LOWELL — The Boston Marathon suspect who died in a gunfight early Friday morning is a Lowell Golden Gloves boxer who told The Sun in 2004 “I like the USA” after winning his first fight here.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was reportedly chased down by officials in a massive manhunt and killed Friday morning. His brother, Dzhokhar, 19, is still on the run.

Tamerlan grew up in Grozny, Chechnya, the capital city of the Cechen Republic. Much of Grozny was destroyed during the Russia-Chechen conflict, and Tsarnaev and his family moved to the United States in 2003 in hopes of starting a new life, according to a Sun article from Jan. 21, 2004.

Tsarnaev fought in Lowell in the 178-pound novice class in 2004, and won that January night.

“I wanted to fight in the Gloves to see how I would do,” Tsarnaev told The Sun that night. “So far, so good.”

He also said: “I like the USA … America has a lot of jobs. That’s something Russia doesn’t have. You have a chance to make money here if you are willing to work.”

Tsarnaev’s said his first love was music. He said he studied music at a school in Russia and played the piano and violin.


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