Champion Boxer Shoots Man in Eye

A top amateur boxer helping to train the Russian Olympic boxing team ahead of next month's Beijing Olympics was arrested Monday in Vladivostok for shooting a man in the eye in a drunken fight, local media reported.

Roman Romanchuk, a silver medalist in the super-heavyweight division at the 2005 Amateur Boxing Championship, got into an argument with another man in a central Vladivostok bar at around 8:30 a.m., PTR-Vladivostok, a local television and radio station, cited a police source as saying.

The local resident, Oleg Meshkov, 22, pulled out a four-shot "Osa" pellet gun and fired a warning shot in the air after quarreling with Romanchuk, 29, who also captured the silver medal at the 2006 European Boxing Championships, PTR-Vladivostok reported.

A scuffle ensued, during which Romanchuk grabbed the weapon and shot Meshkov in the eye, the report said. The bullet penetrated Meshkov's brain, and he was hospitalized in critical condition, it said.

Romanchuk tried to flee the scene, but was arrested by local police, PTR-Vladivostok cited the police source as saying.

The Russian boxing team had been holding its pre-Olympic training camp in Vladivostok, and Romanchuk had been helping the fighters get ready for the Beijing Games, which open Aug. 8, said Natalya Kazanova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Boxing Federation.

The team's head coach, Alexander Lebzyak, said the incident would "not disrupt our work."

"Our schedule will continue as planned," Lebzyak said, RIA-Novosti reported. "That Romanchuk has disappointed the team goes without saying."

Southpaw Rakhim Chakhkiyev will represent Russia in the heavyweight division. Chakhkiyev, 25, defeated Romanchuk last year for the spot.

Romanchuk is married and lives in Moscow, according to the Russian Boxing Federation's web site.