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2009 meant Cuba’s return to World Boxing Championships, but the results were not as promising and impacting as fans expected.

Cuba’s reintegration was slow. The Cuban delegation only achieved one gold medal in the Italian city of Milan in September, after the absence of Chicago 2007, where Russian easily dominated.

It was expected that Cuban team could fight for the first place in Milan 2009 against the European delegations.  One win could have placed Cuba in the first place among all countries.

However, this data may lead to confusion. If we assume the qualification standard carried out until this season—by points  achieved in each match, not for medals— Russia had secured its leadership long before the end of the tournament because there were six Russians in the finals.

The 15th edition of the World Boxing Championship left Cuba with one gold medal, won by light welterweight Roniel Iglesias, a silver medal achieved by heavyweight Osmay Acosta, and bronze medals for the light heavyweight Jose Angel Larduet and
bantamweight Yankiel Leon. It was the worst result in Cuban boxing history.

In Roniel’s case, he gave his country the first title in the 64 kg division, unique division in which Cuba has never achieved  a gold medal since its inclusion in Bangkok 2003. By the way, this title saved us from failure since we could not win any
title in the Chinese capital.It would have been catastrophic.

Carlos Banteur’s performance was disappointing. He is the Olympic silver medallist (69 kg), and was defeated by an unknown boxer, and other Olympic medalists like Yampier Hernández (51 kg) and Idel Torriente (60 kg) did not leave good impressions.

However, the result implies other considerations such as the fact that several rookies integrated the team, and others with experience debuted in higher divisions. In addition, the year is not only the World Championship, and our boxers had a fairly
long and successful presence in European tournaments.

Nationally speaking, Havana hosted the National Championship tournament Playa Giron. Cuba just missed only one title in the Giraldo Cordova Cardin’s event, and at the end of the boxing season, Camagüey recently surprised with its first place in the
team tournament held in the very same province.

For those officials in the Cuban Boxing Federation became clear that changes are needed in the system training and talent selection as well as improving the work in the base.

The first step announced was the changing of team’s head coach, Pedro Roque, whose spot will be occupied by Rolando Acebal, hitherto responsible for the preparation of boxers in Guantanamo.

Perhaps the best coach in the world in 2008 is not the main responsible of these bad results, but certainly our team needs more discipline and the Guantanamo’s coach may provide it.

Let’s wait for a successful 2010 season, as befits the Cuban school of boxing and its devoted fans in the world.

Source: Cubasí and PL

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