In 2014, many Crimean athletes faced a serious choice. Some of the athletes left the peninsula and continued to play as part of the Ukrainian national team, some opted for the Russian national team and received a new passport.
One of those who received a new sports citizenship was the promising boxer Gleb Bakshi, who later won gold at the World Championships.
At home, the athlete is recognized as a terrorist.
Bakshi was born in Simferopol, where at the age of 7 he began boxing, enrolling in the local Tavria. The athlete’s talent became apparent quite early. In 2010 and 2011, Gleb became the winner of the Ukrainian championship among juniors, and then twice became the winner of the tournament already at the junior level.
Already at the age of 13, the athlete was invited to the national team, and from the age of 17 the honored coach of the country, Ivan Karandey, began to train him. Under him, Gleb began training six days a week: between morning and evening classes, the boxer sometimes had to sleep in the ring.
Around the same age, Bakshi seriously thought about quitting the sport. The guy needed money, and boxing at that time did not bring him any income; on the contrary, he required more and more investment. Gleb had to work as a loader to support himself, and it’s no wonder that lifestyle wore the guy out. His own father’s and… Alexander Usik convinced him to continue his boxing journey. The famous Ukrainian wrestler was also born in Simferopol and was Bakshi’s main comrade.
Gleb Bakshi’s social networks
Big win in his career
However, the promising boy did not get into the adult national team of Ukraine. In 2014, when Crimea was annexed by Russia, Bakshi decided to give up his Ukrainian passport in favor of a Russian one.
Having changed his citizenship, Gleb immediately began to compete in the internal competitions of his new homeland. To avoid the difficulties associated with the disputed international status of Crimea, Bakshi began to represent the Kemerovo region. The newcomer managed to break into the elite quite quickly. The boxer showed himself excellent at the youth level, and then made his brilliant debut at the adult championship of Russia, winning bronze.
Two years later, Bakshi went to the World Championships, which was held in Yekaterinburg in 2019, and won the main prize of his career – a gold medal in the category up to 75 kg. Two years later, Gleb also received a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
criticize at home
In the former homeland, however, the athlete’s success was perceived coldly. The Ukrainian media noted that Gleb managed to win the World Cup only because Alexander Khizhnyak did not come to Russia. In the same season, the Ukrainian defeated the Russian at the European Games; he could not repeat this result due to the fact that the national team of his country announced the boycott of all tournaments in Russia.
Bakshi himself, even before the start of the championship, called this lineup “sad”. The athlete refused to criticize the Ukrainian federation and spoke about Khizhnyak only in a positive way.
– I dreamed of revenge in Yekaterinburg. I consider him the most dangerous opponent at the moment, the best regardless of category. But we can fight on equal terms with him, – RT quoted Gleb as saying.
Subsequently, in Ukraine, the athlete was fully recognized… as a terrorist. The boxer’s profile appeared on the infamous “Peacemaker” website: the authors of the portal called Bakshi a militant for a photo in the DPR military uniform. The negative attitude towards the athlete at home persists to this day: Ukrainian users regularly criticize Gleb in their posts on social networks.
The Russian boxer, however, for the most part does not respond to these criticisms. Now Bakshi is focused on a new stage of his career: since 2022, the athlete has been playing as a professional and already has three victories on his account.