The titled Russian athlete Alexei Papin is often called the "Russian hero". He has won all the notable kickboxing awards. Then he retrained as a boxer, which came as a surprise to many. Now his goal is to become the world professional boxing champion.
Alexey was born in the Moscow region (city of Reutovo) in 1987.
He entered the sport at the age of seven - his father brought him to kickboxing. Alexey won the first fight at the competition, it became a powerful motivation to continue training.
Alexey was not always engaged only in kickboxing. In childhood and adolescence, he went through different sections. Among them were aikido, judo, game types (football-hockey) and even gymnastics. But kickboxing nevertheless turned out to be closer to the young athlete, and he returned to the section.
The first trainings took place at the Peresvet training center in his hometown. Alexey recalls that sometimes he didn't want to go in for sports at all. Then his father explained to him why systematicity is important, how to overpower yourself and come back to the hall.
In 1998, the first significant training results appeared - Alexey became the leader at the city championship. Then there were many more competitions at various levels. Although Papin did not get to the prize-winners everywhere, there were enough victories, as well as the experience of such events. At the age of 14, Alexei participates in the Championship of the Armed Forces and becomes the winner.
A qualitative breakthrough in skill happened after the transition to the adult category. At one of the competitions, Alexei managed to win by knockout the master of sports, while he himself was in the status of a candidate. Among the spectators of the tournament was Viktor Ulyanich, who worked as a senior boxing coach at the CSKA sports school. The promising Daddy was invited to the club, where he did military service, and then stayed on the contract.
World-class victories began with the athlete in 2007. Then Alexei won the kickboxing World Cup held in Yalta (in the category up to 81 kg). Among his achievements:
- six victories in the Russian championship;
- three times European champion (first heavyweight, WAKO version);
- world champion in kickboxing (WAKO);
- champion belts from WAKO-Pro, ISKA, W5.
Papin began to comprehend the nuances of professional fights in his youth. Grigory Drozd came to his native Reutov then for training. He was in the stage of transition to professional boxing, was engaged under the guidance of the same trainer that taught Alexei - Sergei Vasiliev. Since 2011, Drozd again began performing as a professional. In training, Alexei Papin worked with him as a sparring partner.
Then there were other famous boxers with Alexey in sparring. For example, in 2015 he was invited to the team of D. Kudryashov, and a month later he trained with A. Povetkin. Subsequently, Povetkin's manager will begin to do the same job for Alexei Papin.
Since Alesei was still a kickboxer, all these numerous sparrings with eminent athletes helped him a lot to improve his boxing technique. Kickboxers use the body a little in the fight, since there is a high risk of getting kicked or kneed by an opponent. At first, Alexey simply stopped using his legs, but quickly realized that this was not enough. He learned many of the differences and professional techniques from experienced fighters.
In the same 2015, Papin made his debut as a professional boxer. The start was successful - he knocked out S. Beloshapkin by technical knockout. The fighter's style has become distinctive - he acts aggressively and powerfully, most of his victories end in knockout.
Papin also had the experience of performing in the 91+ weight category. But it did not work out, so the boxer returned to his usual first heavy category.
Having mastered a little among Russian boxers, Papin goes to the international level. Argentinian Sergio Angel became a dangerous rival at the beginning of this journey. He was very uncomfortable for Alexey, but the Russian boxer managed to "run over" him, and the fight ended ahead of schedule.
In 2018, Papin took over 35-year-old Shihepo (Namibia). After this fight, he became the IBF champion in his weight and got into the top 15 of the rating of this international federation.
Papin considers a left hook to be his signature blow, although the boxer is right-handed. But there was a period when the right hand was injured. I had to practice and practice blows mainly with the left. Since then, this is his "crown".
Now the athlete is coached by Andrey Ivichuk.
In the personal life of Alexei Papin, everything is fine. Daddy is married, his wife's name is Valentina. They have known their future wife since childhood. At the age of eight, Alexei was engaged in judo, it was in the gym during training that he saw Valentina. Young people got married in 2010, now they are raising a daughter, Elizabeth (she is 9 years old). The wife of Alexei's fights almost does not watch, because she is very worried about the outcome of the fights and for the health of her husband.
Alesei has a legal education, which he received at the International Law Institute under the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. However, at the moment, he is not sure if he is ready to pursue a career as a lawyer after the end of professional boxing fights.
Daddy loves motorcycles very much, but so far there is not enough time for this hobby. Although family and friends discourage him from this extreme activity, he hopes to someday get a powerful motorcycle for himself.
Alexey dreams of living in a private house with a large family. According to the athlete, he would like to have at least three children.