Acebal wants Cuban boxing team to reach resounding results in Chile

Acebal wants Cuban boxing team to reach resounding results in Chile
Fecha de publicación: 
10 September 2023
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After performing poorly in the last Central American and Caribbean Games, the head of the boxing coaching staff, Rolando Acebal, wants Cuban boxing team to reach a resounding performance in the upcoming Pan American Games to be held in Chile, which is set to begin in October.

In an exclusive interview to CubaSí, the experienced coach confirmed the team wants to outperform the results achieved in the last regional event, when they won two gold medals.

“We competed in San Salvador with most of the young athletes who had recently been involved in the World Championship. We saw them with their medals and we thought they were ready to win, but there are also top boxers in the area. Our athletes did not compete well before the boxing styles of their opponents. But we have corrected that so this mistake cannot be made again in the Pan American competition.

“This tournament must be stronger than that of the Central American Games as national teams of the U.S., Brazil, and other will be involved. We know that most of the countries have maintained the same line-up with which they traveled to the World Championship, but we are training very well, without interruption despite all the limitations that we are aware of. We lost about 70 percent of our boxers, both some of our top stars and rising stars, great prospects. Most of our line-up is made of young athletes. We are practically competing with a third generation, when in fact, it should be the time for the second generation. They still have a long way to go but they are training very well. They are determined with a lot of desire to succeed.”

 Do you think they are up to take on this challenge that comes before their time?

“They have the quality and they just need to have more competitive training, because tactics in the ring are achieved by fighting and it is one of the most important components of a boxer's formation. Historically, we enjoyed many events where we participated and now these tournaments are gone. It is a fact that we are trying to reverse it with domestic competitions. But it does not meet all the goals since they know each other very well. But we have no other choice.”

How will you decide who competes?

“Before the Pan American Games, we devised three boxing days made of six fights to define the boxers that would represent our country in Chile, the last of them being planned for October. For example, it was convenient for us to take Erislandy Álvarez to San Salvador so our star Lazarito Álvarez got his act together and that is what we wanted. Now, the division is the element taken into account in international competitions, not the boxer. Hence, every athlete must stay fit and cannot ignore his training. It is a very positive, healthy competition. Lazarito is more experienced, but he has to earn it. In theory I would like him to complete the cycle and finally push himself to the Olympic gold that we need so much, but he has to keep up one hundred percent because Erislandy is the current world silver medalist.”

What’s left until Santiago 2023?

We will train in France, September 9-26, and we have included the second tier athletes as well, and then we will go to Pinar del Río, where there is a new boxing academy. If it were up to us, the national team final roster would not be made official up until the very last minute, so everyone can remain focused.”

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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