THE sovereign state of Mongolia, historically Outer Mongolia, is bordered by the might of both China and Russia but surprisingly, it is holding its own in the Olympic and World championship boxing rings – especially for a country of a little over 3 million people. In fact it is the most sparsely populated sovereign state in the world; its peoples’ largely of nomadic origin. The country’s old Communist party ruled for many years, but in the early 1990s the democratisation movement came to the fore and remains the major political force in the country today. Mongolians are tough, resilient and very proud people and their disciplined and varied life-style have helped them succeed, mainly in recent times on the international amateur boxing stage. More of this however a little later on.
Amateur boxing emerged there in 1948 and in 1960 the Mongolian Olympic boxing team was formed. Mongolia first entered the summer Olympics in 1964 and has been an ever present since, apart from 1984, when it joined the old Soviet led boycott of the Games. Their first foray into the Olympic ring came in 1972 in Munich.
Seven Olympic boxing medals have been acquired – one gold, two silver and four bronze; while ten medals have been bagged at the AIBA Men’s World championships – one gold, four silver and five bronze. Quite an impressive haul for a very small country (population wise, and one which is spread over a huge land mass).