Cuban Boxers to Compete in Bulgaria

HAVANA TIMES, Feb 16 — The entire Cuban boxing team will participate in the Strandzha Tournament in Bulgaria next Wednesday, which will be the competitive debut of the islanders for this Olympic year, reported the Cuban Information Agency (AIN).

According to a Cuban coach, the team will be headed by world champion boxers Baku Lazaro Alvarez (56 kg) and Julio Cesar Cruz (81), who have already qualified for the 2012 London games.

As a new feature of the contest, included on the team of 10 fighters from the island will be Yasniel Toledo (60 kg) and Arisnoide Despaigne (69), neither of who appeared on the list of nine athletes last week canceled their participation in a tournament in Hungary.

Without giving details, AIN reported that Toledo had been previously excluded for “technical reasons” of the team. Meanwhile, Despaigne will now be replacing Carlos Banteur due to “last minute personal difficulties” experienced by the runner-up champion of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

For the upcoming the Bulgarian edition of the tournament, 63 competitors from 30 countries have confirmed their participation.