“I will have the last word in the ring” – Yosbany Soto (CUB)

For our first interview with a Cuban Domador, we talk to Light Flyweight Yosbany Soto. The 21-year old southpaw is a well-respected and feared boxer since his bronze medal at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011. For worldseriesboxing.com, Soto reveals how he feels about his first ever pro fight and what are his ultimate boxing goals.

How seriously are you taking this first pro bout in the World Series of Boxing (WSB)?

I am happy to be able to test myself over five rounds, but also to face again Joselito Velasquez from Mexico. I am hoping on revenge since I lost to him in the final of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara (2011). He is a good fighter and I am sure it will be a tough fight.

Have you had a special training program to prepare for this bout? Specifically, how was it different from your usual training?

We have been and are still working very hard. But our preparations are designed around the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan in October, and the start of the next WSB season mid-November.

What would you do in a normal day of training?

Training is much diversified. We do running every day, then strength exercises in the gym, work with bags etc… The key is to stay motivated and focus in each session, to keep pace and overcome the hardest moments.

How do you feel about fighting in pro-style?

It is a fantastic first for me. I never thought I would have the chance to compete in the WSB. Boxing is the same though, except that you have to get used to five rounds

What will be your strategy against such serious opponent as Velasquez?

I only have one strategy: avoid thinking about the strengths of my opponent, avoid thinking about the past, and just fight to win. I have worked hard to make sure I will win this fight and I am sure I will have the last word in the ring.

Do you think that the altitude (Mexico City is located 2’400 meters high) will have an impact on your performance?

We have thought about the characteristics of Mexico City and how the altitude could have an impact on us. We will be traveling a few days in advance and our coach has done everything to ensure that there are no obstacles.

What was your reaction when you knew that you will be part of the Cuba Domadores?

I was delighted because the WSB has already proved to be of the highest quality. It allows us to measure ourselves against the best in the world for several months and improve our boxing skills for other competitions.

What’s your opinion on the WSB? What do you expect from this competition?

The WSB is very competitive but it also serves to improve the image of boxing as a spectacle. It also gives the boxers a greater exposure. For the first time we will work as a real team. Our squad is only made of Cubans; I am looking forward to this experience.

We know how passionate Cuba is for boxing. What does this sport mean for Cubans?

It’s our passion. Boxing is the second most popular sport after baseball. It is the biggest contributor to the Cuban delegation at every Olympic Games.

You were only 19 when you won this bronze medal at the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku. Was it the turning point for a great career?

For sure, today I am a stronger boxer. I have gained a lot of experience while boxing at the highest level. I have planned my boxing career all the way to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Who is Yosbany Soto outside of boxing? What are you hobbies and how do you like to spend your free time?

I like being with my family, with my girlfriend and friends. I also play football, it relaxes me.

Do you follow a special diet for boxing and what is it? When you are not on a special diet, what is your favourite food?

Actually, I do not follow a special diet, I adjust my weight depending on the time I have until the competition. My favourite food is arroz con gris (rice with beans) with fried meat, avocado and yucca salad. I could eat that any time.

What is your biggest boxing goal you have yet to achieve?

My goal is to be a World and Olympic Champion. And I’m training hard to make it happen.

For our first interview with a Cuban Domador, we talk to Light Flyweight Yosbany Soto. The 21-year old southpaw is a well-respected and feared boxer since his bronze medal at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011. For worldseriesboxing.com, Soto reveals how he feels about his first ever pro fight and what are his ultimate boxing goals.

How seriously are you taking this first pro bout in the World Series of Boxing (WSB)?

I am happy to be able to test myself over five rounds, but also to face again Joselito Velasquez from Mexico. I am hoping on revenge since I lost to him in the final of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara (2011). He is a good fighter and I am sure it will be a tough fight.

Have you had a special training program to prepare for this bout? Specifically, how was it different from your usual training?

We have been and are still working very hard. But our preparations are designed around the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan in October, and the start of the next WSB season mid-November.

What would you do in a normal day of training?

Training is much diversified. We do running every day, then strength exercises in the gym, work with bags etc… The key is to stay motivated and focus in each session, to keep pace and overcome the hardest moments.

How do you feel about fighting in pro-style?

It is a fantastic first for me. I never thought I would have the chance to compete in the WSB. Boxing is the same though, except that you have to get used to five rounds

What will be your strategy against such serious opponent as Velasquez?

I only have one strategy: avoid thinking about the strengths of my opponent, avoid thinking about the past, and just fight to win. I have worked hard to make sure I will win this fight and I am sure I will have the last word in the ring.

Do you think that the altitude (Mexico City is located 2’400 meters high) will have an impact on your performance?

We have thought about the characteristics of Mexico City and how the altitude could have an impact on us. We will be traveling a few days in advance and our coach has done everything to ensure that there are no obstacles.

What was your reaction when you knew that you will be part of the Cuba Domadores?

I was delighted because the WSB has already proved to be of the highest quality. It allows us to measure ourselves against the best in the world for several months and improve our boxing skills for other competitions.

What’s your opinion on the WSB? What do you expect from this competition?

The WSB is very competitive but it also serves to improve the image of boxing as a spectacle. It also gives the boxers a greater exposure. For the first time we will work as a real team. Our squad is only made of Cubans; I am looking forward to this experience.

We know how passionate Cuba is for boxing. What does this sport mean for Cubans?

It’s our passion. Boxing is the second most popular sport after baseball. It is the biggest contributor to the Cuban delegation at every Olympic Games.

You were only 19 when you won this bronze medal at the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku. Was it the turning point for a great career?

For sure, today I am a stronger boxer. I have gained a lot of experience while boxing at the highest level. I have planned my boxing career all the way to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Who is Yosbany Soto outside of boxing? What are you hobbies and how do you like to spend your free time?

I like being with my family, with my girlfriend and friends. I also play football, it relaxes me.

Do you follow a special diet for boxing and what is it? When you are not on a special diet, what is your favourite food?

Actually, I do not follow a special diet, I adjust my weight depending on the time I have until the competition. My favourite food is arroz con gris (rice with beans) with fried meat, avocado and yucca salad. I could eat that any time.

What is your biggest boxing goal you have yet to achieve?

My goal is to be a World and Olympic Champion. And I’m training hard to make it happen.