Yurik Mamedov Fights for the Yezidi People
By: Bryant Romero
Super lightweight prospect Yurik “DBSBC” Mamedov has a lot to be motivated for when steps into that ring. Not only does he fight for himself his family, but also the Yezidi people. Yurik also goes by the alias of the ‘fighting pride of the Yezidi.’ The Yezidi are a small population of people mostly based in Iraq and for years they have been terrorized by Turkey and now by Isis. Yurik through his boxing wants to bring more awareness to this ongoing issue that has gone underreported with no solution to the problem in sight.
“I am Yezidi myself and since 2012 we have been killed by Isis,” Yurik explained to me. “Because they want to convert us to Islam to become Muslim, they kidnap the women and turn them into sex slaves.
Photo Credit: Yurik Mamedov’s Facebook
“One of my cousins, we don’t know where she is. She could be dead or a sex slave I don’t know. I know that could be my sister. I feel like I need to be a voice for the Yezidi people.
“Through my boxing I can bring awareness to these people, to my people that need help. One of the reasons I step into the ring is to bring awareness to the Yezidi people, which is a genocide and nobody is doing anything,” Yurik said.
The 27-year-old is a well traveled young man and it took awhile for him and his family to get settled at a place they could call home. Yurik was born in Russia, then lived for awhile in Armenia but the situation there was too rough, which forced Yurik and his family to come to Germany where they waited two years to find out if they would get accepted into the country.
After being rejected into Germany, Yurik and his family stayed in Belgium for six months before finally making their way into France in September of 2001.
It was in France where Yurik and his family finally got settled but life wasn’t easy for Yurik while growing up in France. He was different compared to many that lived there, didn’t speak the language originally, and was picked on a lot, which resulted into many street fights.
“I couldn’t be friends with them, so I got into fights a lot and one day I remember one guy pushing me and I just punched him back and he just grabbed me and gave me a kick in my teeth and I lost two teeth,” Yurik said.
“Which still I have, I never put them back because it’s a reminder for why I started boxing.”
Not long after that, Yurik would run into a man that would be the breakthrough he needed to become a boxer.
“Three or four days after, there was this old man that would say hi to me and I thought maybe he knows the city and I could ask him for advice.
“So I ask him ‘do you know where I can find a boxing gym in the city.’ The answer he gave me was ‘I have my own gym and you can come if you want to.’ And this man who I ask is still my coach to this day.
“Everytime I fight I make sure that I get tickets for him to see the fight and be in my corner,” Yurik said.
That man goes by the name of Malek Ikhenach who would take Yurik to and back from the gym everyday to train. Together they formed a strong bond and Yurik began to have success as an amateur winning many fights.
Yurik’s first coach Malek would set up a two week camp in New York with another coach he knew in New York named Simon Bakinde. Being that Yurik was one of the best amateurs from France, he got the experience to train in America and from there realized he wanted to come back to train and see how his boxing career would play out in America.
“He (Malek) introduced me to Simon, so I talk to Simon and I stayed for two weeks and all we did was train and I love the way the people respect boxing. I asked Simon if I could come here and do this and he said ‘sure we just have to find a way to make it happen.’
“So I went back to France for one year and just work and save my money and I found a way to come to the U.S. as a student. I didn’t want to come illegally because all my life I was illegal from Russia to Armenia and I went through so much and I didn’t want to go back to that,” Yurik said.
At the age of only 19 Yurik decided to leave France to begin a new life in America and initially he didn’t get the support he hoped for when he made his decision. While he was winning fights in the amateurs, Yurik didn’t consider himself to be a special talent and even questions himself sometimes of why left France in the first place.
But he took the risk and eventually his family would have a change of heart with his decision to leave. He would compete in the Golden Gloves in New York after just a year of being in the States and he would reach the finals with his father and former coach in attendance as he lost a close decision in the final.
The well traveled 27-year-old is now (10-1, 3 KOs) as a pro and is slowly but surely climbing the rankings of the super lightweight division.
“My next fight will be in August,” he said. “I’m trying to get a bigger name. I want to get as much fights as I can. I want to be busy that is my number 1 goal.
“I want to do stuff at 140 and then gradually move up to 147 and 154 eventually. I feel very strong, my technique is there. It’s all about the right fights and the right time.
“I feel like next year, once I get 15 fights I’m ready for whatever,” Yurik said.