World and Olympic multi-medalists Julio César La Cruz and Arlen López lead the cuban boxing team to the nearby Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador.
The island’s squad at the regional event also brings together young and promising figures from the sport of fists, while this time the consecrated Lázaro Álvarez and Roniel Iglesias will not be there, due to a technical decision.
For this same reason, the veteran Yosbany Veitía will not fight either, while the current monarch of the world Yoenli Hernández is no longer part of the team after not returning to Cuba upon his return from the Tashkent World Cup.
La Cruz (92 kg) and López (80) will now be accompanied by the newcomers Erislán Romero (51), Saidel Horta (57), Erislandy Álvarez (63.5), Jorge Cuellar (71) and Frank Arzola (+92), who already represented the island in the last universal event, in which Hernández was the only Cuban champion.
In that event, Horta, Álvarez and Arzola reached the final and finished with a silver medal, while the others now called up for San Salvador could not get on the podium.
With this endorsement, the coaching staff of the men’s cast aspires to win four titles and three bronze medals in the Salvadoran capital, where they will only compete in the seven Olympic divisions, unlike the 13 in dispute in the last World Championship.
Regarding the selected figures, and the absence of Lázaro Álvarez and Roniel Iglesias, the head of the coaches, Rolando Acebal, explained that the decision was based on the current sports form of the athletes, and did not rule out changes in the team for the Pan American Games in Santiago 2023 and the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.
For these contests, Acebal said, all the current members of the Cuban pre-selection have options, so after the Games in San Salvador it will be a “clean slate.”
Regarding the abandonment of Yoenli Hernández and other important figures of the team in the last year, the technical head of the men’s squad acknowledged that it is difficult, due to the years of work spent in its preparation.
However, he assured that these events do not have a “negative radiation” in the team, and stressed the importance of having a wide reserve and a strong base work to replace those who leave.
between the ladies
As for women’s boxing, the Central American Games will be the first major event for the island’s inexperienced entourage, which barely has competitive experience in the recent ALBA Games and only five months of official practice in Cuba.
Even for the San Salvador event, the Cuban coaching staff announced two figures who did not attend the competition held in Venezuela, in which, they explained, their pupils showed technical deficiencies.
The newcomers will be Idamelys Moreno (50 kg) and Elianni de la Caridad García (54), who will join the bronze medalists at the ALBA Games Legnis Calá (57), Lianet Gómez (60), Arianne Imbert Lamote (66) and Yakelín Estornell (75).
For the Cuban fighters, the prognosis is for two bronze medals in the Salvadoran capital, according to the leader of the women’s team, Santiago Suárez.
The head coach of the Cuban girls recognized the role that the draw can play in fulfilling this objective, due to the existence in the area of ”very well seasoned” boxers, including world medalists.
But he also did not rule out that the forecasts could be exceeded, which, he said, do not fall on specific figures, but on the entire team.
The Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador 2023 will take place between June 23 and July 8, and will serve as a prelude to the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile, in October and November of this year, and the Olympic Games in Paris. in the summer of 2024.