Olympic Champion and two-time World Champion Mr. Istvan Kovacs of Hungary is the new AIBA Secretary General
The AIBA appointed a new Secretary General, Hungary’s Mr. Istvan Kovacs who was one of the most successful boxers in the 1990s. The seven-time National Champion, Olympic Games winner, two-time AIBA World Champion and two-time European Champion Istvan Kovacs is also an experienced official. Kovacs had virtuoso style of boxing and he worked from longer distance using his footwork which was the best in the world in that era.
The Hungarians are in the Top10 of the overall ranking of the Olympic boxing medal table with 10 impressive titles. Hungary earned altogether 10 gold, two silver and eight bronze medals in the boxing history of the Olympic Games. One of them was earned by Istvan Kovacs in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games at the bantamweight (54kg).
His first main event was the 1988 European Junior Boxing Championships which was held in Gdansk, Poland. Kovacs defeated East Germany’s Jan Quast, West Germany’s Jürgen Müller, Finland’s Petteri Rissanen before his re-match with Romania’s Petrica Paraschiv. The Hungarian talent has done a superb revenge in the final of the light flyweight (48kg), following his previous loss, and taking his first major title.
Kovacs well-prepared to the 1990 AIBA World Cup and amazed the experts with his virtuoso technique in Dublin where he claimed silver medal. He had the strong motivation to win the flyweight (51kg) at the Goteborg 1991 European Boxing Championships and the 21-year-old Hungarian succeeded in the event after beating Bulgaria’s Daniel Petrov and Germany’s Mario Koch.
Kovacs arrived to the venue of the Sydney 1991 AIBA World Boxing Championships as one of the favourites of the flyweight (51kg). Following his crucial battle against US hope Tim Austin, he was still enough fresh in the final to beat DPR Korea’s Choe Chol Su and became the first ever Hungarian who won an AIBA World Boxing Championships.
Kovacs dominated his contests during the road to the semi-finals in the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 but finally he claimed only bronze medal due to his loss to DPR Korea’s Choe Chol Su. Following his Olympic bronze medal, Kovacs returned with a bronze medal at the Bursa 1993 European Boxing Championships.
Kovacs returned to the world of boxing in fantastic shape at the Vejle 1996 European Boxing Championships which was the lone qualification event for the Atlanta Olympic Games. Kovacs was highly confident against a former Tajik boxer, Russia’s Malakhbekov and won their exciting final by 6:1. His gold medal at the Vejle 1996 European Boxing Championships guaranteed the quota place for the Atlanta Olympic Games
The Hungarian dominated his bantamweight (54kg) contests in Atlanta but he had a hard job in the semi-final of the 1996 Olympic Games when he faced with Thailand’s Vichairachanon Khadpo. He managed to win that narrow contest and he used also the best tactic against Cuba’s Arnaldo Mesa in the Olympic final.
Following his Olympic gold medal, he remained among the amateurs as his home city Budapest hosted the 1997 AIBA World Boxing Championships. None of his strong South Korean, Lithuanian, Uzbek, Russian and German opponents were able to stop him in Budapest and he claimed his second World Championships title. Kovacs turned to professional after his gold medal in Budapest in November 1997 and won almost all of his contests becoming World Champion. Following his boxing career, he established various businesses in Hungary, opened a restaurant and became a popular media person. He remained in professional boxing and became official in WBO. Koko, which is his nickname, is one of the most popular sportsmen in Hungary. Kovacs approved the position for the AIBA Secretary General and plans new reforms as head of the staff.
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