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At Moscow’s martial arts, Putin greeted by boos

world Updated: Nov 22, 2011 00:16 IST

AP
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Vladimir Putin was greeted by catcalls when he stepped into the ring after a mixed martial arts fight at a Moscow arena on Sunday night.

The Russian prime minister, a judo enthusiast, has long been an admirer of Russian heavyweight mixed martial arts fighter Fedor Emelianenko and came to see him take on American Jeff Monson.

After Emelianenko won, Putin stepped into the ring to congratulate him, but was met with catcalls from many of the 22,000 fans at the Olympic stadium.

The whistles and shouts could be clearly heard on the live television broadcast.

Russian Professional Boxing Federation spokesman Andrei Bazdrev said on Ekho Moskvy radio that Putin seemed taken aback by the negative reaction, but quickly regained his composure. Speaking over the din, Putin praised Emelianenko as a “real Russian bogatyr”, a term for a medieval warrior.