Ivan Mihaylov: The box attracted me after watching a movie

- Tell us how did your sport career start?

- I started training in the town of Sliven in 1961. Then I entered the barracks and I became champion twice in the team tournament. Later, I came to the team of Lokomotiv Plovdiv, where I became a Bulgarian champion three times, followed by the European Championship in 1967, where I participated for the first time in such a great competition and I did not expect to qualify, but actually I won a bronze medal. In 1968, I also won a bronze medal at the Olympics in Mexico.

- Why did you choose boxing?

- My wish has always been to practice boxing and at the time only this has attracted me as a sport. Then I watched a movie, "Heavy Gloves," and I liked the main role of a boxer.

- What did you learn from boxing? What qualities did you develop?

- Many things. But what is most important is discipline.

- How does the preparation for a competition go?

- We were constantly in camps. When one camp ended, they let us rest for 4 days and then back to camp. After each of them we had competitions - most of them international. And I think this training helped me to perform well. Maybe that's why I was so long part of the national team.

- And what about the Olympic Game?

- The preparation was very good and we knew what we were preparing for. It does not matter whether you go to a competition, the Olympic Games, or just to a camp - you have to perform well. And we have to present Bulgaria perfectly! It was difficult, but we were always motivated.

- After your sports career ended, you become a coach. What did  attaract you to coaching?

- There was nowhere else to go. I had to be a coach. What I had to do was to be a coach.

- How do you motivate young people to achieve high scores?

- I trained many guys and they were all good. I had a lot of champions, as well as the 2 nd and 3 rd places. What I always taught them was discipline. The most important thing to go up is having discipline . Without it nothing will happen. It is the only way to motivate yourself to win.


* The interview is published with edits by the author. All rights to the text created under the project "Olympic Medalists of the City of Plovdiv" belongs to "Youth Center Plovdiv". 


Project "Establishing Youth Centre in the city of Plovdiv", with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014 ДО3-9/28.01.2014

Youth Centre Plovdiv - a powerful factor for local development" under the „Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Enhanced Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups” programme with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021 № BGLD-1.003-0002