Cuban authorities finally allow women to compete in boxing

Cuban boxers fight during the first official women's boxing program in Cuba at the Giraldo Cordova boxing school in Havana, on December 17, 2022.  Cuban female boxer now can officially punch in the boxing ring after Cuban authorities allow women to compete in boxing. YAMIL LAGE/AFP via GETTYIMAGES



By Rachmad Imam Tarecha

Cuban authorities finally allow women to compete in boxing
Cuban boxers fight during the first official women’s boxing program in Cuba at the Giraldo Cordova boxing school in Havana, on December 17, 2022.  Cuban female boxer now can officially punch in the boxing ring after Cuban authorities allow women to compete in boxing. YAMIL LAGE/AFP via GETTYIMAGES

CUBA, Mo. — Cuban female boxer now can officially punch in the boxing ring after Cuban authorities have allowed women to compete in boxing. The first official women match in the boxing match in Cuba was won by Elianni Garcia Polledo in December 2022. Boxing is traditionally Cuba’s favorite sport along with baseball.



Cuban authorities finally allow women to compete in boxing
Cuban boxers fight during the first official women’s boxing program in Cuba at the Giraldo Cordova boxing school in Havana, on December 17, 2022. With a strong right jab to the face of his opponent, Elianni García Polledo (50kg), decided this Saturday the first official women’s boxing match in Cuba, a day awaited for decades by the women of the island. YAMIL LAGE/AFP via GETTYIMAGES

 “It is a historic result for Cuban boxing,” said judges over the loudspeaker when announcing Polledo as the winner in a first for the communist island nation

Cuban women have made an impact at the international and olympic levels in other sports. Including weightlifting and wrestling, since 2006. Women boxing is now paracticed in 187 of the 202 member countries of the International Boxing Association (IBA). No professional sports are allowed in the country in keeping with its Marxist-Lennist doctrine meaning that many Cuban athletes of both genders flee abroad to pursue careers in sport.


Now days Cuba has had female representation in all sport. “This is a moment that we have been preparing for, for several years,” Alberto Puig de la Barca, president of the Cuban Boxing Federation said.

Cuban authorities finally allow women to compete in boxing
Cuban boxer Namibia Flores poses for the photographer in the gym of the high school ‘Rafael Trejo’ in Havanna, Cuba, 5 September 2016. The 46-year-old is still considered a great talent today, now its officially women can compete, but the maximum is 40 years old. GUILLERMO NOVA/PICTURE ALLIEANCE via GETTYIMAGES

Namibia Flores, who known as Cuban boxing coach for two decades of dedication in boxing happy that women can compete today. “I’m really happy it’s happened,” Flores said. Flores is a trainer, she was one of the first girls who is in training since 2006.

Although it is a sweet moment, it’s also means bittersweet moment for Flores. She has been two decades of dedication, but when the chance to compete comes, she now too old to be eligible to box competitively for Cuba. Flores at 46, the maximum is 40 years old. She have bittersweet feeling, because
can’t represent Cuba. She hope to attend Paris 2024 as the leading women’s boxing trainer.“I’m just trying to do my part,” Flores said.

Besides lateness of woman allowed to be compete in boxing, there are others problems with economic crisis. Now days, it’s hard to find food, and enough vitamins, even finding boxing equipment. Finding boxing gloves, punching bags, and skipping ropes is hard to come by since Cold War.
“It taken a great effort, ” heavyweight Joanna Rodriguez said.

As a result of the change in policy it is projected that at the next Boxing World Cup in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, in May, Cuba could be represented
by its women.

Edited by Joseph Hammond

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