Suleyman Mikayilov was born on April 27, 1962 in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan. He started training in boxing in 1976 and began his career in the 63-kg weight class to finish it in the 81-kg weight class. Throughout his career he used a strong counter attacking style in the ring.

In 1977, he became a member of the National Junior Boxing Team and eventually was selected as a member of the prestigious Dynamo Sports Boxing Club in the former Soviet Union. Mikhayilov was one of the leading youth boxers in the USSR, winning six national championships. His favorite memory was at the “Boxing Hopes” competition in 1978 when he was a finalist on his birthday. Two of Mikayilov’s boxing heroes are Muhammed Ali and Teófilo Stevenson.

In 1980, he began his studies at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Education, intending to become a professional boxing coach and graduated in 1984. In 1981 Mikayilov retired from boxing. Less than a year later, Mikayilov’s former coach asked him to return to boxing, saying that he could not leave the ring without one more championship. Mikayilov retired as a boxer for the second time in 1983 after being crowned Azeri Champion.

In 1990, he became a National Level Coach, training 25 boxers. In 1995 Mikayilov returned to school, enrolling at the Faculty of Law at Baku State University, earning his law degree in 1999.

Mikayilov became a government official in 1995, working in various ministries and serving as governor of several regions in Azerbaijan. Since 2010, he has been the Governor of the Garadagh Region near Baku, the Azeri capital.

In 2001 Mikayilov was appointed Vice President of the Azerbaijan Boxing Federation. In this role, he has developed boxing in Azerbaijan by opening boxing academies and boxing training centers throughout the country, among other initiatives.

In 2010, answering to serve the global boxing family, Mikayilov began his involvement with the AIBA, the International Boxing Association. He was elected to the AIBA Executive Committee and has been reelected twice. Since then, he has attended every Olympic Games, Youth Olympic Games and AIBA World Boxing Championships as Head of AZE National Boxing Team. His position in the AIBA EC automatically grants him a position on the European Boxing Confederation Executive Committee.

Suleyman Mikayilov is married, has one daughter, one son and a grandson. He speaks fluent Azeri, Russian and Turkish.



As an engaged and committed candidate for the AIBA Presidential election, Suleyman Mikayilov has built a campaign team that combines Azerbaijani and international expertise.

Campaign Manager

Naghi Safarov, also Secretary General of the Azerbaijani Boxing Federation, who has a deep knowledge of AIBA, boxing, and international sport.

PR and Administration Team

As part of the Baku team, Ayan Aghayeva, an international expert who worked for the European Games in 2015, Youth Olympics 2018, and is currently part of the Baku Formula 1 Grand Prix, heads up a strong PR and Marketing division. The team includes UK-based Acosta Sport Consulting, Maxwell Sports Communications and E3 Communications from the USA. Nuray Hajiyeva is another vital part of the team. She has a wealth of experience working in international media relations and social media management for properties including Formula 1, Chess Olympiads, and the European Games in 2015. Pirim Pirimov who has experience in media operations with major multi-sports events in Azerbaijan and the Middle East.

Global Sports Investigation (GSI)

GSI, with Senior Advisor Richard Caborn, the former UK Minister of Sport, are supporting Mr. Mikayilov’s candidacy and advising on his plans to secure deep and lasting reform for AIBA governance and integrity structures. The GSI team, which combines representatives from The Sport Consultancy and Quest, includes:

  • Sir Mark Rowley (Director, Quest and former Lead on Counter-Terrorism and Deputy Police Commissioner, Metropolitan Police)
  • Martin Smith (CEO, Quest)
  • Gordon Briggs, QPM (Senior Investigator, Quest)
  • Eddie Marshbaum (Director of Sports Integrity, Quest)
  • Robert Datnow (Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Sports Consultancy)
  • David Becker (Consultant Partner, The Sports Consultancy Legal)



Boxing has been integral to my life since I was a young boy.

No single person and no amount of doubtful money injection can clear all AIBA’s debts and secure the Millions of Swiss francs needed to run its operations.

After the election, an aggressive and fully-fledged reform process must be implemented. Without doing so, we cannot be trusted by the IOC. I have been frustrated and watched first-hand how judging systems have been implemented over the years. We need to restore faith in our judging system with effective use of new technology.