Despite Diaz-Canel’s Congratulations, Boxing Champion Yoenlis Hernández Does Not Return to Cuba

Cuban boxer Yoenlis Hernández left the Domadores de Cuba in Panama. (Cubadebate/IBA)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 16 May 2023 — Yoenlis Hernández’s escape was a one-two punch for Miguel Díaz-Canel, who the day before congratulated him for having been the only gold medalist and two-time champion in the 165-pound category in the Boxing World Cup that was held in the capital of Uzbekistan. According to journalist Yordano Carmona, the native of Camagüey “abandoned the Cuban delegation returning from Tashkent.”

The reporter shared an image of Hernández with the champion belt and a poster with the $200,000 he earned as part of the Domadores de Cuba team. “No one wants to stay on the Island, not even when you win a prize of 200,000 dollars,” he stressed.

The escape of this pugilist took place in “Panama, during a technical stopover to Havana,” Ernesto La Flecha said on Facebook. “The torches are lit, another one that is looking for a professional future.” Swing Completo published that this Cuban took the opportunity to “board a flight to Spain.”

Hernández’s departure is “a serious casualty for the Cuban squad, in which he had become one of the main figures and the hope for medals in the various international events,” published Play-Off Magazine.

Hernández said goodbye on Saturday from the mixed area of the Humo Arena stadium with a dedication after being proclaimed champion. “What is promised is a debt, here is the gold medal, which is for Cuba.” This athlete, whom the official media Jit praised for having won five fights in the event and staying “averse to the shocks (decisions)” of the judges, said that “he had grown a lot as an athlete.”

Hernández’s words seemed to announce his escape, as did those of Kevin Brown Bazain, youth world champion in Yerevan, Armenia, in 2012, who fled in March last year prior to his participation in the Continental Boxing Championship in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Billy Rodríguez took advantage of his stay in Mexico in August 2022 to hit another blow to the Domadores of Cuba. Osvel Caballero, winner of a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima and bronze at the 2021 World Boxing Championship in Belgrade, escaped in November.

He was followed by Albert González and Carlos Castillo who left the team in Germany, where Cuba had won its first three bronze medals in the World Boxing Cup.

Cuban boxing is going through an alarming crisis. In the last Boxing World Cup, Olympic medalists Julio César La Cruz, Arlen López, Lázaro Álvarez and Roniel Iglesias could not even access the medals. The ruling party media Jit blamed the judges for the missteps of the Domadores of Cuba in Tashkent, transforming journalism in Cuba.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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