Ten years after having won the World Boxing Championships by country for the last time, Cuba ecovered her crown at the Doha-2015 tournament with four gold medals, two silvers and one bronze.
Still inexperienced in the previous two world championships, they are the same boxers who now, fully matured, have placed the country back in the position it deserves for this kind of boxing competition.
That is the main difference with the Baku-2011 and Almaty-2013 Championships because ven though Lázaro Álvarez has been the most stable boxer of his generation with three recent world titles (one Pan-American gold medal, one Central American gold, and one Olympic bronze), in addition to having attained excellent results at the World Series of Boxing (WSB), the rest of the team members needed more time to fully mature.
In Doha, Álvarez also faced a hard challenge competing against Russian-born Albert Selimov, the Chicago 2007 gold medalist who now boxes for Azerbaijan and who had defeated him at the WSB finals.
Nicknamed ‘The Prince’, Álvarez did not fully convince the judges in the first round but went into the second round determined to defeat Selimov, which he did until the doctors felt they needed to stop the fight.
Despite the high quality of rivals, which does not always let boxers perform as they would like to in the ring, other Cuban boxers were not so aggressive and in turn were defeated.
It seemed as though the coaches were not aware of the scores, because they maintained the same boxing strategy throughout.
Only three of the Cuban boxers returned emptyhanded, but even the announcement that boxers Roniel Iglesias and Yasniel Toledo had lost, caused a lot of controversy.
Iglesias did not perform very well in the first round but prevailed in the second and third rounds, with a 10-8 score from the two judges. One of the judges however voted in favor of Iglesias’ opponent in the final score.
In Toledo’s case, it is unbelievable that a judge saw him win the whole fight (30-27) and two judges didn’t (28-29).
Worth praising are the performances of two boxers who made their debut: Arlen López and Joahnys Argilagos, the latter only 18 years of age.
Also worth mentioning is the performance of Julio César La Cruz, the only “veteran” with the Cuban boxing team (since 2008), whose medal did not take anyone by surprise.
Cuba has gained a new position in addition to the five the country gained at the previous World Series, this time won by Argilagos.
The Cuban boxers who have yet to win a ticket to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics still have a chance at the continental qualifying events and a competition involving boxers who competed at the World Series and the AIBA Pro Boxing competition.
With Rolando Acebal as the head coach, the Cuban boxing team is reaping the rewards of the work begun in 2011 with most of its members when the objective of rescuing the sporting figures of the Cuban Boxing Academy was proposed. Doha-2015 is the proof but not the finishing line.Share on FB Share on TT