Although many were expecting great things from Cuba Domadores in their debut WSB season, few expected such a dominant display from the Franchise to win the Champions title in such fashion.
The name Domadores come from the Spanish ‘tamer’ or ‘ringmaster’, a fitting tribute to the traditional Cuban style of commanding and quelling the action of an opponent , manipulating their movement to capitalise and emerge victorious.
With a team, containing the leading stars of the Cuban Olympic Boxing squad, their logo pays homage to Teófilo Stevenson, the country’s three-time Olympic Gold medallist and World Champion, who died in 2012 aged 60. He is widely regarded as being the most successful boxer Cuba has ever produced and it is his image and memory the team fight under.
According to Alberto Puig de la Barca, President of the Cuban Boxing Federation, “the logo design was inspired by the traditional strength and prestige of Cuban boxing. It encapsulates the obligation of every member of the team to fight for the win in each and every bout, with the purpose of confirming that our country belongs among the world’s elite in this sport”. He went on to explain that “it is the graphic expression of our will to overcome our adversaries, to respect fair-play and to represent our flag”.
Despite being placed in the so called ‘Group of Death’ in their inaugural Regular Season, Cuba only lost one match from ten – a narrow 3-2 away battle with Russian Boxing Team and managed to record an incredible six 5-0 whitewashes from ten Regular Season matches.
The Domadores finished top of Group B, with a total of 28 points, and 41 won bouts against just nine defeats. This result saw them quality for the quarter-finals, where they defeated USA Knockouts 5-0 at home in Havana, before winning 3-2 away in the States.
This meant the Cuban newcomers progressed to the Semi-Finals, where they were drawn against the Russian Boxing Team. In the first leg, they gained revenge for their sole Regular Season loss with a spirited 3-2 away win in Moscow. In the second leg, at home in Havana, the Cubans asserted their dominance even further, with yet another whitewash 5-0 win, and a place in the Finals at the first time of asking.
In the final, which will go down in WSB history as one of the most electrifying finals encounter to date, saw Cuba prevail over the determined Azerbaijan Baku Fires in a Sudden Death bout, with welterweight Arisnoydis Despaigne emerging victorious in the tiebreaker bout, wetching his name, and the debut victory of the Domadores into Cuban folklore.
Many of their boxers impressed throughout the Season and during Finals weekend, but Erislandy Savon, the 7-0 number one ranked Heavyweight, undefeated gold medal specialist Welterweight Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo, and the number one ranked 8-0 Light Flyweight Yosbany Veitia were among their most dazzling competitors.