Three Cuban boxers are taking part in the AIBA Road to Sofia training camp with each of them representing the highest level in this age group. The program will be very important for them to raise their physical and mental conditions before this sole Qualifying Event for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The current Cuban youth squad is as strong as in the last edition of the AIBA Youth World Championships and they come to Sofia with several gold medal hopes.
Javier Ibanez will be turning to 18 only in July but he is the top favourite of the Bantamweight class (56 kg) in the upcoming AIBA Youth World Championships in Sofia. Javier Ibanez won the Roberto Balado Cup in 2011 when he robbed to the world’s boxing life and put himself into the spotlight at the age of 15.
The 17-year-old Bantamweight class (56 kg) boxer claimed the gold medal at the Khayrutdinov Youth Memorial Tournament in Almaty, Kazakhstan in December and defended his throne at the Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament in Anapa, Russia. Ibanez opened his competition against a top quality rival Ukraine’s AIBA Junior World Championships silver medallist Ruslan Zubachuk but he was able to do better performance than his European rival. Ibanez was too strong for Azerbaijan’s defending Youth National Champion Khayyam Mammadov in the quarter-finals and defeated Uzbekistan’s two talented boxers Shukurjon Rakhimov and ASBC Asian Youth Continental Championships silver medallist Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov.
Might be he will be able to continue Robeisy Ramirez’s path who won the AIBA Youth World Championships and the Singapore Youth Olympics in 2010 and short after these successes he was crowned at the London 2012 Olympics as well. Ibanez is focusing only to his next step the AIBA Road to Sofia Program where he have to finalize his perfect preparation to the AIBA Youth World Championships.
Alayn Limonta Boudet is newcomer in the youth level but he dominated all of his contests as junior athlete. The 17-year-old boxer trains in the capital city of the country and had excellent results in the recent two years. Limonta won the Cuban Junior National Games in 2012 and in 2013 as well therefore he was the top favourite for the gold at the 2013 AIBA Junior World Championships in Kiev.
Limonta proved his best ever performance in Ukraine after his first easy contest and defeated his top rival Russia’s Suleiman Bammatov in the gold medal bout in Kiev. The virtuoso boxer won the Cuban Youth National Championships two months ago which was their selection event for Sofia. Since the AIBA Junior World Championships he moved up to the Lightweight class (60 kg) and has got enough condition to control his upcoming contests in the youth level.
The third Cuban team member in the AIBA Road to Sofia Program will be Yordan Alain Hernandez who has celebrated his 18th birthday earlier this month. The strong boxer won the Cuban Junior National Games in 2012 when he fought in the highest weight class and reached his first career highlight.
The Heavyweight class (91 kg) boxer joined to the youth national squad in 2013 following his gold medal at the Cuban Youth National Championships. Hernandez was silver medallist in the Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament and bagged a gold at the Khayrutdinov Youth Memorial Tournament in Kazakhstan in 2013. The 18-year-old tough hope could not repeat his same performance at the annual Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament in Russia last month due the Cuban squad did not have enough time to acclimatize in the competition.