The WSB Season VII Final will be a heavyweight affair between two double-Champions after the Cuba Domadores comprehensively beat Colombia Heroicos in Havana on Friday night. The 5-0 second-leg whitewash was the perfect response to the 3-2 defeat from the first leg, and means the Cubans will now face Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in a Final that will see one of the sides make history as the first to win three WSB team titles.
The tone of the match was set early on as Yosbany Veitia outboxed Colombia Heroicos’ veteran Johan Vargas in the opening Flyweight (52kg) bout of the evening. Veitia began the bout on the front foot and rarely let up the pressure across the five rounds, Vargas largely unable to get close enough to land scoring punches as his opponent picked off the weaknesses in defence that appeared as the bout wore on. A unanimous points win levelled the match at 3-3 on aggregate, before Lightweight (60kg) boxer Lazaro Alvarez made yet another impressive appearance in the five-round format against Heroicos’ 20-year-old Albeiro Paredes. Boasting a 21-1 record going into the contest, Alvarez demonstrated his power early on in the opening exchanges, launching swift raids on Paredes to which the Colombian had no answer. With his footwork repeatedly getting him out of trouble and his longs arms scoring freely, Alvarez held off Paredes late rally to earn his team a 2-0 lead on the night.
Cuba’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Roniel Iglesias was in typically ruthless form for his Welterweight (69kg) bout against Colombia Heroicos’ Ricardo Legarda, stalking his opponent in much the same way as he had during a one-sided Week 12 win. This time Legarda was better prepared for the onslaught of combinations, recovering from a flurry of first-round blows to give Iglesias some testing moments of his own, but in the context of the bout they were too infrequent to have an impact on the scores, and a third unanimous win put the hosts within touching distance of the final.
It was triple World Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz who made sure of the result in grand style with another supreme display of Light Heavyweight (81kg) skill against Colombia Heroicos’ National Champion Jeisson Camargo. Always a difficult target to pin down, La Cruz immediately stamped his authority on the tie, using the whole ring beautifully to work the openings, including a huge right in the second round that had Camargo on the canvas. From there the result looked inevitable, the Referee stopping the contest at the end of the fourth round to make the score 4-0 and confirm the Cubans were into the Final.
That left Domadores’ Super Heavyweight (+91kg) Jose Angel Larduet to complete the whitewash, and he did so emphatically against the Colombian debutant Junior Gonzalez. Larduet gave Gonzalez a tough time in his first taste of the competition, a perfect hook and straight right putting his opponent on the canvas in the first round, the Referee stepping in to halt the match and the 5-0 win was complete. Colombia had delivered a brilliant first WSB campaign, but it is Cuba who go on to face Astana Arlans in the Season VII Final.