• Amateur Cuban boxers now have the option to turn professional 
  • The professional aspect of the sport was banned in 1962 by Fidel Castro's government
  • Cuban standouts such as Andy Cruz and Lazaro Alvarez are expected to turn pro soon

Cuba is well-known around the world for producing some of the most talented amateur boxers to have ever graced the ring, and after 60 long years, the world will get to see their best fighters enter the professional circuit.

According to Boxing Scene, Cuba’s best amateur boxers can turn pro as early as May and will be represented by Golden Ring Promotions based in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The outlet also received a copy of the formal statement from the Federacion Cubano de Boxeo (FCB) about why they made the change.

“Three and a half years ago a serious analysis began that has resulted in the approved agreement and well seen by the direction of the country's sport and the Cuban Boxing Federation with Golden Ring Promotions, for the representation of Cuba in its entry into professional boxing,” said FCB president Alberto Puig.

“The continuous sports and competitive preparation of Cuban boxers to continue representing and raising the name of Cuban boxing in all competitions where it forms part and the economic benefit it represents for boxers, coaching staff, and medical triad that work with the team, are one of the main objectives.”

Lazaro Alvarez, Cuba
Bronze medalist Cuba's Lazaro Alvarez celebrates on the podium with his medal after the men's feather (52-57kg) boxing final bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 5, 2021. Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

Standout Olympic medalists such as Lazaro Alvarez, Andy Cruz, Roniel Iglesias, Julio Cesar La Cruz and Arlen Lopez are all expected to turn pro next month.

Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro and his government banned the sport back in 1962, saying that the sport was corrupt and exploitative.

Because of this, the sport was limited to just being a strictly amateur sport and had led to the country being a dominant force in the Olympics, winning a handful of medals in the Summer Games.

However, many Cuban pugilists chose to leave the country in recent years to seek a lucrative professional career not available at home under Cuba’s socialist system.

With the new policy, Cuban boxers would receive 80% of the compensation for winning bouts, while 15% will go to trainers and 5% to their medical staff.

“We will seek to place [Cuban boxers] in the rankings of all the professional boxing organizations for whom we have a deep respect. The boxers will have the full support of the Cuban sports authorities, they will train in Havana and travel to take part in professional fights,” Gerard Saldivar, the president of Golden Ring Promotions, mentioned.

Another Cuban defector will be fighting under the bright lights on Saturday, April 16 as WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas--who defeated Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in the latter’s retirement fight--is set to square off with IBF and WBC titleholder Errol Spence Jr in a unification showdown.

Yordenis Ugas
Yordenis Ugas poses with referee Russell Mora after defeating Manny Pacquiao in a WBA welterweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ugas retained his title by unanimous decision. Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images