WSB Season IV Champions Cuba Domadores made it a remarkable six whitewashes out of seven matches this season as they blew past Mexico Guerreros in the first leg of their Quarter-Final match on Thursday night.
The hosts’ reigning AIBA World Champion Joahnys Argilagos was able to get his team off to a strong start, despite a few early surprises from promising 19-year-old Elwin Soto. The young Mexican’s straight left caught his opponent unawares in the opening round, but Argilagos soon found his range to comfortably take the light flyweight contest.
London 2012 Olympic Champion Robeisy Ramirez then put on a wonderful performance in the opening exchanges against Guerreros’ Ivan Delgado, going on to control each round with some strong lefts with trademark style. At 2-0 up, the Cuban technician Yasnier Toledo stepped forward for a tough duel against Mexico’s Olympic qualified Raul Curiel, and used his lightening-quick footwork to devastating effect. With a 14-3 record already to his name in the competition, Toledo relied on his accuracy rather than volume of punches, and with Curiel unable to land sufficient blows, the unanimous decision – and an unassilable 3-0 lead – went to the hosts.
Another of Cuba’s current crop of AIBA World Champions, Arlen Lopez, met with Mexico Guerreros’ top middleweight and experienced WSB campaigner Misael Rodriguez in the fourth bout of the day, and a considered opening saw Rodriguez relying on his defensive abilities against his opponent’s big right. It wasn’t a vintage performance from Lopez, but he conserved his energies well and the referee awarded a TKO before the end of the match to make it 4-0 to the home side, before a walkover for Erislandy Savon, with Julio Castillo unable to box, confirmed the whitewash.
Friday night sees the Cubans requiring just one win to reach the Semi-Final stages, and it will be the battle between Lazaro Alvarez and Mexico’s Lindolfo Delgado that everyone will be waiting to see. Alvarez boasts an impressive 16-1 record in WSB, but can expect a tough ride if Delgado and his team can muster a challenge and get their second leg off to a winning start. Also standing in their way, however, are the considerable talents of Olympic Champion Roniel Iglesias, three-time AIBA World Champion Julio La Cruz, Yosbany Veitia and Leinier Pero.