The Matchanovs dynasty also has a place in the Uzbek boxing world. In particular, Hakim Matchanov, who achieved great results in the former Soviet Union, has always been called to the national team as a winner of prizes among juniors, youth and adults. Hakim's nephew Jasur Matchanov also won prizes at world and continental championships and Asian Games in amateur boxing. We contacted Hakim Matchanov and talked about his sports memories and Uzbek boxing. Below, we bring this interview to your attention.
Hakim Sagdullaevich Matchanov was born on July 20, 1961 in the city of Tashkent. He had been boxing since he was 11 years old. He achieved Former Soviet Union Championships among juniors, youth and adults, winner of the Youth Spartakiad and champion of Uzbekistan. In 1983 he graduated from the Tashkent Institute of Motor Roads, in 1990 from the Tashkent State Law University. In 1999 he studied at the International Business School. Candidate of Economic Sciences. Founder and Chairman of the International Freight Forwarders Association of Uzbekistan. He is married and has 3 children.
-The Matchanovs are called the boxing dynasty. Was it because of you and your nephew Jasur, or were other members of the family also involved in the sport?
- It would be fair to say that it is a dynasty of athletes, not boxers. Because our elder brother Khairullo Matchanov played in the reserve team of Pakhtakor and was the main reason for our development as a boxer. Matkarim Matchonov is one of the people buried in the "Three Heroes" mausoleum in Tashkent. Champion of Uzbekistan, winner of a number of tournaments. My second brother Matyokub Matchanov is a basketball player. He was the captain of the team of the Tashkent Institute of Theater and Art. My brother Matnazar and I were boxers. My brother is also a master of sports in wrestling, the champion of Uzbekistan. All in all, if we had 6 boys in the family, we were all sportsmen.
- What was the history of your entry into the world of boxing?
- I grew up in a boxing neighborhood in Tashkent. Our neighbor Eldor Igamberdiev was a great boxer in his time. For example, he won the championship of Uzbekistan , the tournament among the servicemen of the former Soviet Union. Ozod Shapirov from our community of living, showed good results in lightweight. Ozod interested the children of the community in boxing. One day he took me by the hand and took me to the boxing club at the Spartak Stadium in the Eski Juva district, where he was handed over to coach Hamidullo Gaziev. From the age of 11, I started training under this coach.
- But Alexei Dean has a big role in your success, right?
- As I mentioned above, Khamidulla Gaziev was the first coach. Later, we brought up the head coach of the national team of Uzbekistan Marat Kurbanov, Valentin Zelenin and Alexei Din. Each coach will have his own career. It provides maximum training depending on the opportunity. Above that, the rating in another "class" is taken from the top coaches. When we say a top-ranked coach, we take into account the experience we have gained over the years. For example, I was one of Marat Kurbanov's first students after returning from military service. Thanks to his years of experience, Marat was able to rise to the level of a mature coach after 2000. The results achieved in the Olympics and championships show this. Khamidullo was very good at basic concepts. That is, it worked very well with children and youth. But getting to the top was the job of professionals. At that time, the coach at this level was Alexei Din. This coach is a man who trained boxers who served in Uzbekistan and the former Soviet Union. For example, Vladimir Shin, Felix Pak, brothers Mullaev, Abdullo Kadyrokhunov. In general, the most prominent boxers in Uzbekistan were trained by Alexei Davidovich. Din was a respected, outspoken coach in the former Soviet Union.
Indeed, the role of Alexei Din in my success is incomparable! This coach has brought me to the perfect level of qualities like stability and self-control. He was very demanding and put discipline first. In fact, I can talk for hours about this coach of mine. This person could do a great interview about himself. Unfortunately, Alexei Davidovich died two years ago. But the legacy he left to our boxing is huge. The coaches I have mentioned have made a great contribution to the development of Uzbek boxing, without exaggeration.
- What memories do you have of your first success?
- Frankly, I don't remember. Because I was able to achieve a lot even among teenagers and young adults.
- In general, how many times did you participate in the former Soviet Union Championship and what were the results?
- I started to participate in the Union Championship in the junior and youth categories. I achieved the third place in this age category. I also won a bronze medal at the Youth Spartakiad. I took bronze twice in the senior championship. At that time, the championship was very strong and competitive. There was also unfairness sometimes. “You can to Moscow, continue your studies here and become a Soviet Union champion! If you stay in Tashkent, forget about the championship.” Once even they told me openly
- Who of your friends, who started training with you at club Spartak, became a mature boxer?
- None of my peers connected their careers with boxing and achieved good results. But there were many skilled and hardworking children. They later had success in other areas. Khamidillo's students from the group above us, Ilgor Egamberdiev and Alokhon Ikramov, achieved great results and became the champions of Uzbekistan. In our time, there were many who dropped out of boxing after entering the institute. The reason was their loyalty to his first club and team. Entering the institute and going to other groups and clubs was considered treason. It was precisely because of this factor that many skilled young men left boxing. I studied at the Tashkent Institute of Motor Roads and graduated with honors. That’s when I received my “Lenin Scholarship”. It is precisely these circumstances that I have put an end to. That is, I have proven that in order to be successful, you need to train in better places.
- Isn't it possible to do sports at the same time, to study at the university with excellent grades, as well as to train in the national team?
- True, but it can be done. I also always carried my books in training sessiones and read a lot. In addition, the teachers at that time supported the members of the national team, the athletes who showed results as much as possible. They were respected. We tried to read well for such attention as well. My friends on the national team used to joke that I was “smart” because I always carried books. They will answer from the national team training for a week, during which time I will have to come to Tashkent and pass exams in all subjects. Then there was an interesting incident:
I had to come back from a two-month training session and pass the exams. I passed the first 4 subjects with excellent marks. When it comes to the fifth science, if I’m not mistaken, it was economics. I didn’t understand the questions that came to me at all. However, I have read all the books on the subject. The questions seemed confusing. So I told the teacher what I had read. In the end, he asked me which book I had read and said that the topic would be covered next semester, that we hadn’t come to it yet. That means you gave a low grade for this trip and an excellent grade for the next semester. There were such interesting events.
