If not for the sign that betrays its presence, the “Holvein Rodríguez Quesada” National School of Boxing, would go unnoticed. Those who transit at full speed down the road from the town of Chico, in Wajay, and don’t look up on time would never know that they went through next to the headquarters of the Cuba Domadores.
The facade looks like the picture of a car assembly plant or grocery store, a building that decorates the lonely place. Well away from the city noise, crouched in a peripheral area outside of Havana, in this stronghold every day each of the strategies and methods that Cuban fighters deployed at the World Series of Boxing are thought and carried out.
Arriving at school at 10:30 am, it’s late. At that time they have completed the first training session of the day. All boxers here (first, second and third figures to each division) jump out of bed at 6 am to break the day with exercises for about two hours. Then comes a break in which each fighter can go and take a bath, sweat still on a concrete bench or in their rooms or leave the vicinity of the residence, because in these days of the World Series, the coaches use this impasse to meet privately and discuss how to start the preparation with a view to the next stops and how competitive boxers are.
Outside the training rings, the facility is q quiet place; it seems that the only noises you can hear would come from the fists hitting the punching bags in the gym. When we entered there was no one throwing swings, or straight, or jabs, nor uppercuts. To see some action, you would have to stay until the afternoon when they start sparring.
In the distance, towering, impassable, a handful of shirtless men exhibited their perfect abs and gold teeth, wearing very long socks and red and blue shorts with white strips on the sides. They boasted one another, like small children, rebuked each other, classic tricks of men when they are in large groups. A healthy, seemingly without evil, maybe just torn by the particular dual meet some of them in their respective divisions.
At the school each of the leading figures of the national team has a room, that means, each ” Domador ” has a bedroom for himself, the rest of the fighters share their rooms with a teammate. Hence one of the major disputes here is to become the first fighter in each division, additional incentive to earn a spot, no doubt, a detail of the technical group.
Where we were most of the time we should be like the most central area of the dwelling, at least the most crowded. Some of them were walking around us wrapped in towels with clean faces, others, still soaked with sweat and listening to reggaeton and worked on their fancy haircuts.
Propitious moment to try to chat with several of them, about what’s coming in the World Series and the quarterfinal presumably paired with the U.S. squad , on their own rivalries in their divisions and on a couple of issues more .
* OnCuba will publish a series of four papers containing exclusive statements of some members of the Domadores team ( Yosvani Veitía, Lazaro Alvarez, Rosniel Iglesias, Yoandy Toirac , José A. Larduet and Erislandy Savon ) where they speak of prospects for the quarter -finals of the World Series of Boxing and their match against the United States.