• Dzhambulat Khatokhov weighed 75 pounds when he was just 2 years old
  • He was the focus of a 2007 documentary, titled "World's Biggest Boy"
  • His mother received criticism for doing nothing to help him lose weight

A Russian sumo wrestler, who once held the record for being "the heaviest kid" in the world, has died Tuesday, at the age of 21.

Dzhambulat Khatokhov weighed about 75 pounds as a 2-year-old kid, which was about twice the normal weight of a child at that age. He shot to global stardom in 2003, at the age of 3, when the Guinness World Records named him the heaviest child in the world.

Betal Gubzhev, the head of Sumo and Mass Wrestling Federation of Kabardino-Balkaria – the region where Khatokhov lived – announced his death in an Instagram post Tuesday. The exact cause of his death wasn't mentioned in the post but local media reports said he suffered from kidney problems, according to Reuters.

"The record holder of the Guinness Book of Records, the first sumo wrestler of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic Dzhambulat Khatokhov has passed away," Gubzhev told TASS, a Russian news outlet. "My condolences to the relatives and friends."

A 2007 documentary, titled "World's Biggest Boy," was centered around a 7-year-old Khatokhov who weighed a staggering 224 pounds at the time, which the filmmaker likened to that of a baby elephant. In 2008, a British doctor, Ian Campbell, had asked Khatokhov's mother, Nelya Kabardarkova, to change his diet to lose weight but she declined to take the advice and kept encouraging the boy who wanted to become a sumo wrestler.

Campbell had warned Kabardarkova of the dangerous downsides of child obesity. "His weight means he has a greatly increased risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease," Campbell had said in the documentary. "As a result of being so heavy so young, his life expectancy is likely to be greatly reduced."

"My child is not ill, he's just unique," Kabardarkova said in the documentary. "If others think otherwise, that's up to them."

Khatokhov had reportedly lost nearly 120 pounds by his 18th birthday with the help of his trainer Yusif Nurullaev.

Sumo wrestlers live in spartan conditions and endure punishing training sessions
Sumo wrestlers live in spartan conditions and endure punishing training sessions AFP / Behrouz MEHRI