An article in the New York Times characterized Tamerlan Tsarnaev as a “cocksure fighter, a flamboyant dresser partial to white fur and snakeskin.” He was also an amazing pianist. His family’s former landlady (79) of a decade said Tamerlan’s trip to Dagestan merited notice, but he was not radicalized in Dagestan.
“Ms. Herlihy, who speaks Russian and was friends with the Tsarnaevs, said she told law enforcement officials that his trip clearly merited scrutiny. But she said that Mr. Tsarnaev’s embrace of Islam had grown more intense before that.”
“As his religious identification grew fiercer, Mr. Tsarnaev seemed to abandon his once avid pursuit of the American dream. He dropped out of community college and lost interest not just in boxing but also in music; he used to play piano and violin, classical music and rap, and his e-mail address was a clue to how he once saw himself: The_Professor@real-hiphop.com. He worked only sporadically, sometimes as a pizza deliverer, and he grew first a close-cropped beard and then a flowing one…” Source: New York Times
“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.”
“He just walked over from the line and started playing like he was in the Boston Pops,” his trainer at the time, Gene McCarthy, 77, recalled.
Having trained in Dagestan, where sport fighting has an impassioned following, Mr. Tsarnaev boxed straight-legged like a European and not crouched, American-style. He also incorporated showy gymnastics into his training and fighting, walking on his hands, falling into splits, tumbling into corners. So as he started working out in Boston-area clubs — and winning novice tournament fights — he made an impression, although not an entirely positive one.
“For a big man, he was very agile,” said Tom Lee, president of the South Boston Boxing Club. “He moved like a gazelle and was strong like a horse. He was a big puncher. But he was an underachiever because he did not dedicate himself to the proper training regimen.” Source: New York Times
Tamerlan Tsarnaev photo courtesy of Barcroft Media.