OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Julio César La Cruz will be looking to secure his fourth Boxing World Championship crown during the competition taking place this September in Germany. Photo: www.aiba.org

As expected, Cuba’s men’s boxing team dominated the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Continental Championships with a solid performance by its representatives, who secured eight gold and two silver medals in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where the event took place. Also up for grabs during the tournament were tickets to the Boxing World Championships slated for September in Hamburg, Germany.

The most outstanding performance by the team, led by head coach Rolando Acebal, came from Arlen López during the final of the middleweight division (75kg) after he defeated Colombia’s Jorge Vivas, 5-0. López’s win was all the more important after the fighter from Guantanamo suffered several defeats this season at the hands of his South American opponent during the World Series of Boxing competition.

Another of Cuba’s representatives to fare well in the finals was Yosvany Veitía (52kg) who dominated experienced Colombian fighter Ceiber Ávila from start to finish, according to the International Boxing Association (Aiba) website.

Meanwhile, Lázaro Álvarez (60kg) won gold overcoming Delante Johnson of the United States, 4-1.

In the 64kg division, Andy Cruz secured a clear win over Elvis Rodríguez of the Dominican Republic; while Roniel Iglesias from Cuba’s westernmost province of Pinar del Rio claimed the title in the 69kg category after defeating Quinton Randall, 5-0.

Julio César La Cruz (81kg) made good on his promise of success defeating longstanding rival Carlos Mina from Ecuador by unanimous decision.

Meanwhile, two experienced competitors crossed gloves in the 91kg division: eventual winner Erislandy Savón from Guantanamo and Argentina’s Yamil Peralta. José Ángel Larduet from Santiago de Cuba continued his unbeaten run this 2017 with a resounding victory over Colombia’s Cristian Salcedo.  

Cuba’s two silver medals came first in the 49kg division, where Johanys Argilagos from Camagüey was unable to overcome the intense pace of Colombian Yurberjen Martínez, who has defeated the Cuban on all of the three occasions they have faced each other. The other silver medal was provided by Javier Ibáñez (56kg). The representative from Matanzas suffered a cut to the face in his semi-final fight against Puerto Rico’s Gil Iglesias which prevented him from competing in the final; thus ceding the gold medal to Leonel de los Santos from the Dominican Republic.

A total of 60 fighters from 16 countries within the Americas qualified for the World Championships in Germany, with Cuba being the only team to qualify with a full roster; followed by Colombia with seven, the United States (six), and Brazil (five).

Argentina won by countries in the women’s competition, with three gold medals. Canada, the United States, and Colombia meanwhile all secured two golds, while Brazil took one.