- You worked in the weight category of 81 kg. At that time, Vladimir Shin and Rinat Trishev were fighting in this weight category in Uzbekistan. Do you think that healthy competition with them played a role, at least in part, in your success?
- Of course, at that time in the championship of the former Soviet Union in the weight category -81 kg belonged to the Uzbeks. The reason was that three strong boxers in this weight category were from Uzbekistan. Before the Seoul Olympics, Rinat Trishev took first place in the former Union Championship. In the qualifiers, I won. In both races, Vladimir Shin did not participate due to injury. But Vladimir Shin went to the Olympics. The reason was the last years of his career and it was his last chance. Also, at that time Vladimir Nikolaevich was more ready and experienced than me and Rinat Trishev.
- How was your relationship with them?
- You know, there is no “friendship” in boxing. Because if you go out to win and you don’t hit, they will hit you and win. So we were “rivals” in boxing. Outside the ring, our relationship was friendly. Rinat Trishev is my dear friend. When Vladimir Nikolayevich finished his career and became the coach of the national team of Uzbekistan, I trained under him. Overall, I was dear to all the opponents I faced in my weight class, and I have kept in touch with many of them so far.
- You mentioned above that the weight category -81 kg belonged to the Uzbeks ... Were there no other boxers who seriously resisted you?
- Of course there were. For example, in 1987-89 there was a former Union champion, European champion Vitaly Kachanovsky. There were so many. But we have won over them as well.
- You also went to the ring in professional boxing. What were the records like?
- Yes, at that time we were among the first boxers in this field. I have fought 12 fights in professional boxing and won 11 of them. As for the amateur. I went to 242 and won 218 of them.
- You once worked in the Professional Boxing Federation of Uzbekistan, and given your knowledge of professional boxing, what other factors do you think will be needed in addition to funding for the establishment of Uzbek promotional companies and their world-class status?
- First of all, it all depends on the money. In addition, a properly configured system requires perfect software. Advertising, telecommuting contracts, in a word, many factors are needed. I personally organized two fight nights in Tashkent at my own expense, and in a sense I can say that we were able to persuade our boxers to sign contracts with foreign promotions. Right now, I’m busy with other things. This direction has its own people and is gradually developing in Uzbek professional boxing.
- Speaking about the championship of Uzbekistan in Bukhara in 1993, then you were almost 30 years old and were in the leadership position. But have you ever won a championship?
- That's right, I was 32 at that time. If I'm not mistaken, it was the first championship of Uzbekistan after independence. At that time, I was working as a deputy director in one of the main departments of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations. I went to Bukhara on business and took part in the championship. I went to the service car in a suit and tie, put on a sports suit, participated, and became a champion. There was no news from the office. That same year, he had the opportunity to enter the ring at the World Cup in Budapest. Even though I played for the former Soviet Union team for 15 years, I never had that opportunity.
So I wanted to take advantage of this wonderful situation. Returning from Bukhara, I handed over the tasks assigned to me. Then I went to the Deputy Minister Abdugafur Abdurakhmanov, then the Minister at that time Utkir Sultanov, and told him that I had won the championship of Uzbekistan and that I had the opportunity to participate in the World Cup, if possible, I would like to participate. Utkir aka was also a good athlete. He asked my age. I said it was at 32. He asked when the championship would take place. So I was in a good and responsible position at work as well. In the field of transport, the situation was worse at that time. In short, he refused, saying that the work would be left behind. But there was a chance.
In other words, we wanted to write a letter through the Sports Committee and prepare an appeal in the sense that give us this employee, he would be able to defend the honor of our country in the international arena. However, the recorded version of the championship of Uzbekistan in Bukhara was aired a week later, and Utkir aka saw it. A commentator in my final fight told me I could go to the World Cup if I won. That day, the minister called us to him and said that “even if I didn't allow it, you would go to the championship”. We explained that this was a recorded tournament. Then he asked me to choose a job or a sport. So I chose the job and the letter from the committee was also stopped. So I couldn’t go to the World Cup.
- We heard that you were one of the responsible people in the Uzbek boxing team at the Sydney Olympics. In general, what are your impressions of this historic and successful Olympics?
- The Sydney Olympics were very memorable. A historic gold medal was won. Honestly, I was not an official member. I just went as a traveler. I was not even in the delegation. That’s why I didn’t live in the Olympics with our boxers. I stayed in a separate hotel. But I talked to all the boxers individually and tried to motivate them. For my part, I promised them $ 100 if they won the first battle, $ 300 for the victory in the second, and $ 500 for the third victory, and I gave them after the win.
Another noteworthy fact is that in the heavyweight category Rustam Saidov fought in the semifinals against the Kazakh boxer and had a relative advantage. But the victory was given to the Kazakh boxer. I appealed. This did not go down well with the then AIBA President Anwar Chaudhry. But considering that, it was on the verge of review. Some people who led the Uzbek boxing delegation did not like it and called someone and complained about me. Those people had called me and told me that the judges could do injustice in the rest of the fights and that I would not interfere in these cases. In the end, the appeal was withdrawn, this boxer being limited to bronze. The Kazakh boxer won a silver medal.
- At the end of our conversation, what advice or wishes can you give to our young boxers?
- Uzbekistan is a great country. A lot of talent, a good boxing school formed. Therefore, I believe that Uzbek boxers will be able to win 4-5 gold medals at the Olympic Games in the future. In a word, I always wish them good luck!