Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that boxing was the first sport he ever really tried to get into as a boy.
Speaking to athletes on the sidelines of the ‘Russia is a Sporting Power’ Forum in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday, Putin recalled the events.
“The first sport I ever got into was boxing. I got my nose broken, and that all came to an end. I never went to a doctor about it, and my nose ended up healing for a very long time. Time ended up passing and I switched to another sport,” Putin said.
Athletes presented the president with a diamond glove emblazoned with the initials of boxers who had won world champion honours, and asked Putin if he would visit them for a joint training session. Putin thanked them for the gift and wished them luck.
Recently, Putin’s spokesman said that the Russian president, 67, continues to enjoy sports whenever he has the opportunity. Putin took up judo when he was 11, and also holds an 8th dan in Kyokushin karate and a 9th dan in taekwondo. He took up hockey shortly before his 60th birthday, and regularly plays with other Russian officials and even foreign leaders, including Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
In 2018, at a rally, US President Donald Trump joked that the "fake news media" seemed to want him and Putin to "get into a boxing match," and bragged "I think I'd do very well."