My boxing career started when I was a little boy, still inside my mother’s stomach. Coming home from the hospital, the first thing my father did was put on a pair of boxing gloves for me. This was in 1988! Since then my life has been in the boxing ring.
I remember my first fight, which happened in 1994 at the international tournament «Надежда» – my opponent was two years older than me, and 5-7 kilograms heavier! I won that fight, but of course, it was made a tie so that no one left disappointed. This is what my father explained to me afterwards, as it was he who did this.
Well, afterwards there were more fights, tournaments, city championships, regional championships, where I always came out on top! I won’t go into detail – I will start from my first national championship, where I became champion in 2004.
In this year I also boxed at the European championship in Saratov, Russia. There I became a champion in the 46 kilogram category and received a trophy as the best boxer of the tournament. In 2005 I remember winning the national championship in the men’s 51 kilogram category. After this I began preparing for the junior World championship in Agadir, Morocco. And so came 2006, and we were off to Morocco: there I had five fights, four of which I ended before the final bell. And so I became a World champion, and in addition again received a trophy as the best boxer of the tournament.
In 2007, I, along with my father and the Ukrainian national team, traveled to Chicago, USA to compete in the men’s World championship for the right to compete in the Olympic Games in Beijing! In this tournament I took part in six fights. After the fourth fight I won the right to compete in the Olympics. After this there were two more fights, and at the end I was standing on the second step of the World championship podium. Another year goes by and we are on our way to Beijing for gold. And so here is 2008. The Olympic Games. I take part in five fights and become Olympic champion and winner of the Val Barker Trophy as the best boxer of the Olympic Games. In this same year, three or four months after the Olympics, we are on our way to Liverpool, England for the European championship, where I once again become the best boxer in Europe. In 2009 I become the first amateur World champion of the independent Ukraine! This happened in Milan, Italy. In 2010 I miss all the major tournaments due to injury, and in 2011 I travel to Baku, Azerbaijan to defend my world title and qualify for the London 2012 Olympics where I capture gold. And so, here I am, two time World and Olympic champion!