NYT Finds Strangest Anecdote Yet on Tamerlan

It involves an impromptu classical musical performance at boxing registration

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 27, 2013 4:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – The New York Times is out with a lengthy history on Tamerlan Tsarnaev, its takeaway being that Tsarnaev's life seemed to go off the rails when his promising boxing career came to a halt in 2010 over his lack of citizenship. (The Golden Gloves ruled he couldn't compete in its national tournament.) The story has interviews with former classmates, his landlady, and even a former trainer, the latter of whom helps provide this anecdote about the teenage Tamerlan:

  • "Jumping right into boxing after his arrival in the United States, he called attention to himself immediately in more ways than one. During registration for a tournament in Lowell, he sat down at a piano and lost himself for 20 minutes in a piece of classical music. The impromptu performance, so out of place in that world, finished to a burst of applause from surprised onlookers."
  • Adds then-trainer Gene McCarthy: “He just walked over from the line and started playing like he was in the Boston Pops."
Click for the full story, which includes another anecdote about Tamerlan, clad in cowboy hat and alligator-skin boots, walking into the locker room of a Golden Gloves opponent and taunting him and his trainer. Soon after, he was disqualified from competing.

In this 2009 file photo, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left, fights Lamar Fenner of Chicago. Tsarnaev lost, though he and others thought he got robbed.   (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Rick Egan)
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