It would be wrong for us to finish this week without offering at least some analysis of the first Cuban boxer to actually step into the ring as a sanctioned pro in over fifty years.
That honour officially goes to Light Flyweight (49kg) Yosbany “El Diablo” Veitia who stepped confidently onto the canvas to represent the Cuba Domadores in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) against his nemeses Joselito Velazquez of the Mexico Guerreros team last week.
Veitia, the 2011 world bronze medallist was looking for revenge on his Mexican opponent for the surprise defeat the Guerreros boxer inflicted on him in the finals of the 2011 Pan American Championships.
Technically it was an extremely interesting match with the Cuban being a southpaw whilst his Mexican opponent prefers the orthodox stance. Both boxers have extremely fast hands even for Light Flyweights, and both predominantly favoured the AIBA Open Boxing (AOB) style of footwork for attack and defence, with the Cuban in particular moving in and out for his attacks.
El Diablo made excellent use of his lead right to jab and hook his opponent with stunning accuracy, whilst the Mexican – who bobbed and weaved slightly more than his opponent- liked to adjust his angles whilst advancing and looked predominantly for uppercuts and crosses with the right. Although the Guerreros boxer looked to be capable of landing the harder shots, Veitia was able to use his excellent foot work to stay out of trouble for much of the bout.
The Cuban tended to allow his hands to hang low in a bid to bring the Mexican on, relying on his superior speed and agility to keep him safe, though as the rounds went on Joselito who’s hands were held high throughout, began to find his way through more frequently.
It was interesting to note that Veitia’s inexperience in working without the headguard resulted in a clash of heads, which is something he will need to work on. His fitness across five rounds however was not called into question and he looked as fresh in the 5th as he did in the first.
In the end, although a closer fought affair than he may have liked, it was the Cuban who took the judges’ decision via his effective counter punching. Perhaps this is the result that history will prefer.