The World Boxing Association (WBA) celebrates the agreement between the Cuban Boxing Federation and the Golden Ring company, so that Cuban fighters can fight in the professional arena after 60 years.
This is great news for boxing in general since it eliminates obstacles for the discipline of a country with impressive talent that has been able to stand out despite adversity.
Antillean fighters who have had the opportunity to participate in professional boxing have found a home in the WBA, which has been the organization that has given them the most opportunities over the years.
With legendary fighters like Benny Paret or Kid Gavilan, Cuban boxing has suffered different changes that have stagnated and only the talent of its own fighters has managed to move forward.
Jose “Mantequilla” Napoles is another WBA champion who had an excellent career that lasted from 1958 to 1975 and in which he was WBA welterweight champion three times. Luis Miguel Rodríguez is another remembered WBA Cuban champion, welterweight champion for the pioneer organization and who defeated, among other greats, Emile Griffith to enter the Hall of Fame in 1997.
Ultiminio “Sugar” Ramos is also another historic Cuban, he was WBA featherweight champion and was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001.
The list of Cuban WBA champions is extensive and fighters such as Luis Manuel Rodríguez in the welterweight category, Diosbelys Hurtado in super lightweight, Yunier Dorticos, Yohan Pablo Hernández and Juan Carlos Gómez in cruiserweight stand out.
In the lightweight category, Richar Abril, owner of the black and gold belt in that category. In the case of Casamayor, he reigned in the super featherweight.
Closer to the present, we must mention Yuriorkis Gamboa, featherweight, super featherweight and interim WBA lightweight champion. We must also talk about Guillermo Rigondeaux, great bantamweight champion.
On the other hand, Erislandy Lara is the current middleweight king and David Morrell is the super middleweight champion. Two boxers who represent the experience and youth of Cuba.
Other outstanding fighters for the WBA have been the former heavyweight Fedelatin champion, Odlanier Solis, the current Fedelatin champion of the same weight, Lenier Peró, the former interim minimum champion, Daniel Matellon, the current regional champion Mike Perez, the former interim champion Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, the former challenger to the cruiserweight crown, Sullivan Barrera, the former Fedelatin champion, Pablo Vicente, the former WBA international champion, Neslan Machado and the former Fedelatin champion Leosdan Nunez.
Now will come a new generation led by Andy Cruz, which will have great fighters like Roniel Iglesias, Julio Cesar La Cruz, Lazaro Alvarez, among others. Cuban boxing is smiling and the WBA is happy that they will have these great opportunities. The country and the contribution they have made to the sport deserve it and this will always be their home.