After the conclusion of the second season of the Argentina Condors in the World Series of Boxing, we talked with the General Manager of the team Hernán Salvo about how the year has gone for his team, and his expectations for next season.
Even though the Condors have been left out of the playoffs this season, how do you rate the overall performance of your team?
We knew we were going to have our debut in our second season of the WSB, because with the rule changes and the step from five to ten categories, even if we had participated the previous year, it was like a new season debut. In fact, when we had the AOB continental championship in Chile, we didn’t bring boxers in all of the ten weight classes, because we were missing some. So we had to find new guys with sufficient quality to be on a national team, and especially for such a demanding competition as the WSB. Also, obviously we respect what our Olympic Committee has asked us that requires us to have almost 90% of national boxers, when perhaps it could have been easier to strengthen us with international boxers. So it was a tough season because we had to fill weights at the beginning of the season, or in October which we did not have initially.
How can the Argentina squad improve to compete with the best?
To compete with the best was the reason that led us to participate in the WSB. Doing that will give you that international experience, and competing like that that not just in the short term, but in the long term is what will give you the results. Luckily, we were able to keep the vast majority of our team for a second Olympic cycle, and this experience will bring us results in the long run, of that we are sure. It may be in the fifth season of the WSB, it may be in the sixth, or maybe in the Olympic Games in 2016, and that is our great desire.
And with the inclusion of five new weight classes, what do you think about that?
Actually I found it as a very important step by the WSB, because it unified its criteria with AOB. I think it was a step that we necessarily had to give, and it happened last season. There were fighters who had a hard time getting into a category of the World Series, and also AOB boxers that had no place in the WSB. I think this decision was made with much discretion, and really hit the target of what was expected.
How have you seen the Cuban team since joining? Did you expect that?
The truth that one being South American, and having seen many of these Cuban fighters from when they were young, I knew they were going to be protagonists, and over the course of the fourth season, when they defeated Kazakhstan 3-2 in Kazakhstan, I had no doubt that at least they would reach the final. I think it was necessary to have Cuba in the WSB, because it not only gives you the chance to compete with them at the international level, but it also enhances competition. I think the inclusion of Cuba in the last season was very good.