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Meet the last Olympic welterweight champion, Daniyar Yeleussinov

Daniyar Yeleussinov
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
'My biggest strength is my boxing talent, though I still get thoughts of doubt that I have to overcome,' says Daniyar Yeleussinov

When and why you started boxing:
I started boxing when I was nine years old, as my dad [Marat Yeleussinov] was a boxing coach and my brother [Dauren Yeleussinov] was a boxer.

Favourite all-time fighter:
I’ve got a long list of favourite fighters! My favourites are: Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jnr, Floyd Mayweather, James Toney, Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Joe Calzaghe, Wilfred Benitez, Shane Mosley, Winky Wright, Cory Spinks, Canelo Alvarez, Zab Judah and Gervonta “Tank” Davis. I like them because of their boxing styles, their defensive skills and their combinations.

Best fight you’ve seen:
This is another one where I’ve got a long list! The best fights that I’ve seen are: Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard vs Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns I, Oscar De La Hoya vs Hector Camacho, Floyd Mayweather vs Diego Corrales, James Toney vs Iran Barkley, Pernell Whitaker vs Julio Cesar Chavez, Mike Tyson vs Trevor Berbick and Roy Jones Jnr vs Glen Kelly.

Personal career highlight:
My best moment so far is when I won Olympic gold in 2016.

Toughest opponent:
From my time in the amateurs, Souleymane Cissokho, Eimantas Stanionis and Alexander Besputin are the opponents that stand out. They had fast reflexes like me.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My biggest strength is my boxing talent, although sometimes I get thoughts of doubt that I have to overcome.

Training tip:
Learn to defend yourself.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
I enjoy eating the national dishes of my home country, Kazakhstan. I particularly like beshbarmak [boiled meat with noodles] and kazy-karta [horse meat sausage].

Best friends in boxing:
I’ve got a lot of good friends who are boxers. The ones that come to mind are: Ivan Dychko, Mussa Tursyngaliyev, Luis Arias, Steve Geffrard, Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Souleymane Cissokho.

Other sportsperson you would like to be:
I previously wanted to be a football player. Now, though, I’d want to be an athlete if I wasn’t a boxer. I can run 100 metres in 11.45 seconds and I can reach a distance of three metres from a standing long jump.

Last film/TV show you saw:
The last TV show that I watched was Comedy Club.

Who would play you in a film of your life:
My sons could play me once they’ve grown up.

Last time you cried:
I cried when I was praying during Ramadan.

Best advice received:
Never listen to gossip.

Worst rumour about yourself:
That I’m arrogant.

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