The Kazakhstan Boxing occupies a leading position in the world sport and our country is the boxing nation. Kazakhstan prepared boxers in 10 weight categories for Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The work of Kazakh people’s son Shokyr Boltekuly is incommensurable in achieving this goal. He is called ‘The King of Kazakh Boxing’. We present 15 facts about the life of this extraordinary person.
1)Shokyr Boltekuly was born 100 years ago, on 29 October, 1916 in Sarkauak near the village Sharmysh of Mangystau Region. His name is assonant with the name of very quick and persistent fish of sturgeons. He was born in the family of the fisherman, who caught fish on the banks of old Caspian Sea. His childhood was not happy.
2)Shokyr lost his sister after the parents’ death in the complicated time for people. He was sent to an orphanage in Fort-Shevchenko before impending disaster and famine, and he grew up there.
3) Due to remarkable talent and eagerness, Shokyr Boltekuly graduated from two higher educational institutions: Visual Arts Academy and Physical Culture Institute in Kiev. He had started boxing since 1936, in the walls of ‘Temp’ sports society. He trained there and instructed others.
4) In 1937, he organized Championship in Boxing in Almaty and gave rise to the history of boxing in the country. The tournament organized by him became large and was known to people under the names ‘Dinamo’, ‘Spartak’ later.
5) The youth of the talented sportsman passed through the war years. Before going to the front, he was admitted to ‘SMERSH’ — military counter-intelligence. Researchers of his biography have not written about that fact. Some information became available from his daughter Toty Shokyrkyzy.
6) After the Great Patriotic War, he continued his activity as a trainer in Almaty. When ‘Spartak’ sports society won the Championship of the USSR, where he worked, he was the first who received the title of Master of Sports among Kazakh youth.
7) He is three-time Champion of Kazakhstan, 199 fights of 223 were ended with knockout.
8) Shokyr Boltekuly was under constant control of law enforcement for a secret trip to China. State authorities summoned him for questioning several times. He kept in touch closely with B.Momyshuly, B.Mailin, Sh.Aimanov, K.Kenzhetayev.
9) Since the war years, he had written his surname without the suffix ‘ov’, only with ‘uly’. He often deprived of appropriate privileges for that reason and was attacked constantly. One day, during the questioning by investigator Kabanov he said: ‘Because I am not a son of Boar (Kaban), I am Boltek’s son’. This is the case of life, but today it seems more like a legend.
10) Another feature of his nature was talent of drawing. Despite the fact that he did not graduate Art School in Baku, he often surprised people with his drawings. The famous writer Beimbet Mailin asked him to paint a portrait of Tatar writer Gabdulla Tukay. The lobby of the G.Musrepov Theatre for Children and Youth and the alley of M.Gorky Park are decorated with the drawings by the famous boxer.
11) The second side of Boltekuly’s personality. From mid-1940, his materials in a variety of genres were authoritative publishing houses such as ‘Sotsialistichesky Kazakhstan’: on practical results and theory of sport, coaching techniques and students; skills. According to researchers, the books about the history of boxing by him were lost.
12) Another his ability was reading heroic epics by heart. The famous writer and sports journalist Seidakhmet Berdikulov in his article ‘I more znaet svoi istoki’ (‘And the sea knows its origins’) spoke with admiration that Shokyr read the epos ‘Er Kosay’ consisting of 1899 rows fluently.
13) Stories about Shokyr’s generosity passed down from mouth to mouth. Shokyr Boltekuly gave a new motorcycle, presented to him by one of his admirers to one young boy who was standing close to him and staring.
14) The famous boxer’s wife Nursulu Tapalova was the first ballet dancer among the Kazakh girls. In 1936, Nursulu Tapalova became a solo dancer of Kazakh Academic Opera and Ballet, in 1947, she received the title of the Honored artist of the Kazakh SSR at the age of 24.
15) Shokyr Boltekuly died on 6 April, 1994 in Almaty. The legends about his boundless love for Motherland and people, patriotism, simplicity and generosity of character, firmness that resisted all the adversities of fate are still created to this day.
By Zangar KARIMKHAN