Born on 25.12.1944 in Sliven
Ivan Mihaylov Nikolov – Mihalkata, as he is known, is the first athlete from a club in Plovdiv, out of football, who has won a medal from Olympic Games. This happened in 1968 in Mexico City, Mexico, where he won a bronze medal in the category of 57 kg. He took two third places at European championships – in 1967 in Rome, Italy for men and in 1969 in Bucharest, Romania for youngsters, as he also has a silver medal for youngsters from 1965 in Bucharest, Romania. He won a gold medal from the boxing championship at the World Youth Festival held in Plovdiv. Nikolov entered the boxing hall in 1961 in his hometown of Sliven and was trained by Dobri Zagorov. Mihalkata served and played for the team of CSKA (1963 – 1965), where he became champion of the Team Championship (1964 and 1965). He was then transferred in the team of Lokomotiv (1966 – 1972), where he again became champion of the Team Championship in 1967, 1970 and 1971.
In CSKA he was trained by Vasil Kostov – Vazata, and in Lokomotiv (Pd) – by Vangel Turpov – Gecheto. At the ring he participated in 207 official matches, including 53 international, in the categories up to 57 kg and up to 60 kg. He was national competitor from 1964 until 1972. Ivan Nikolov ended his competitive career at the end of 1972 and became a coach in the team of Lokomotiv (Plovdiv).
Since 1979 until today, with a brief interruption, he has been a boxing coach at the Vasil Levski Sports School and at the United Sports Boxing Club.