Cuban boxing in San Salvador: Girls were outstanding, boys not so much

Cuban boxing in San Salvador: Girls were outstanding, boys not so much
Fecha de publicación: 
1 July 2023
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Cuba once again bet on young blood at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador 2023, with five of its seven men boxers as debutants in this sort of competition, and the bet did not go well.

On the other hand, in the case of women, all of them faced their first fights. Two of them had never fought abroad and the other four had only fought in the recently-concluded ALBA Games, but girls can leave with their heads held high at the improvised box staged in the Salvadoran Foreign Ministry.

Although too much was not demanded from the girls, there is always the desire for the best, and they did not disappoint, getting a silver medal through Legnis Calá in the 57 kilograms, and two bronze medals with Arianne Imbert (66kg) and Yakelin Estornel (75kg).

Calá impressed in the ring and despite losing by RSC against Puerto Rican Ashleyann Lozada in the final combat, she was facing the gold medalist in Barranquilla 2018. Imbert and Estornell lost easily in their respective combats, but it only showed how much time we lost in delaying the training of our women boxers.

I strongly believe that the color of the medals will significantly improve in the next Central American Games. With four more years to train, I am pretty sure of this statement.

In the case of men, we casted doubts especially with Jorge Cuellar (71kg), because we think that Roniel Iglesias can still win at this level. Other than that, Cuban men boxers did not perform well in general.

World runner-up Saidel Horta (57kg) lost his first combat and he was disappointing. I did actually not see it coming after watching him fight in at the Tashkent World Cup.

Nobody can argue that Arlen López (80kg) was the widely favorite at his weight, but he returned home without the gold, as it happened five years ago. From his first combat, he found himself too uncomfortable with an opponent whom he should have dominated easily, and ultimately he lost in semifinals.

Erislán Romero (51kg), Cuéllar and Erislandy Álvarez (63.5kg) lost to very challenging opponents, and they did their best so I have nothing to reproach, although I expected more.

Just two gold medals, Fernando Arzola (92+kg) and Julio César la Cruz (92kg), for third time in a row.

Both showed mastery and fought every combat without taking anything for granted as over confidence is dangerous, especially in this sport discipline.

Therefore, the impact of the flagship of Cuban sports were barely noticeable with two titles.

In Barranquilla 2018 we earned six gold medals, now we got two. The Cuban Boxing School cannot be happy with these results.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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