Taking their name from the Spanish word for ‘ringmaster’, rarely has such a fitting title been bestowed on a sports team, with the Cuba Domadores outfit arriving filled with agile and skilful boxing talent for its WSB debut in Season IV.
Despite being placed in the so called ‘Group of Death’ in their inaugural campaign, Cuba lost just one match from ten outings – a narrow 3-2 away battle with Russian Boxing Team – managing to notch up an incredible six whitewashes as they finished top of Group B.
Their dominance continued in the quarter and semi-finals, thrashing USA Knockouts and Russian Boxing Team to book a place in the final of their first ever WSB season.
And what a final it was, going down in WSB history as one of the most electrifying encounters imagineable with Cuba and Baku Fires taking it to the wire with a sudden death bout in which Domadores’ welterweight Arisnoydis Despaigne emerged victorious.
As the top-ranked team going in to Season V, Cuba were untouchable in the group stages and whitewashed Mexico Guerreros home and away in the semi-finals to set up another mouthwatering showdown, this time against Kazakhstan’s Astana Arlans.
In a thrilling final, the Arlans proved too strong, winning 6-4 and leaving Cuba to fall agonisingly short of defending their title. Nevertheless, strong performances throughout the season meant that Yosbany Veitia Soto, Lazaro Alvarez, Yasniel Toledo Lopez, Arlen Lopez and team captain Julio Cesar La Cruz all qualified to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.