The Cuba Domadores booked their place in WSB Season VI Finals in emphatic fashion on Friday night, repeating their superb first-leg whitewash of Uzbek Tigers to take the match 10-0.
The Cuban side were once again in unstoppable form, punishing the slightest mistake from their opponents and showing just why they will be many people’s favourites for this year’s title, whether they face British Lionhearts or Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.
The Domadores’ top flyweight Yosbany Veitia continued his excellent record in the competition with an opening win against Abrorjon Kodirov, deputising for Shakhobiddin Zoirov. Veitia quickly found his rhythm, and despite Kodirov’s best efforts to find a way into the bout, the 24 year-old Cuban had an inspired fourth round and his victory sealed the two-leg tie for the hosts.
With their place in the final already secure, the first of Cuba’s three-time AIBA World Champions Lazaro Alvarez then continued the relentless onslaught against Uzbekistan’s Elnur Abduraimov. With the first two rounds going to Alvarez, Abduraimov rallied in the third with some strong right jabs but began to tire by the fifth, the Cuban’s speed ultimately proving too much to contend with.
London 2012 Olympic Welterweight Champion Roniel Iglesias was back to his very best against Strandja Memorial Tournament winner Makhmud Gaipov, dominating a one-sided affair to take a unanimous points win and show why he will be a favourite to retain his Olympic title this summer. Cuban team captain and triple AIBA World Heavyweight Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz was in no mood to sully his incredible WSB record either, patiently waiting for openings in Shukhrat Abdullaev’s defences. The Uzbek star battled hard to stay in the contest, but the fleet-footed La Cruz danced his way out of trouble time and time again to secure another comfortable win.
That left super heavyweight Leinier Pero to complete the whitewash with a thrilling victory over Mirzohidjon Abdullaev that got the crowd to their feet. The Uzbek adopted some typically Cuban footwork to steer himself out of trouble early on as Pero seized the initiative, but despite a rousing last round he couldn’t match the Cuban’s scoring and the hosts romped through to a 10-0 win, notching up their ninth 5-0 score of the season and throwing down the gauntlet to their next opponents.