Winning by Knockout, Another Excellent Reason / Juan Juan Almeida

Juan Juan – My good friend Cepillo, Don Joel Casamayor. Your sports career began in Cuba and continues in the United States. You own all the titles that exist in the amateur and professional boxing. To whom do you owe so many laurels?

Joel Casamayor – Look, brother; I owe that to many. I was born in Guantanamo and live in the US. In Cuba I have my mother, family members, friends, and followers who are always in my prayers, my grandmother died there. Here too I have family, children, friendships. That which I am I owe to my strength, to those who work with me, and those who trust in me, in my family, in the friends who follow me, and to God.

JJ – You invited me to your fight in Las Vegas, and I saw you win. What is your next step?

JC – The next step is to rest, and after a week return to training, to boxing, to knocking out.

JJ – Would you like to go to Cuba sometime to fight?

JC – Sometime? You’re crazy, not only would I like it, I would love to fight in my country for my people. For those people who follow me, who listen to me by hidden radio, who watch me by illegal antennas. I want to take care of my brother, I want to kiss my mother, I want to invite my friends. But when a sportsman decides to leave Cuba, the government punishes him and has to pay for that. It’s something I don’t understand, nor anyone. We have to finish this old fight which is holding us all prisoner. That would be the knockout victory that every Cuban is hoping for.

People can believe that when you’re world champion, your problems are over. But it isn’t that way; my brother is sick in Cuba, he needs me like I need him, why do I have to ask for a permit to enter the house I was born in?

JJ – I’m with you 100%. We can’t respect an entry or exit visa imposed with the objective of stealing and robbing.

Cepillo, what do you think of so many people who laugh about how a boxer speaks?

JC – A boxer? I don’t understand … ahhhh, yes. I think that boxers came to the world to box, writers to write, and those who talk … tell me, Juan, does anyone gain respect by poking fun?

Shoemaker, stick to thy last.

We’ll see each other at my next fight.

March 30 2011