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Boxing champion Sasha Yengoyan faces deportation

15:11 13/03/2016

The Belgium-based Armenian boxing champion Sasha Yengoyan, who won several titles for Belgium, has been requested to leave the country because he has no work permit and his job as kitchen porter is not on the list of shortage occupations, reports Knack.

"My life is about to collapse," says the 31-year-old Yengoyan in De Standaard. The world super welterweight champion is a crowd favourite with 25 knockouts to his name. He faces deportation for a lack of work permit.

The Armenian lived for a long time in Spain, where he was nicknamed “la bestia del este” (the beast of the east). There he met Belgian boxing promoter and longtime friend Eddy Huughe, who trained Yengoyan and in 2012 brought him to compete in Belgium.

"My daughter Milena has been going to school here for four years and speaks Dutch. In other words, she is perfectly integrated," he says in the newspaper. "And my wife and I feel at home here."

In spite of his titles (BeNeLux champion and 2014 world champion), boxing still proves to be a difficult sport by which to earn a living, so Yengoyan went to work in a kitchen on a temporary visa.

"Unfortunately, kitchen porter is not on the list of shortage occupations," explains a spokesperson for Flemish employment minister Philippe Muyters in the newspaper. “To get a work permit, and therefore a residence permit, you must have a job that is on that list.”

Yengoyan last month received a letter in the mail stating that he would be required to leave Belgium within 30 days.


Written by Robyn Boyle