A few weeks before the match between WSB Champions Cuba Domadores and Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in Astana, and after knowing the surprise of “Diablo” Yosbany Veitia’s weight change (he will fight at 52Kg not 49Kg), we spoke with the Cuba Domadores General Manager and Cuban Boxing Federation President Mr Alberto Puig about his impressions regarding the upcoming friendly match.
What does it mean for Cuba Domadores to fight against the WSB Season III Champions in “The Clash of the Titans”? What do you think about this initiative of Astana Arlans Kazakhstan?
When we were in Baku for the IV WSB Season Finals we talked with our friend Bolat Mankenov, the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan General Manager, about the possibility of doing a match between their team and Cuba Domadores in September. Both of us thought that will be a nice event with the Season III Champion (Astana Arlans) and, at that time, a finalist of the Season IV who finally ended up as WSB Champion, Cuba Domadores.
During those days we coordinated our ideas with the WSB, and now finally we will go to Astana with our first ranked boxers, with most of them being stars of the National Cuban Boxing Team.
In Season IV your team fought against the Season III Champions Astana Arlans in the Regular Season getting two wins, one of them an impressive 5-0 result at home. Do you think that Cuba can win again this time?
We are sure of the high level of Kazakhstan’s boxing, and though we won by a margin of 8-2 against them last season, that isn’t a parameter for the boxing quality of their team. We know their boxers very well, and the quality of their coach, including his infrastructure to develop boxing, and his responsibility and sport directive knowledge.
We have to get back to our best sporting form as soon as possible after our holidays and some, like Veitia, will fight in a heavier weight. We also think that Astana are a strong team and they will arrive at the match after good preparation. Today we can affirm that there isn’t a sure prediction, both teams could win. But I can predict that the match will really be a clash of titans.
We now know the complete Cuban line up for the match, and although it will be a friendly match, Domadores will travel with first class boxers. Julio César la Cruz, Lázaro Álvarez, Erislandy Savón, Yosbany Veitia and Roniel Iglesias will all be in action in Astana. Is this a statement of intent?
We go to this friendly match with our principal stars, and with a few days of preparation, because we have a strong respect for the Kazakh boxers and managers, for the World Series of Boxing and for AIBA. I think that to go with second or third line boxers isn’t ethical. It would be disparaging, and people will have more interest and enjoy the friendly more with a nice line-up.
Do you think that the result of the match could change the preparation and, specially, the attitude of the team as they prepare for the upcoming WSB Season V?
We will prepare with all we have for Season V, and we will fight to achieve a second crown, let nobody doubt that.
Yosbany Veitia, number one in the Individual 49Kg Ranking in WSB last Season, will fight at flyweight for the first time. What is the reason? Will we see the “Diablo” Veitia competing in the 52 Kg category?
Our athletes started their preparation on August 18th after a month of holidays. In the case of Veitia, we determined that he will fight at 52Kg and will not run the risk of him making 49Kg. Regarding the new WSB Season, we haven’t decided yet if he will fight at flyweight or at Light-flyweight.