The International Boxing Association Owes Thousands of Dollars in Prizes to Five Cuban Medalists

More than a year after winning the gold medal in the World Boxing Championship, Julio César La Cruz has not received the $100,000 prize money. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 1 December 2022 — The gold medalists at the 2021 World Boxing Championship, in Belgrade, Julio César La Cruz, Yoenlis Hernández Martínez and Andy Cruz Gómez and the bronze medalists, Osvel Caballero and Herich Ruiz Córdoba, still have not received the cash prize offered by the International Boxing Association (Aiba).

La Cruz, Hernández and Cruz, who received the medal, earned $100,000, while for Caballero and Ruiz, the prize is $25,000. The reason for the delay, according to the president of the organization, Umar Kremlev, is due to the economic embargo. “The problem is complicated. There are many banks that cannot make the transfer to Cuba,” reported Play-Off Magazine.

Visiting Havana, the manager did not specify whether the money is granted directly to the boxer or is paid, as usual, through the Cuban regime. He limited himself to saying that the monetary part serves the athletes so that they “invest in their future and families.”

“I will share this money with my family. I think I will manage to spend it wisely and find a good purpose,” Cruz said after beating Turkey’s Kerem Özmen in the 63.5kg category.

A year after that episode in Serbia, Andy Cruz’s situation changed. He was expelled from Cuban sports and from the Domadores in July after being exhibited for his escape attempt and being repudiated for undisciplined. The champion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is in the Dominican Republic where he is preparing for his professional debut.

The case of Herich Ruiz is similar, he escaped last March “after the weigh-in for his fight” against the American Arjan Iseni. The fight was part of the Continental Championship cartel, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The bronze medalist at the 2021 World Boxing Championships in Serbia is owed $25,000 by Aiba for the bronze achieved in Belgrade.

Umar Kremlev did not elaborate on the $125,000 of these two fighters are owed nor did he deny the possibility that they will receive the prize. He trusted that the solution will be resolved before the end of this year. “Although I know that for Cubans the payment is not the most important thing, but the fact of getting into the ring and representing the country with its flag and anthem. That is the dream of every boxer.”

The next World Boxing Championships will take place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from May 1-14, 2023. For this event, the gold medalist will be awarded $200,000, the silver medalist $100,000, and the bronze medalist $50,000.


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