Cuba Domadores earn narrow first-leg lead in World Series of Boxing semi-final

Cuba Domadores celebrated victory in the first leg of their World Series of Boxing (WSB) semi-final against the French Fighting Roosters in Paris.

Cuba Domadores, the 2014 and 2016 champions, were hoping a strong away performance could set them up for a fifth consecutive appearance in the finals of the franchise event.

Jorge Grinan looked to give the Domadores an ideal start when he met the French Fighting Roosters overseas boxer Gabriel Escobar Mascuñano in the under 52 kilogram flyweight bout.

The Cuban fighter suffered defeat as Mascuñano earned a unanimous points victory.

Sofiane Oumiha represented the hosts in the 60kg lightweight event at Salle Wagram, where he faced Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, a two-time Olympic bronze medallist.

Victory was earned by Oumiha, who edged Alvarez after a closely fought encounter.

Action continued with the 69kg welterweight division, which saw France’s Patrick Momene take on Roniel Iglesias.

Iglesias, London 2012 Olympic champion in the light welterweight division, prevailed via a unanimous points verdict.

The penultimate fight of the evening saw home favourite Gaetan Ntambwe meet the Domadores’ Julio La Cruz in the 81kg light heavyweight event.

The first leg concluded with an over 91kg super heavyweight showdown between the Roosters’ Mihai Nistor and Cuban rival Jose Larduet.

A strong performance saw Larduet secure victory on points.

The Domadores will seek to defend their advantage when the two teams meet again next Friday (May 25).

The second leg of the semi-final will take place at the Coliseo Ciudad Deportiva in Havana.

Defending champions Astana Arlans Kazakhstan will hope to hold off the British Lionhearts the following day.

Yesterday, the Kazakh team earned a 3-2 victory in their away match in Sheffield.

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Cuban Domadores against Colombian Heroicos in WSB

The Cuba Domadores appear as favorite over the Colombia Heroicos in the final match for group A of the 8th World Series of Boxing (WSB) to take place next Friday.

With 12 points, four wins and one loss, the WSB current runner-up only need achieving any kind of victory over the South American squad, which will be local, to end as leader of this Poole A as thus, they would surpass the Uzbek Tigers, who amount 13 units, but already finished their performance of the qualifying stage.

The Caribbean side will use its aces Lazaro Alvarez (60 kg), Roniel Iglesias (69), Julio Cesar La Cruz (81) and Jose Angel Larduet (+91).
The four of them are world medalists, are unbeaten in two outings in the current season and have higher rank than their opponents: Duvan Zuleta (0-2), Jhan Carlos Ubarnes (0-1), Diego Motoa (0-1) and Cristian Salcedo (1-1).

The Central American silver medalist Ceiber Avila (52), undefeated in two bouts this season, is the major hope of victory of the local side as he will face inexperienced Arnolys Bignotte (0-1), only Cuban with lower pedigree than his rival.

The Colombia Heroicos amount seven points and no matter the result of this match they will rank third in Group A, while the Venezuela Caciques already finished on bottom of the standings with four units.

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Uzbek Tigers secure 4-1 win over Cuba Domadores in Olympic showdown

The Uzbek Tigers hosted the Cuba Domadores in a packed Tashkent arena on Tuesday night; with the home team looking to make amends for their 5-0 Week Two defeat in Havana.

A hard earned victory for the hosts served as a reminder of their strong team and their great potential to reach the Play-offs.

Led by Rio 2016 Olympic Champion, Hasanboy Dusmatov, the Tigers clinched the three points showing a marginal superiority over the Cuban squad in what was a feast of Olympic boxing of the highest level.

  • Published in Sports

Boxing: Once Again the Everlasting Spark of Cuban Sports


Boxing, with five gold medals and two more in the World Championship of Hamburg, ran off as the best individual Cuban sport in 2017. Julio Cesar La Cruz commanded the team with his fourth medals in a row.


He makes his way with his fists. That has been an unquestionable foreign principle of Cuban boxing since the 70’s of the last century, when Orlando Martínez (48 kg), Emilio Correa (67) and Teófilo Stevenson (+81) had a golden debut in the Olympic Games on September 10th, 1972 in Munich.


