Valeri Popenchenko (left) at the 1964 Olympics
|Born||26 August 1937
|Died||15 February 1975 (aged 37)
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||75 kg (165 lb)|
|Club||Dynamo St. Petersburg|
Valeri Vladimirovich Popenchenko (Russian: Валерий Владимирович Попенченко, 26 August 1937 – 15 February 1975) was a Russian amateur boxer who competed in the middleweight division (−75 kg). During his career he won 200 out of 213 bouts; he won an Olympic gold medal in 1964 and European titles in 1963 and 1965. He was named the Outstanding Boxer of the 1964 Olympics and given the Val Barker Trophy, becoming the only Soviet boxer to receive the honor.
Popenchenko took boxing in 1948, and in 1959 won his first Soviet title. He finished third in 1960, but reclaimed the title in 1961 through 1965. He retired in 1965 and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. In 1968, he graduated from the Leningrad Military Higher School of the Border Service, and from 1970 until his death worked as a head of physical culture department of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. In the mid 1970s the university was building new sporting facilities, and as department head Popenchenko would often visit the construction site. On 15 February 1975, while running down the stairs where handrails were not yet installed, he lost his balance, fell three floors and died. He was buried at Vvedenskoye Cemetery.
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