14ymedio, Havana, 22 August 2022 — Cuban boxer Billy Rodríguez traveled to Mexico with one goal: “to come out victorious and then enjoy myself,” he stated in an interview with the official site Jit. He showed his qualities last Friday in his professional debut against Miguel Ángel Luna, whom he beat by a technical knockout, and with his escape he gave another hook to the liver of the boxing team Domadores de Cuba.
El Niño Rodríguez, as he is known within the Cuban Boxing School, became, like every athlete who escapes, a traitor, who “turned his back on contractual obligations” and “whose attitude must be condemned.”
According to journalist Francys Romero, with Rodríguez’s abandonment there are now 31 athletes who have escaped this year from Cuban teams during international competitions, including those who have decided to end a contract with Cuba’s National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (Inder).
“These 31 include baseball players Alfredo Fadraga and Yosvany Ávalos, who were captured and deported back to Cuba last June,” the journalist said on his social networks. “It’s the reality right now of sport and Cuban society. The situation will only get worse. In 2023, there will be Central American and Pan American Games in the same year.
Billy Rodríguez’s escape is a serious setback for the Cuban regime that highlighted the young man from Havana as a revelation and Cuba’s hope in the 108-pound division. He was due to debut on June 5 in Buenos Aires, but host Sergio Daniel Rosales said he didn’t comply with the weight requirement.
Last Friday, Rodríguez showed himself against Luna as a fast boxer, with variety in his punches and a solid right, which took down his opponent. He exhibited in the ring the teachings of his mentor, Diógenes Luna, 2001 world champion in Belfast.
Rodríguez has defined himself as a boxer who likes to exploit his right, who likes to strike, dodge and counterattack. He is also a follower of Olympic and world champion Julio César La Cruz, but his idol is Lázaro Álvarez.
El Niño is gone from Cuba. The future may bring opportunities in boxing but also professionally, as this young man has completed his studies as a physical education teacher, said Cubadebate.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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