By José Alejandro Rodríguez This Thursday, November 4, at the Stark Arena in the city of Belgrade, Serbia, venue of the 21st edition of the World
By José Alejandro Rodríguez
This Thursday, November 4, at the Stark Arena in the city of Belgrade, Serbia, venue of the 21st edition of the World Boxing Championship, the semifinal phase will be held in each of the 13 divisions called for the contest by the International Association of Amateur boxing (AIBA).
In a boxing evening divided into two sessions, one morning and another evening, with 14 and 12 fights each, the 52 boxers who still remain in competition will go out to the ring in search of changing their already sure bronze medal for a silver one, sneaking into the final of their divisions and increasing their monetary loot of $ 25 to $ 50,000, getting even closer to the $ 100,000 that is reserved for the 13 world champions.
Boxers from 105 countries are to take part in the XXI AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in Belgrade 🇷🇸. The number of registered boxers is 650 athletes, which is a record in the tournament’s history🥊 pic.twitter.com/DyVQxhwQ8V
– AIBA (@AIBA_Boxing) October 8, 2021
Among those 52 fighters, a total of seven Cubans are still alive pursuing the aforementioned objectives, five of them competing under the Cuban flag and two competing for other nations, hence the 5 + 2 in the headline of this note. However, regardless of the country they represent, all the results of Cuban athletes must be applauded and recognized in whatever scenario they are competing.
The Mayan Osvel Caballero (57 kg), Andy Cruz (63.5) from Matanzas, Herich Ruiz (86 kg) from Camagüey and Yoenlis Hernández (75kg) and Julio César La Cruz (92 kg), are the five men with whom The Cuban delegation counts for this phase, while Loren Berto Alfonso (86 kg), who competes for Azerbaijan and Enmanuel Reyes (92 kg) who does it for Spain, are the other two Antilleans who will enter the ring tomorrow.
In fact, in that semifinal phase, a Cuban duel in the 86 kg division between Herich Ruiz and Loren Berto Alfonso stands out, in which only one of the two Antilleans will have a presence in the final and the other would return home with the bronze medal.
Cuba, with 20 successes and three failures in the tournament, is equaled with Kazakhstan and the Russian Boxing Federation with five exponents in the semifinals, as the nations with the most boxers still alive in the contest.
Next, as we did in the previous phase of the quarterfinals, we make an analysis of each of the Cuban fighters remaining in the competition and their chances of success, in addition to indicating the approximate time in which they will be getting into the ring of the Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, always the time of Cuba and the Eastern United States.
57 kg (11:45 am): Osvel Caballero (48-19) vs Serik Temirzhanov (KAZ, 28-15)
The Mayan boxer and Pan American champion of Lima 2019, Osvel Caballero, has presented himself in excellent form in this World Cup and has already had four successes in the contest, although he was diminished in his last fight against the young Mexican Miguel Vega Barreras (3-4) who he narrowly beat with a timely reaction in the third round. The Kazakh Temirzhanov, 23, also has four victories in the tournament and his main experience was in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, an event in which he lost in the round of 16 against the American Duke ragan (64-23), precisely the victim of Caballero in the fight for the continental gold of Lima 2019. The Cuban comes out as the favorite to prevail in the fight.
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63.5 kg (12:15 pm): Andy Cruz (135-8) vs Hovhannes Bachkov (ARM, 61-26)
Although the man from Matanzas did not present himself quite well in his quarterfinal fight against the Uzbek Mujibillo Tursunov (10-4), whom he beat by a 3-2 split decision and was about to be eliminated, in the rest of his presentations he has shown why he is the best Cuban boxer today and one of the best pound for pound of the world. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion and two-time world starter in 2017 and 2019, will face the most experienced and demanding rival yet and must show his best boxing to reach the final. The Armenian Bachkov was a bronze medalist in Tokyo 2020 and in the two most recent World Cups (2017 and 2019), as well as the European starter in 2017 and 2019. He already met Andy Cruz in the semifinal of the Hamburg World Cup 2017 and was defeated by the man from Matanzas, who comes out again as a favorite to prevail.
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75 kg (8:00 am): Yoenlis Hernández (40-12) vs Salvatore Cavallaro (ITA, 61-27)
The boxer from Camagüey has also been fighting very well in this tournament and has been one of the most pleasant surprises for the Cuban team, after winning all their bouts by unanimous decision. In the semifinals he will have a very difficult fight against the Italian Salvatore Cavallaro (61-27), a more experienced boxer than the Cuban and who gave Italy the first medal in a World Cup after eight years of succession. In addition, Cavallaro has been a medalist in European championships several times, despite the fact that he has never reached the top of the podium. If Yoenlis presents himself as he has been up to now, he can be included in the final of his division, something that seems possible, otherwise, he would be left with a very worthy bronze medal.
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86 kg (8:45 am): Herich Ruiz (12-10) vs Loren Berto Alfonso (AZE, 27-11)
Herich Ruiz is for many specialists the great revelation of Cuban boxing in this World Cup. Being the most inexperienced fighter of all those who registered for the Cuban army in the contest, he has won convincingly in each of his four presentations, by unanimous decision of the judges, owner of a consistent punch that has made an impact several times in the competition. anatomy of their rivals. In the semifinals, Ruiz will face another Cuban, Loren Berto Alfonso, who represents Azerbaijan and is a more experienced boxer, 2019 European champion and bronze medalist at Tokyo 2020, after falling through the 81 kg final. against the Guantanamo Arlen lopez (148-24), ultimately Olympic champion. In this fight, the Cuban-Azerbaijani Alfonso is the favorite, but Ruiz will not be an easy prey for him.
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92 kg (1:30 pm): Julio César La Cruz (253-22) vs Madiyar Saydrakhimov (UZB, 23-11)
The boxer from Camagüey, four times world champion (2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017) and two times Olympic gold (Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020), arrived at this World Cup with the thorn of his defeat in the semifinals in the previous appointment of Yekaterinburg, 2019 , remaining in a bronze medal and has outpaced all his rivals in search of his fifth universal crown, a goal that seems very possible for him to achieve. His rival on duty, the Uzbek Saydrakhimov does not have major results and it is difficult to get between La Cruz and the 92 kg world final. The captain of the Cuban team must win the victory without setbacks and stage a long-awaited fight for the gold, revenge of the summer appointment, with another Cuban, Enmanuel Reyes, who competes for Spain, if he also prevails in his semifinal fight.
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92 kg (1:45 pm): Enmanuel Reyes (45-18) vs Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine (ITA, 33-11)
Enmanuel is a Cuban boxer who represents Spain, a country that gave him nationality in 2020 and included him in the Olympic team at the Tokyo 2020 summer event. There Reyes made his debut in style by beating the experienced Kazakh boxer by KO Vassiliy Levit (102-24), before falling in front of the Cuban La Cruz in his second outing, being out of the medals, in a very even fight and divided decision. This is his second important event and he has presented himself in very good shape, winning each of his fights quite widely and already securing a bronze medal which is the second medal for Spain in these races, the first in 47 years. His rival on duty, the Italian Mouhiidine, second medalist of that nation for eight years, does not have major results and although he may become a difficult opponent for Reyes, he must be overcome by the Cuban-Spanish and advance to the expected final against Julio César La Cruz from Camaguey.
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These are all the fights that Cubans will have in the semifinals of the Boxing World Cup tomorrow, Thursday, November 4. If the forecasts are fulfilled, of the seven Cubans who remain alive, at least five would reach the final, of them three or four belonging to the Cuba team.
Full swing will continue to cover the performance of all Cuban boxers at the event and you will have all the information in this link.