Cuban Boxing: Our responsibility is to compete with our full squad in Paris 2024

Cuban Boxing: Our responsibility is to compete with our full squad in Paris 2024
Fecha de publicación: 
24 May 2024
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Cuban boxing head coach, Rolando Acebal, does not shy away from commitments. Since he took charge of the Cuban boing team a decade ago, he has had the wisdom to lead the flagship of Cuban sports and it embraces huge challenges. He is now before one the greatest: to compete with a full squad in the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in Paris 2024.

“Our responsibility is to compete with our full squad, but the tournament is strong because there are still very good boxers pending qualification. And they are going to fight hard, just like us,” he acknowledged shortly before the last qualifying competition kicks off in Thailand.

The first months of this year were somehow controversial because there was especially one division, 63,5 kg, in which there were doubts about the mastery and experience of Lázaro Álvarez and the determination of Erislandy Álvarez. However, Acebal points out that the group leaned towards the latter.

“We made such decision guided by the fulfillment of the plan and another series of arguments and indicators and the entire technical group unanimously decided to choose Erislandy,” he clarified.

Last month, both those classified and those seeking the ticket completed a training base in Varadero, prior to their departures to Kazakhstan and Thailand, respectively.

“This training camp was very positive,” says the head coach. “Firstly, because of the team's meeting, then because we took advantage of the sand and we enjoyed quality accommodation and food. All of this is important since it allows us to comply with the work-rest relationship, something very significant in high-performance sports.

“For Tokyo, we spent three months in Camagüey and that was paramount for future results. The current situation is very complicated from an economic point of view and we are not confused, we know that this is a luxury and hence the commitment we have."

They also held friendly bouts with the team of France, which they also considered beneficial.

“Individually we already came with some indicators that we wanted to assess and these bouts are perfect to achieve each of them. We are going to miss the competitive part, because between now and the Paris 2024 there are no more official competitions for those who are qualified. The tactical aspect will be a problem, especially for the new ones, because Arlen (López) and Julio (César La Cruz) don't need that anymore, but the others do. They have the physical training, but they need to fight because there, in the ring, is where tactics are acquired. We have to cover this with training bases, with free sparring, free combat, and that is what we have to work on.”

With regard to whether they continue to be the driving force of Cuban sport in events under the five rings, he was crystal clear.

“This is a very renewed team, athletes amid an accelerated process because we had to skip one generation. We did not have another, but boxing is the Flagship and will continue to be so despite these slip-ups, you just have to look at the stats. We must recover from this impact not in this Olympic cycle, but in the next one, but we will continue to be at the forefront in Paris.”

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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