Mikhail Shakhov took up wrestling in 1951, when he started to serve with the Soviet Army. Shakhov’s best year was probably 1956, when he won his first Soviet freestyle bantamweight title and was selected to the Soviet 1956 Olympic team. At the Olympics, Shakhov lost to freestyle bantamweight gold and silver medal winners Mustafa Dağıstanlı and Mohamed Mehdi Yaghoubi by decision, but defeated his other two opponents by fall and earned a bronze medal. Shakhov also won a bronze medal at the 1958 World Cup and competed at the 1960 Olympics, where he was sixth. Domestically, besides his 1956 Soviet title, Shakhov won two more Soviet freestyle bantamweight titles in 1960 and 1961 and a Soviet freestyle bantamweight bronze in 1957. After finishing his sporting career, Shakhov worked as a wrestling coach, mostly in his native Ukraine, but in the 1970s he spent six years as the coach of the Polish national freestyle wrestling team. His most famous pupils were the 2008 Olympic freestyle light-heavyweight bronze medalist Taras Danko and the 2012 Olympic and 2012 European Freestyle Championships heavyweight silver medalist Valeriy Andriitsev.