Damián Arce (49kg) of Camagüey overcame the pressure of his Series debut to deal Colombia’s Julian Velázquez a blow of 3-0. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

The inaugural round of the Season VIII World Series of Boxing (WSB), held on February 2 in Havana, was a mere formality, as Cuba’s Domadores easily secured five victories over a weak Heroicos de Colombia squad.

The Colombians paid dearly for bringing a quintet of rookie fighters to face experienced rivals in Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva. The biggest attraction of the night was the Series debut, in the Light flyweight category, of Damián Arce (49kg) from Camagüey. The Cuban ignored the pressure of his first appearance to deal Colombia’s Julian Velázquez a blow of 3-0.

“The fight was easy, but I couldn’t overdo it, since the coaches told me to take the fight to the end to adapt to fighting five rounds, and that’s why I was more guarded at certain points,” Arce explained.

The rest of the evening saw no surprises in terms of the winners: Robeisy Ramírez (56kg) and Andy Cruz (64kg), on unanimous decision of the judges; while Arlen López (75kg) and Erislandy Savón (91kg) secured their titles after their opponents’ coaches threw in the towel.

The experienced Erislandy Savón’s (91kg) clear dominance saw his rival, Julio César Calimeño, abandon the fight in the third round. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

Ramírez didn’t leave his opponent Jhon Martinez much room for maneuver, whom he defeated 3-0, supported by his effective hooks that saw fans gathered in the capital’s Coliseum on their feet on several occasions.

Andy Cruz’s fight was no different from the first two. The boxer from Matanzas took advantage of the immobility and poor defense of his rival, Andrés García, to ensure another win for the Domadores.

Middleweight Arlen López had barely boxed when the coaches of Colombian Juan Ortiz signaled the end of the fight in the first round, before the superiority shown by the fighter from Guantánamo.

And to close, Erislandy Savón’s (91kg) clear dominance saw Julio César Calimeño abandon the fight in the third round.