Why professional boxing could be on its way to Cuba

By Matthew Goldstein


Why professional boxing could be on its way to Cuba

Within this piece, I will do my best to refrain from ideological philosophy, yet explain why Cuban boxing will soon be apart of the main stream boxing world which includes HBO, SHOWTIME, ESPN, DKP, Top Rank, Main Events, Shelley Finkel, Emmanuel Steward, Joe Souza, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, MSG and even the Blue Horizon. 

This astounding and visionary political philosophy that I have just very recently perceived comes down to very simple math.  That extremely perceptive equation is rested on one undeniably cold hard fact.  The fact of the matter is that Fidel Castro will be turning 79 years old in August and that his time on this earth is becoming extremely limited.  One might argue that Fidel has some of the best doctors in the entire world, and he will be looked after with extreme care for the next 20 years.  Yes, this is a possibility, but very unlikely. 

Fidel’s brother Raul could effortlessly take the reigns in one of the most historically and media frenzied regime changes the world has seen since the fall of Baghdad, but if you are one those people, this article is not for you.  The United States Government has already developed contingency plans, in the event of Castro’s death, to move the Havana government towards a democratic capitalist system that will bring the Cuban society into the 21st century with staggering financial implications for the Cuban people, the United States, and of course, the purpose of this article, the boxing world as we know it. 

What is Cuba to boxing?  It is none other than the deepest and most untapped talent pool of boxers that will undoubtedly bring competition to almost every weight division in the sport.  Not only will this talent pool begin taking over the world of boxing within the next ten years, but it will also develop one of the best home field advantages the sport has ever known.  This home field advantage will come when Havana is able to be the Las Vegas that it was, before Las Vegas was even conceived. 

The deep talent pool that is Cuba consists of past professional champions and countless medal winners in almost every single Olympic Games.  Since 1968, Cuba has earned 89 total medals, including 32 gold, 30 silver and 27 bronze medals in boxing.  Simply put, no country has rivaled this quantity of Olympic boxing champions.  Yes, Cuban boxers are older, stronger and more experienced boxers than the majority of the worlds youth in which they face, but at least in acknowledging that fact, one must also acknowledge and at least consider the possibilities if these fighters were recruited into main stream boxing culture. 

The purpose of this article is not to imply that the revolution in Cuba was pointless, and or a horror unto its people.  In fact, there are many legitimate reasons Fulgencio Batista was overthrown.  One reason being the fact that some say he was in the pocket of the infamous American gangsters, Meyer Lansky and Charles Luciano.  Also, not so indirectly related, some say Batista forced girls as young as the age of 10 into prostitution and servitude.  The benefits of socialized health care and education, i.e. Canada, the United Kingdom, and soon to be the rest of the European Union have immensely improved the overall public health of these countries.  However, this author will never argue that these things previously mentioned are worth the suppression of freedoms, expression and choice in and of life which one chooses to pursue.  With that being said, has the United States been unfair to Fidel Castro’s Cuba?  Well, is a trillion dollar trade relationship with China fair?  The U.S. has certainly befriended worse dictators.  Hell, the U.S. employed worse dictators to commit things so horrific, Castro himself would be unable to perceive.          
These political horrors done by both of our countries might be nothing compared to what the future champions due to their soon to be defeated opponents.  And with the media frenzy which will follow the fall of Havana, and the talent pool open for summer, half of the work of the major promoters will have already been done.  This transition of Olympic champions to ABC champions with all its fame and glory, and of course something Cuba has not seen in a while, money, will coincide with the crash of cultures, reuniting of families, perhaps a flood of artwork out of Cuba that could rival the period of Enlightenment, and most importantly, the freedom of a people.  From Kid Gavilan, to Felix Savon, to Teofilo Stevenson, there is no doubt that when professional Cuban boxing is realized, it will no sooner begin making its mark in the world ranks and bringing championship belts home to Cuba.                                


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