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Dead Boston Bombing Suspect Trained To Make U.S. Olympic Boxing Team

As the nation is glued to the news and social media in search of whatever reliable information is out there, the identities of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers are slowly coming into focus.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspect who was killed early Friday morning, was an amateur boxer with aspirations of making the U.S. Olympic team. A 2010 photoessay in The Comment, the graduate student magazine of Boston University's College of Communication, depicted Tsarnaev in training.

In the four-page spread titled "Will Box for Passport," Tsarnaev says: "I don't have a single American friend. I don't understand them."

Tsarnaev, who had been studying engineering at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, had taken a semester off to train for the National Golden Gloves competition in Salt Lake City. He had hoped to make the U.S. Olympic team for the 2012 Games and become a naturalized American.

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According to The Comment, Tsarnaev's family left Chechnya in the early 1990s for Kazakhstan, where he lived before coming to the United States as a refugee. He said would rather compete for the U.S. than for Russia in the Olympics in the absence of an independent Chechnya.

Shortly after the photoessay was published, Tsarnaev captured the heavyweight title in the New England Golden Gloves with a points victory over Brian Daniels, winning the Rocky Marciano trophy.

He'd boxed almost immediately after arriving to the U.S. from Chechnya in 2003, winning a Golden Gloves novice fight at the 178-pound weight division in January 2004.

Douglas Yoffe, the boxing coach at Harvard University, joined Boston's NPR News Station on Friday and described Tsarnaev as aloof.

"He became a good amateur boxer," Yoffe said. "He was a tough kid, but he was deceptive looking -- he didn't look like a tough guy. But he did have an arrogant, disdainful attitude. He didn't interact, and most of the other kids are pretty friendly."
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