NATIONAL BOXING FEDERATION
THEN AND NOW
Long ago, in 1894, the Bulgarian ministry of education invited 12 Swiss teachers and experts in physical development, who introduced two new study programs in local schools – gymnastics and French boxing. After World War I officers from the occupation armies brought to Bulgaria the very first boxing gloves and English soldiers played several demonstration games in the capital of Sofia. The spark has been lit. Hundreds of Bulgarian citizens, mostly from Sofia, began their education in “the noble art of self-defense”.
Since then, Bulgaria grew into a country with great authority among the world of boxing. Boris Georgiev was the first local athlete to win an Olympic medal, after he reached the bronze in 75kg category Helsinki 1952.
At the Munich games in 1972 Georgi Kostadinov won the first gold medal for Bulgaria in boxing. After that, golden medals were brought by Peter Lesov in Moscow 1980, Ismail Mustafov in Seoul 1988 and Daniel Petrov in Atlanta 1996. At present Bulgaria has 4 golden, 5 silver and 8 bronze medals from Olympic games.
Bulgaria took part of the first boxing World Championships in Havana and from this moment on the country is a key participant, as well as one of the medalists. In Munich 1982, Ismail Mustafov also known as “The Fly” became the first world champion for Bulgaria in amateur boxing. The all-time record belongs to Serafim Todorov, who reached the highest step of the podium on three occasions. Nowadays, Bulgaria has 293 medals from Olympic games, World and European championships, 61 of them are gold, 90 are silver and 142 are bronze.
One of the great names in the world of boxing is the Bulgarian athlete and academician Emil Zhechev, who headed for many years the Referee department at the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and was president of the European Amateur Boxing Association (EABA). He became the first person, who was awarded with the AIBA order for special merits.
One of the oldest competitions in the world “Strandzha” tournament is organized, already for six decades, in the capital of Sofia.
Sofia, a city with population of about 1.6 million people, is the boxing capital of Bulgaria. Almost all the biggest boxing clubs originate from the capital – CSKA, Slavia, Levski, Lokomotiv. Also Sofia has 50 of 90 juniors boxing clubs in Bulgaria.
Status of Boxing in Bulgaria
Number of Boxing Clubs in Bulgaria - 90 clubs
Number of Youth Boxing Clubs in Bulgaria - 90 clubs
Number of Youth Boxing Clubs in Sofia - 50 clubs
Number of Man Boxing Competitions - 4 / year
Number of Women Boxing Competitions - 4 / year
Number of Youth Boxing Competitions - 4 / year
Number of Junior Boxing Competitions - 4 / year
Number of School Boys Boxing Competitions - 4 / year
Number of National Youth Boxing Championships u22 - 1 / year