Cuban boxing is not the same one it was years ago, but it still retains its world class, and is expected to maintain once more its vanguard ranking and contribute to Cuba’s results in the London 2012 Olympic Games. It has a pending debt since Beijing 2008, when it did not obtain any gold medals.
Now, once more the fight will be hard, but not impossible to win. At the British capital the Antilleans have three world champions in their team: Lázaro Álvarez in the 56 kg division and team captain Julio César la Cruz, who obtained their titles in Baku 2011, and Roniel Iglesias in the 64 kg division, who climbed the podium’s highest level in Milan in 2009.
A handicap for this selection is that not all divisions are represented, plus the extreme youth of its members, since Iglesias is the only athlete with a previous participation (bronze in China, 2008). However, in an e-mail message he stated that “we are well prepared and my forecast is to obtain more than three gold medals”.
Risky forecast, although anything may happen. In addition to these three boxers who head the Antillean team, Yasnier Toledo (60 kg) could surprise, since he is in the elite of his division, but he will have to defeat Ucranian favorite Vasyl Lomachenko, who was his executioner at the Azerbaijan capital last year,.
Robeisis Ramírez, in the 52 kg division, shows as best results his titles at the first Olympic Games of the Youth held in 2010, when he was selected best in America, and his world juvenile crown, a championship where Yosvany Veitía also climbed the podium with a bronze medal in the 48 kg division.
The other two athletes who will represent Cuba at the London Olympic contest are in the heavy divisions: José Ángel Larduet in 91 kg and Erislandi Savón in more than 91 kg. Larduet was world third in 2009 and Savón was world juvenile champion that same year.
With these records they all have medal options, but undoubtedly Julio César la Cruz and Lázaro Álvarez are the ones that create illusions of reaching the highest level of the podium. However, although the outcome depends, among other things, of the draw, it is unquestionable that all opponents have to be defeated in order to win.
The history of Cuban boxing in the Olympic Games is a very glorious one, with 55 medals, of which 32 gold, 15 silver and 8 bronze. The most outstanding figures: Teófilo Stevenson and Félix Savón, with three belts each.
This sport will be responsible to a great extent for the place to be obtained by the Cuban delegation in the Games. The Excel Arena will be the venue for the competition starting July 28.