Friday, April 19, 2013

Dead Boston Marathon 'bomber' was avid boxer, hoped to make U.S. Olympic Team

The Boston Marathon bombing suspect, killed early this morning in a shootout with cops, was reportedly an avid boxer and Olympic hopeful with aspirations of making the U.S. Boxing Team.

Records show that the dead suspected terrorist, Tamerlan Tsarnaev,26, a community college dropout who became a devout Muslim over the past several years, had even competed in the 2009 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions in Salt Lake City in the 201-pound weight class, according to the National Golden Gloves official web site.

Tsarnaev lost a 1st-round match to Lamar Fenner from Chicago.

Tamerlan won the heavyweight title at the New England Golden Gloves in Lowell, Mass. qualifying him for the national event. He posed for a photographer’s picture essay “Will Box for Passport,” a photo gallery on the website of Johannes Hirn. The photographer followed the 201-pound Tamerlan through his bouts at the Salt Lake City tournament.

In the photo essay, the dead suspect revealed he had struggled to fit into American culture.
"I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them,” he said.

As a devout Muslim, Tamerlan didn’t drink or swear.

“He talked about it [religion] a lot,” said John Allan, owner of the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Center in Boston where the dead suspect often fought.

“Tamerlan was an amazing boxer, one of the top boxers in New England,” Allan said. “Even though he wasn’t professional, he would floor the top professional boxers in New England’’ in unofficial matches.

“He always kept his shirt on. He did not like swearing at all.”

Allan told The Globe that the young fighter loved boxing but didn’t like the gym, which he believed promoted a culture opposite to his Muslim beliefs.

“In fact, he had a big problem with the boxing gyms he was training at because he thought they were very disrespectful because they used foul language and joked around a lot and weren’t what he considered professional,” said Allan.

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