Cuban boxing set to improve performance at Pan American Games

Cuban boxing set to improve performance at Pan American Games
Fecha de publicación: 
21 October 2023
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The poor performance of the so-called Flagship of Cuban sport in the last Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador still hurts in the Cuban boxing family, where only two gold medals were achieved.

Unexpected defeats and wrong strategies caused the worst result of the Cuban boxing in a regional event. At the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile, the Cuban boxing is set to give a much better performance and hence contribute with the Cuban sports delegation to achieve a better place in the final standing.

In fact, the pre-competition prediction is to win three gold medals, a figure that can be achieved. The goal number two, is to earn as much qualification tickets as possible to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Stars such as Julio César La Cruz (92 kilograms), Lázaro Álvarez (63.5) and Arlen López (81) are the ones with the best chance to win the gold medal, but current world runners-up Saidel Horta (57) and Fernando Arzola (92+) cannot be ruled out. Meanwhile, Alejandro Claro (51) and Jorge Cuéllar (71) have less chances to shine.

Lazarito and La Cruz are going for a feat, which is to become the first four-time champions of Pan-American boxing, since both were crowned in Guadalajara 2011, Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019, to equal Rolando Garbey, Orestes Solano, and Julio González.

On the other hand, Arlen, two-times Olympic champion, is set to regain the Pan American title at the Olympic Training Center in Ñuñoa, after being defeated four years ago.

The other four boxers will make their debut in continental events, but they have the skill to win a title too. The drawing will have an impact on their chances as well, as there are outstanding athletes from other nations in the respective divisions.

In the case of women's boxing, two girls qualified for Santiago de Chile in the recently-concluded Central American and the Caribbean Games in San Salvador; namely, Legnis Calá, 57 kilograms, and former wrestler Yakelín Stornell, 75) and Cuba paid for one more spot, which was handed to Arianne Imbert, 66 kg, champion of the 5th ALBA Games.

Let us remember that in Santiago, the two finalists of all divisions will earn a place for Paris 2024, except in the women's categories of 57 and 60, where four are set to be the tickets granted.

Most of men ought to be involved in the final combat and hence earn their respective tickets to Paris 2024. Meanwhile, the drawing will mark the future of women. Their lack of experience will be something to take into consideration. Calá is the one with greater options to qualify for the City of Lights.

The goal is there. And boxing has proven again and again that this is a sport that stand up after every knockdown.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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