Cuban Boxing: Bronze Medal Secured and Historic Success in Santiago 2023

Cuban Boxing: Bronze Medal Secured and Historic Success in Santiago 2023
Fecha de publicación: 
26 October 2023
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The advance of three men to semifinals and the first victory of a female at this level highlighted Cuba in the boxing tournament at the XIX Pan American Games.

Arlen López (80 kg), Julio César La Cruz (92 kg) and Saidel Horta (57 kg) secured bronze medals in duels of different characteristics. Legnis Calá (57 kg) set an unprecedented happening for the Island.

Arlen, twice Olympic champion, defeated the Colombian Central Caribbean runner-up in San Salvador 2023, Jhojan Caicedo, based on a job that reminded us of his best version, which he vows to uphold.

Effectiveness in attack, marked by the use of the "upper", which lately had little presence in his punches was combined with good defense to win by RSC in the second round after interventions of the referee.

«My level has gone a notch up and since the first fight I felt good, although that day the plan was to cover the three rounds. Now things worked out good also and that's how it will be next time," he said about his match against the Argentine Abraham Buonarrigo, on Thursday on a single date for silver medals.

For Julio, another who has accumulated two Olympic medals, the task was less complicated, given his arsenal and the limited range of the courageous Chilean Andrés Salgado, whom he defeated 5-0 with individual votes of 30-26, 30-27 , 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.

"My congratulations to him, who did everything possible to respond to his audience, but I did what was told from the corner and it has been another step forward in search of a better result here and qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games," he sentenced.

He will be up on the arena to exchange blows with the well-known Ecuadorian number two in Lima 2019, Julio Castillo, who defeated the winner of a world bronze medal, the Mexican Rogelio Romero.

Horta's success had the added bonus of revenge and a result full of tensions. The mission was to remove the Colombian Wilmar González from the competition, who defeated him in the Salvadoran capital, and he succeeded.

He had a great first round, although a judge insisted on seeing him lose. He received a count in the second (for many unnecessary) which influenced the provocative decrease of 0-5 against him, and everything was left for the final round.

He resumed the rhythm in the opening seconds, but an injury over his left eye forced actions to a halt and the officials had to issue the verdict based on what had happened until then.

They voted 3-2 for Horta and similar was the final balance of a match that opened the doors to his clash with José Luis de los Santos, a third-ranked Central Caribbean Dominican who was his victim in the last world competition.

«The goal of achieving a very active first round was met, and although later I think I did not deserve the count, I was able to do my boxing, without falling into the mistakes of our previous fight, which is why this has been one of the most enjoyed in my career," he said.

The news contributed by Calá, silver in El Salvador, had the added meaning of winning 4-1 over the Mexican Jennifer Carrillo, runner-up of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, who will remember her punching dissertation as a nightmare from the long range.

«I focused on working with straight punches because we knew it was the best way to neutralize her. “I mentally prepared myself to overcome the pressure I felt after my two teammates could not achieve their victories,” she said.

"I knew that if I fought from the outside I could win, and that's why the challenge was to keep her at that range," said the Cuban, who also combined with hooks "because we are working more with them to vary the attack."

Defeating the Venezuelan Omailyn Alcalá for bronze is the most immediate goal of the representative of the Island, who in the midst of joy insisted that we write about the role of her coaches, including the first of them, Nardo Mestre.

The world runner-up Fernando Arzola (+92 kg) won over Canadian Marcel Jerome Mouafo, winner of the title in the continental competition organized in August in Cali.


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