007? Would they lose their girlfriends if they had joined the competition? 7 of 10 team members are getting married and the coach is still careless. There is a big difference between a single and married sportsman. The husband takes responsibility before his family. It hinders the sportsman to prepare for the competition. I could understand them if they were 30 or 35. As if somebody told them to ruin the team in this way. A sportsman invites me to his wedding two days before the party. If they informed me a month earlier, I would have spoken to their parents and asked them to postpone it till the end of the Olympics. I could have convinced their parents.

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