Armenian Boxers Pave Way for Olympics Competition

Team Armenia boxer Andranik Hakobyan

BAKU—Under heavy security and after threats from local groups, two Armenian boxers competing in the World Boxing Championships being held in Azerbaijan this week, qualified for the quarterfinals, thus ensuring a spot in the London Olympics competition next week.

Andranik Hakobyan (75kg) representing Armenia won a match over Juan Antonio Mersado from Mexico in the 1/8 final, ensuring his participation in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Boxer David Hayrapetyan (49kg), an Armenian from the Russia team, also won a spot at the 2012 Olympics by making it to the quarterfinal after beating Poland’s Lukasz Maszczyk.

The other six boxers representing Armenia were defeated in earlier matches during the competition.

Despite heavy security promised by official Baku, the Armenian athletes were met with jeers and insults from spectators at the Haydar Aliyev Sports and Concert Complex, where the competition was being held.

On Sunday, a group of spectators identifying themselves as members of the so-called Karabakh Liberation Organization began shouting ethnic slurs as Armenian athletes entered the ring and proceeded to throw rocks at the Armenian competitors.

Aqif Naghi, a leader of the KLO told Azeri media that they planned to create obstacles for the Armenians participating in the competition. He said they were getting ready for the “event” for awhile.

“We found out about when the Armenian boxers would be entering the ring. As soon as we saw them we threw stones at their direction,” declared Naghi.

The International Boxing Association was quick to reiterate on Wednesday that security measures are in place to protect Armenian participants at the competition after the stone throwing incident.

IBA spokesman Sebastien Gillot said the spectators responsible for the incident were thrown out by security guards.

Gillot also said that Azerbaijan is also protecting the Armenian delegation by providing separate housing, both the Armenian and Russian teams.


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  1. Realist said:

    Barbarian Azeris and Turks. They are the same mongols they were when they entered Anatolia almost a thousand years ago!

  2. Stewie said:

    Although there’s no cause or excuse for disruptive behavior on any athlete by any person or group, I can certainly see their point, though I certainly can’t condone such actions. However, if the roles were reversed, and the match was in Yerevan, and the two boxers were Azeri, there would have been a very good chance of something very similar, if not worse, occurring by the Armenian fans against the Azeri boxers. So, it evens out. Stop the whining and move on.

    • Hay said:

      I was expecting you to counter with “well what if the roles were reversed,” and I am very glad that you did. Now I can put you back in your place. In fact, Azeri athletes have participated in sports events in Armenia in the past, and not once did they have a single problem. We welcomed them and accommodated them to the best of our abilities. We are not animals like you. Even after the disgusting fan behavior in Baku, Armenians would still never do such a thing, even to retaliate. It is just not in us to be barbarians. We are creators, not destroyers. And we know that throwing rocks does not accomplish anything. Unfortunately your kin is still stuck in the stone age, no pun intended.

    • bigmoustache said:

      dont just assume, the same isnt for yerevan. ive been to armenia many times and seen azeris. last time i saw a minibus with a small azeri flag logo on the window. i was told theyre businessmen etc. the same does not happen in azerbaijan. they wouldnt even let an armenian in. they kicked out a journalist from an internation media because she was armenian. and regular people of armenian background face harassment, arrest and even murder.

    • bigmustache said:

      the fact that you cant condemn your own people because ‘the others are doing it too’ shows your turk nature. we cant expect ANY good from you ANY time

    • Fred said:

      Stewie. I can guaranty you. Armenians in Yerevan would not make themselves look like fools infront of the entire world community. One thing 12000 years of civilisation has tought us Armenians is how to be civilised, when the whole world is watching.

    • Papken Hartunian said:

      Stewie, your conclusion is based on Turkish logic. I wander how come you can write fairly complete sentences without being able to convey a logical message. It could be that Turks have been using the same kind of logic justifying their Genocide against their Armenian citizens. Remember, Turkish soccer team has played in Yerevan without any disrespectful conduct.

    • Norin Radd said:

      Stewie, please keep your Red Herring analogies in the trash where they belong. Simply because the potential for similar incidents to occur within the realm of possibility exists for Azeri athletes visiting Armenia for competition DOES NOT excuse via the argument of equivalence the actions that DID ACTUALLY OCCUR against these Armenian athletes. You’re trying to divert attention away from this incident by drawing up a speculative conclusion that “had this been Armenia, the same thing could have happened” and using such speculation you’re also trying to create a fabricated justification for such behaviour that from a logical standpoint, has no legs to stand on.

      Had you any inlking regarding the nature of sportmanship, you would understand that this type of behaviour is not only something that SHOULD be “whined” about but it should be punished severely and condemned by the international sport community. The perps should have been not only thrown out but prosecuted, but we certainly can’t expect any extension of real “rule of law” from Azerbaijan’s authorities, they are clueless when it comes to law and order not to mention democracy.

      Claiming this incident as being “no big deal” then we must also claim that the incidents that took place with the Jewish Athletes in Berlin where they were taken as hostages and then executed was also okay. Or that the recent violence that took place at Dodger stadium with Brian Stowe who was attacked and is now in a coma in San Francisco is also trivial. Or that the stabbing of Monica Seles was also acceptable and should not have been “whined about”. Or that the bludgening of Nancy Karrigan during her routine by Tania Harding was also no big deal and should not receive “coverage” and be condemned with outrage.

      If it is not okay for any of these athletes to have been attacked, maimed, or killed then certainly by overwhelming precedence, Armenian athletes deserve no less than safe and secure passage to their sporting event, regardless of where it may have been held. The ANCA, the Armenian Government, and every other Armenian organization should file a formal complaint against this incident and push forward reforms so that this type of behaviour is not tollerated again. I find it amazing that the Azeri government and sporting officials were not on higher alert regarding this matter in order to guarantee the athlete’s safety ahead of time knowing that the situation would be sensitive.

      Military and Guerilla aggression have no place in sporting events amidst athletes that volunteer to show up and perform for us, if you believe otherwise, you are an idiot.

  3. Gagik said:

    @stewie, Why do you feel the necessity of reading Asbarez and commenting on every article!
    What is your pay rate for being a professional troll?

  4. Edward Demian said:

    Hey Stewie
    I don’t know how much you’re getting paid to spout this provocative propaganda garbage, but is it enough? When the Turkish team payed in Yerevan, they were treated with respect. The primitive behavior your ethnic co religionists display only makes us look good. Keep it up. Watch out, you dishonor your religion where hospitality is a Muslim obligation. Instead of seventy virgins, you’l only get seventy fleas.

  5. Edward Demian said:

    Stewie? Whats that? Trying to pretend that you’re American. Ashamed of your real name? Come now. What is your “rag head” name anyway? Mahmoud, Mohammad, Ali? I don’t blame you. If you posted your real name. no one would take you seriously. Stop posting here. This is a highbrow site. Lowbrow opinions are not respected.