The Cuban Boxing Federation celebrated their second international event of the year after the great success of the Giraldo Cordova Cardin Memorial Tournament two weeks ago.
Their second competition, the Roberto Balado Cup produced the a similar quality of high class boxing in Havana.
The tournament is named after the legendary Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) boxer Roberto Balado, who sadly passed away shortly after winning his gold medal at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
Athlete of the tournament
Ecuador’s AMBC American Continental Champion Carlos Quipo has now made it two gold medals in successive Cuban international events.
Quipo made the London 2012 Olympic Games team for Ecuador, and the 24-year-old Light Flyweight class (49 kg) boxer has been working on his training with ferocious desire to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The exciting Ecuadorian continued his excellent form in Havana, as he defeated Cuba’s former National Champion Santiago Amador in the final of the Roberto Balado Cup.
Team of the tournament
Cuba won six gold medals in Havana, matching their performance in the Giraldo Cordova Cardin Memorial Tournament two weeks ago.
Their teenagers, AIBA Youth World Championships competitor Andy Cruz and Youth National Champion Armando Martinez started the winning path in the Roberto Balado Cup.
Luis Oliva was a reserve boxer in the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships, and he showcased his developing boxing knowledge in the Roberto Balado Cup, as the 20-year-old Light Welterweight class (64 kg) hope defeated his strong teammate, AIBA Youth World Champion Kevin Brown in the semi-final.
In his gold medal bout, he endured a hectic, but ultimately victorious fight against compatriot Jorge Moiran Vinet.
Former AIBA Junior World Champion 21-year-old Arlen Lopez has recently been competing in the World Series of Boxing, and displayed his strength and toughness as he defeated his tough teammate, Yasiel Despaigne in the tournament.
Cuba’s new Heavyweight class (91 kg) boxer, the 19-year-old Henrich Ruiz competed in the 2012 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Yerevan, Armenia, and earned his first ever elite tournament title in the Roberto Balado Cup.
Yoandry Toirac, Cuba’s top Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) boxer won his second event of June, continuing his unbeaten season.
Surprise of the tournament
Morocco’s Achraf Kharroubi is ranked number two in his country in the Flyweight class (52 kg), behind London 2012 Olympian Abdelali Daraa who took home a silver medal in the 5th Africa Cup in South Africa last week.
Kharroubi is the current Moroccan National Champion, and looks set to threaten his compatriot Daraa as the number one in Morocco, after his three victories at the Roberto Balado Cup.
The 24-year-old boxer defeated two Cuban boxers, including Ovidio Reyes and Yordan Soyet in Havana.
One to watch in the future
Venezuela’s Albert Ramirez bravely attempted to beat Ecuador’s Carlos Gongora in the quarter-finals of the South American Games in March, and proved his rapidly improving skills in Havana.
The Venezuelan Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) boxer won all of his four bouts in Cuba against Hungary’s Norbert Harcsa, Ecuador’s Carlos Mina, Cuba’s Yasmany Reyes and Angelo Morejon in the gold medal bout.
Stat/fact of the tournament
The cream of the Cuban squad received the right to relax at the time of the Roberto Balado Cup following their final victory in the WSB Finals, and therefore their young hopes shined in the international event.
Hungary’s squad did not compete in the recent Giraldo Cordova Cardin Memorial Tournament, but they took part in the Roberto Balado Cup where two-time Olympian and two-time EUBC European Continental Championships bronze medallist Miklos Varga claimed their only medal, a bronze.
Gold medal winners at the Roberto Balado Cup
49 kg: Carlos Quipo, Ecuador
52 kg: Achraf Kharroubi, Morocco
56 kg: Andy Cruz, Cuba
60 kg: Armando Martinez, Cuba
64 kg: Luis Oliva, Cuba
69 kg: Kleiber Gonzalez, Venezuela
75 kg: Arlen Lopez, Cuba
81 kg: Albert Ramirez, Venezuela
91 kg: Henrich Ruiz, Cuba
+91 kg: Yoandry Toirac, Cuba