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Boxing: Cuba opens up to professionalism after 60 years

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Judgment Cucchi, Ilaria:

(ANSA) – HAVANA, APRIL 04 – Cuban boxers will be able to take part in professional competitions, for the first time since 1962. This was announced by the president of the Cuban Boxing Federation, Alberto Puig.

“We have been working on a contract for three and a half years that truly corresponds to the philosophy of Cuban sport, regarding the inclusion of our boxers in professional boxing,” Puig told state television. The federation has therefore signed a “representation contract” with a Mexican company, the Golden Ring, with the first meetings scheduled for May in Mexico. “In a first phase, we will involve a team of five or six boxers, in Europe or Latin America, who will then return to the Cuban boxing school,” Puig explained, adding that four Cuban boxers have already signed four-year contracts. “It is a privilege to have reached this historic agreement with the Cuban sports authorities, which will mark a before and after in boxing,” Gerardo Saldivar, president of Golden Ring Promotions, said in a statement.

In the wake of the revolution led by Fidel Castro, Cuba had abolished professional sport in 1962 before making a timid turnaround for some sports such as baseball, volleyball and basketball in 2013. Boxing had been able to start competitions on a semi-professional level. in 2014, through the local team of the ‘Tamers of Cuba’ participating in the World Series of Boxing (Wsb). He has won three of the five editions in which he participated, the last of which was in 2018. In the ring the Caribbean island has long been unbeatable in the amateur, with 80 world titles and 41 Olympic titles, although over the years it has suffered numerous desertions by boxers who have left to seek a better future elsewhere.

“Now participating in the professional championships will increase our level of competition, because we will face high-level boxers like us and this will allow us to remain in the boxing elite,” commented Cuban boxer Julio César La Cruz, double Olympic champion and five times World Champion. (HANDLE).

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Source: Ansa

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