Up until today our boxing school has established a universal feud, challenging the rest of the powers in boxing. Only in the Olympic Games we add 37 golden, 19 silver and 17 bronze medals, while in world championships, the score soars up to (76-34-25).

The Cuban team kept this year in Hamburg (five golden and two silver medals) the hegemony reclaimed in Doha, Qatar 2015. Those, in fact, were the only golden medals of our sport movement in World Championships of 2017, together with equal amount of silver and bronze medals.


Running a preliminary analysis is more than fair that our boxing team had achieved the position as best individual sport, as well as the Domadores had deserved the distinction among the teams.


The Domadores team was runner-up on the VII World Championship. I personally still have a bitter taste as for the yield they showed. I remember waking up at 5:00 a.m. like thousands of other Cubans to enjoy the final match day. We were almost caressing victory, after the smashing start, but it faded little by little, until the team broke down on the second half of the tournament.


Anyway as consolation remains the fact of being the most winning team in the competition, winning 43 out of 61 fights.


On top of that another solid argument is that we have located five of our boxers in the first or second position in the AIBA World Ranking, other two are third and one of them is fourth on a total of ten divisions existing at present. Likewise, to this side of the Atlantic, they made it clear who’s in charge, with eight gold medals in the continental competition, besides two runner-up positions.


Any other country of the world with similar successful record in boxing would be brimming with joy. In our case, although we end the year on the ring with Playa de Girón Tournament and great satisfaction, the role of everlasting spark role of boxing always raises a notch. The always demanding boxing fans are at times unaware of all the efforts and variables that must come together to win medals on the elite.


The “crossroad” of Two Hellish Cruz


Julio Cesar la Cruz, and Andy Cruz. Just mentioning these two names now inspires respect and care in any rival. From the corner, even when they don't show it, the coaches of the opponents are almost sure their pupils will enter a lost battle against the “Cruzifiers” from Cuba.


Julio Cesar won the fourth gold medal in world championships in a row. Very few boxers in history have accomplished such deed. With a style that has won the nickname of “The shadow”, for his cat-like speed to get close, punch and avoid the blows of his rivals, dancing on the ring, waving his torso, La Cruz had a terrific year winning 12 out of his 13 combats.


By the way, in the final match in Hamburg, as mimicking what happened in Qatar in 2015, he bent the knees of the Irish Joe Ward again.


Although his fighting style still doesn’t convince some fans, there’s no doubt he has an elevated degree of effectiveness. Actually winning his fourth medal in a row won him the best individual sportsman of the year.


Andy Cruz, is assessed as one of the best boxers pound by pound today, I totally agree. Chosen as the most outstanding boxer in the World Championship of Hamburg, the boy from Matanzas won over the 18 opponents he faced in 2017, six of them in an impeccable way in the VII World Championship of Boxing.


To his first world medal he added the Pan-American title, therefore he appears on the second position of the world ranking in the 64 kg. That is why he has been chosen as Rookie of the year, when he wore the Cuban color he had already won the gold medal in 56 kg in the Pan-American of Toronto.


If not for the fourth medal of La Cruz, to me Andy would have won the condition as best individual athlete of the year. Just watching each of his matches regardless the opponent to certify that we are witnessing one of those boxers that exhibit the so-called total boxing: good domain of distances, effectiveness with his punches, either jab, swing, uppercut… speed, excellent defense and dodging.


It’s a feast to the eye when he is boxing, besides the sensation of victory almost 100% he inspires. I recall Stevenson, Ariel Hernández, Héctor Vinent, Mario Kindelán, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and other historical boxers along four decades of splendor.


Undoubtedly a pleasant crossroad where these two boxers are taking us. No wonder five out of the best ten athletes this year belong to this sport. They are Jhoannys Argilagos (49 kg), Yosbany Veitía (52), Lázaro Álvarez (60), Roniel Iglesias (69) and Erislandy Savón.


I’d like to finish with statistical fact from the World Championship of Hamburg: ours boxers won in 27 fights and only lost four. That without taking a representative in the + 91 kg. We must conclude that we are strong with these credentials.

  • Published in Specials
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