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Taimazov vs. Kuramagomedov is the new “Bout of the Week” on USA Wrestling Audio/Video website



USA Wrestling has updated its new "Bout of the Week" which has been posted as a video file on-line on TheMat.com Audio/Video website .

The featured match this week is the Artur Taimazov vs. Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov gold medal finals at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. in men's freestyle at the World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China.

The championship bout at super-heavyweight featured a pair of past World champions, both with a long list of international achievements. There was a contrast of size and styles when Artur Taimazov of Uzbekistan battled Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov of Russia for the 2006 World title.

Although he was only a little more than a year older, Kuramagomedov emerged on the international scene much earlier than Taimazov. Kuramagomedov was a star for Russia on the Junior level, winning two Junior European titles (1995, 1996) and a Junior World title (1996), all at 88 kg.

His first Senior appearance was at the 1996 World Cup, where he won the gold medal. In 1997, at the tender age of 19 years old, Kuramagomedov competed at the Senior World Championships held in Krasnoyarsk, Russia and won the World title at 97 kg, defeating veteran Ahmet Dogu of Turkey in the championship match.

Kuramagomedov remained a star for Russia, winning a World bronze medal in 1998, a European title in 1999 and two more World Cup medals. Also competing at his weight for Russia during that four-year Olympic cycle was Saguid Murtazaliev, who won the gold medal at the 1999 World Championships, then captured the spot on the Russian team for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. It was Murtazaliev who won the Olympic gold medal for Russia in Sydney, while Kuramagomedov was left at home.

It was the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games where Taimazov made his big breakthrough. After growing up in the Russian system, Taimazov won an Olympic qualification tournament prior to the 2000 Games, helping Uzbekistan gain a spot at the weight class in Sydney. At the Olympic Games, wrestling fans will remember his wild high-scoring bout against American Kerry McCoy in the preliminary rounds, which Taimazov emerged as the winner. He qualified for the gold-medal finals, where he lost to Russian veteran David Mussulbes and brought home a silver.

If you take a look at Taimazov and Kuramagomedov at that time, it would be hard to picture them wrestling each other. Taimazov is one of the largest and strongest of the heavyweights in the world. Kuramagomedov is much shorter, and has a thick build.

Taimazov followed his Olympic silver medal with another silver at the 2001 World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, losing to Mussulbes again. In 2002, Taimazov suffered a dip in his performance, dropping to eighth at the World meet in Tehran, Iran. He added an Asian Games title later in 2002.

At the same time, Kuramagomedov continued competing at 96 kg, winning the 2002 European title. The new Russian star at this weight was Georgi Gogchelidze, who won the 2001 World title and was sixth at the 2002 World meet. In spite of his success, Kuramagomedov was not getting his chance to wrestle at the World Championships.

It was in 2003 when Taimazov and Kuramagomedov began to cross paths, after Kuramagomedov moved up to 120 kg. Both were entered in the 2003 World Championships in New York City. Taimazov made it all the way to the finals, where he defeated American Kerry McCoy in overtime in front of McCoy's hometown fans. Kuramagomedov finished out of the top 10.

The 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece reconfirmed Taimazov's lofty place on the World level. Taimazov defeated Kuramagomedov in the quarterfnals by a 7-3 margin, and he went on to win the gold medal, stopping Iran's Ali Reza Rezai in the championship round. Kuramagomedov placed sixth in the final standings.

The 2005 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary saw neither wrestler earn a medal. Kuramagomedov made the bronze-medal match, where he was defeated by American Tolly Thompson and he finished fifth. Taimazov lost an early match to Rares Chintoan of Romania and did not qualify for the wrestlebacks, placing 10th in the final standings. Turkey's Aydin Polatci claimed the gold medal in Budapest.

Kuramagomedov remained Russia's top superheavyweight, even though he had not won a World medal in three years. He won European titles in both 2005 and 2006, and earned another chance at the 2006 World Championships in Guangzhou, China. Taimazov started the year off well with a title at the 2006 FILA Golden Grand Prix finals.

Kuramagomedov reached the World gold-medal finals in Guangzhou with victories over Francis Villanueva of the Phillipines, D. Lkhangbadorj of Mongolia and Farden Valadi of Iran. In the opposite bracket, Taimazov stopped Jose Cuba of Spain, Ruslan Basiev of Armenia, Otto Aubeli of Hungary and Recep Kara of Turkey.

The match between the giant from Uzbekistan and the fireplug from Russia determined the World title in 2006, with Taimazov winning his third-career World-medal title with a victory over Kuramagomedov.

This popular feature will be changed on a regular basis, allowing members to enjoy many of the greatest matches in wrestling history. Posted in the archive section of the Members Only web page was 2006 Sajid Sajidov vs. Revas Mindorishvili gold medal finals at 84 kg/185 lbs. in men's freestyle at the World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China. Many other entertaining and historic matches are in the archive section for the Bout of the Week.

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