The most important moment on the 2018 season calendar has arrived for Cuba’s boxing team. According to head coach Rolando Acebal, his disciples are in excellent form as they prepare for the two biggest challenges of the year: the World Series of Boxing final and the Barranquilla 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.
The experienced coach together with the national squad’s expert technical team, have drawn up training plans to ensure Cuban boxers are in peak physical form this season.
“The eight boxers who qualified for the Barranquilla Games are currently mid-way through training in preparation for the tournament. However, we are currently focusing on the World Series of Boxing final. The athletes that will be representing us in Colombia are in good shape and we hope they will perform just as well in Colombia,” stated Acebal.
Regarding what Cuban boxers aspire to achieve in Colombia, the team’s head coach noted that they are still hoping to win eight gold medals. This comes after the team was first predicted to win eight gold and two bronze medals months before qualifying tournaments for the Barranquilla Games had even begun. However, the Cuban team wanted to satisfy itself with eight spots to the regional competition after Johanys Argilagos (49kg) abandoned the delegation and Yosbany Veitía (52kg) experienced weight problems.
AN EIGHT-MAN TEAM
“Although we are not going to Barranquilla with a full team, we are still hoping to win eight gold medals. There are a few individuals in two or three divisions that could cause us some problems, but we believe in our athletes’ ability. This competition is all about the details, meaning that it can often be more challenging than national championships for certain boxers. This is why we are working very precisely during training sessions,” stated Acebal.
After making it to the final of the World Series of Boxing for the fifth consecutive time, the head coach highlighted the benefit of a final between Cuba’s Domadores and Kazakhstan’s Astana Arlans.
“They are a tough opponent, but this suits us because it forces us to up our game. We aim to win; our only objective is to win our third World Series title. The only thing we ask - if it isn’t possible to hold the final in either of the two countries - is that it takes place in a neutral setting,” explained Acebal.
Regarding Yosbany Veitía’s situation, the coach noted that he is currently training in his native Sancti Spíritus and is expected to represent the province in the national championships set to take place in a few weeks.
“Trainers in Sancti Spíritus have been given all the instructions by technicians on the national team to work with Veitía and keep him in shape.
“He knows that he can make the team again, and we hope he will, but it all depends on him. He is world champion and number one ranked in the 52kg division.”
Rolando Acebal took a moment to highlight the successful incorporation of former youth boxer Dainier Peró (+91kg) to the national squad. “He is a world youth champion with a lot of promise. He’s beaten all the boxers in his weight class on
the national team. Given average results by Cuba’s +91kg boxers in international competitions over recent years, we are planning to take it slow with Peró, without rushing and skipping steps in his development. We are certain that he will soon bring great joy to our country,” stated Acebal.