The cuban boxing team achieved six victories this Wednesday, but suffered the same number of defeats, several of them conceded by its main exponents, during the long day of the quarterfinals of the World Championshipbased in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Supported mainly by their young blood, the team from the island secured six bronze medals, but experienced unexpected moments with the elimination of the two-time Olympic champions Julius Caesar the CrossRoniel Iglesias and Arlen López, and their three-time world champion Lázaro Álvarez.
Some of these defeats, moreover, were considered “controversial” by the Cuban press.
Negative surprise for #Cuba in the World Championship of #Boxing of #Tashkent2023: The Uzbek Lazizbek Mullojonov “defeated” Julio César La Cruz 4-1, favorite to reign in the 92 kilos. Controversial decision. Rounds two and three seemed enough to do otherwise. pic.twitter.com/mFyN8H14ZB
— JIT Cuban Sport (@jit_digital) May 10, 2023
The other side of the coin was carried out by the rookies Saidel Horta (57 kg), Alejandro Claro (48), Erislandy Álvarez (60) and Fernando Arzola (+92), who beat their respective rivals to achieve their first medals in a world contest.
They were joined by the most experienced Yosvany Veitía (54) and Yoenlis Hernández (75), who already have a world title in their showcases and now signed the outstanding notes to preserve their aspirations to ascend to the throne again.
According to media reviews on the island, Horta and Erislandy gave excellent demonstrations and confirmed themselves as great talents in this sport in Cuba.
In a fight that he dominated from start to finish, Horta (21 years old) wasted speed on the ring and showed an exact blow against the world subtitle Kazakh, Serik Termizhanov, to take the vote 5-0.
Meanwhile, the impetuous Erislandy Alvarez (60 kg) gave two protection counts to Andrew Chilata, from Zambia, and also deserved the ruling of the five judges, one of them even by a wide vote of 30-24.
On the contrary, in a disputed outcome, La Cruz (92 kg), who was seeking his sixth world title, was declared the loser 1-4 against host Lazizbek Mullojonov. The stellar boxer received more than usual, although many experts saw him as a narrow winner.
In other unforeseen outcomes, the three-time world champion Lázaro Álvarez (63.5 kg) also lost 4-1 to the Mongolian Chinzorig Baatarsukh, the two-time 80 kg Olympic champion, Arlen López, was beaten 4-3 by the Chinese Tanglatihan in the 80 kg, and Roniel Iglesias succumbed to the Uzbek Muydinkhujaev in a well-leveled and controversial fight that was voted on dividedly.
The Cuban team, which linked an unprecedented chain of 23 victories in this contest, and managed to qualify 12 of its 13 boxers for the medals, was at least able to surpass the harvest achieved in the previous World Cup version by one medal.
Then their representatives finished a trio of crowns, to which they added a pair of bronzed metals.
However, with the failures of its main figures, Cuba’s chances of reigning collectively diminished significantly in view of the semifinal presentations, agreed for next Friday.
Results of Cuba in quarterfinals:
48 kg: Alejandro Claro (CUB) vs. Bashir Aqeel (SCO): 5-0
54 kg: Yosbany Veitía (CUB) vs. Yoel Finol (VEN): 5-0
57 kg: Saidel Horta (CUB) vs. Serik Termizhanov (KAZ): 5-0
60 kg: Erislandy Álvarez (CUB) vs. Andrew Chilata (ZAM): 5-0
63.5 kg: Lázaro Álvarez (CUB) vs. Chinzorig Baatarsukh (MGL): 1-4
67 kg: Roniel Iglesias (CUB) vs. Asadkhuja Muydinkhujaev (UZB): 3-4
71 kg: Jorge Cuéllar (CUB) vs. Nishant Dev (IND): 0-5
75 kg: Yoenlis Hrnández (CUB) vs. Rami Mofid Kiwan (BUL): 5-0
80 kg: Arlen Lopez (CUB) vs. Tanglatihan Touohetaerbieke (CHN): 3-4
86 kg: Nelson Williams (CUB) vs. Rogelio Romero (MEX): 0-5
92 kg: Julio Cesar La Cruz (CUB) vs. Lazizbek Mullojonov (UZB): 1-4
+92 kg: Fernando Arzola (CUB) vs. Danabieke Bayikewuzi (CHN): 5-0