dimanche 21 mars 2010

1986 Reno : 4th World Championships

Introduction :

After the 1984 Olympic Games and their boycott by the Eastern bloc, the World Championships in Reno/USA will be a new opportunity to confront USA and Cuba. Two years later, a new Cuban boycott at the Olympic Games in Seoul will impeach this sort of confrontation.

Once again, video or photography of this WC are very rare.

Preparation :

1985 :

During the 18th Giraldo Cordova Cardin Tournament, in June 1985, Cuba wins almost all the medals.

During the 16th Central American and Caribbean Championships, in Venezuela, in September 1985, Cuba wins 9 gold medals and 2 silver.

Cuban boxing team flag

1986 :

In the 19th Giraldo Cordova Cardin Tournament, in April 1986, Cuba again dominates every foreign competitors.

World Championships :

At the beginning of the Perestroika and Glasnost in USSR and the end of the cold war between USA and USSR, tension remains high between Cuba and America.

These Championships are held in a gambling city as Reno/Nevada, from 8th to 18th May, 1986.

Cuban Sports Stamps

Gold Medalists :

(-48 kg) Juan Torres Odelin wins the gold medal against Luis Roman Rolon/Puorto Rico, on points 5-0. The Puerto Rican will subsequently be disqualified after a drug test. Odelin has already won the 1984 Friendship Games, which replaced the 1984 Olympics Games for eastern countries. He left the Cuban Olympic and World team.

(-51 kg) Pedro Orlando Reyes beats David Grimani/Venezuela, on points 5-0. Previously, Reyes winsn his three preliminary fights. Orlando Reyes has already won the 1984 Friendship Games. He will win the bronze medal at the 1989 WC.

(-60 kg) Adolfo Horta beats Engels Pedroza/Venezuela, on points 3-2. Previously, Horta wins his 4 preliminary fights, including the semi-final against Orzubek Nazarov/USSR, on points 3-2. Adolfo Horta has become World Champion for the 3rd time, after Belgrade in 1978 and Munich in 1982. He was also silver medalist in the 1980 Olympic Games. He left the Cuban Olympic and World team. Nazarov will be European Amateur Champion in 1987. As a professional, he will become World Champion of the lightweights.

(-71 kg) Angel Espinosa beats Enrico Richter/West Germany, on points 4-1. Previously, Espinosa wins his 3 preliminary fights. Espinosa has already won the 1984 Friendship Games. He will win a silver medal at the 1989 WC.

Angel Espinosa

(-81 kg) Pablo Romero beats Loren Ross/USA, on points 4-1. Romero dominated the fight, but has given low blows and also hit his opponent after the round, without being warned by the referee (Lodi News-Sentine, May 19, 1986). Romero wins his first 3 preliminary fights. Romero has been gold medalist at the 1982 WC and will be silver medalist at the 1989 WC.

(-91 kg) Felix Savon beats Arnold Vanderlyde/Netherlands, on points 5-0. Previously, Savon wins his first 3 fights, including the semi-final against Svilen Rusinov/Bulgaria, by RSC in the 2nd round. The career of Felix Savon : 3 gold medals at the OG and 6 gold medals at the WC, this from 1986 to 1997. Vanderlyde will be 3 times bronze medalist at the OG, and also a silver medalist at the 1991 WC. Savon and Vanderlyde will fight 5 times, with 5 wins for the Cuban.


Felix Savon (left) vs Vanderlyde at the 1992 Olympic Games

(+91 kg) Teofilo Stevenson beats Angel Garcia/USA, by RSC in the 2nd. video of the fight : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAecmk5dV_s

Alex Garcia has only 17 wins and 1 defeat, after being released from prison in 1984. He will turn professional, but will never be a World Champion.


Alex Garcia (left) against Teofilo Stevenson

Before the final, Stevenson wins his first 3 fights, including a fight against Vyacheslav Yakovlev, the World Cup winner. Stevenson uses his jab and hits his opponent in the mid-section, to win the fight (Anchorage Daily News 17.05.1986). The Teofilo Stevenson career is the subject of an special article in this blog.

Silver Medalists :

(-57 kg) Kelci Banks/United States beats Jesus Sollet, on points 4-1. Sollet wins 3 fights before this defeat. Sollet has not fought other Olympic or World fights. Banks will turn professional, but will never be a World Champion.

(-67 kg) Kenneth Gould/USA beats Candelario Duvergel, on points 3-2. Previously, Duvergel wins his preliminary 4 fights. Duvergel has won the 1984 Friendship Tournament and will be 5th in the 1989 WC and 3rd at the 1991 WC. Gould will be a bronze medalist at the 1988 OG. He will be professional, but will never be a World Champion.

Bronze Medalist :

(-75 kg) Julio Quintana loses in the semifinals against Darrin Allen/USA. Quintana is counted after two rights in the head, during the second round. Allen wins 5-0. Allen, who had pledged to live in Cuba for 30 days if he didn't beat Quintana, said "I'm throwing my passport away" (Anchorage Daily News, 17.05.1986). Previously, Quintana wins his first three fights. He left the Cuban Olympic and World team.

Eliminated without medals :

(-54 kg) in the preliminaries, Arnaldo Mesa wins 3 fights before losing in the semi-finals against the Korean Sung Kil Moon, on points 2-3. Mesa will be a silver medalist at the 1996 OG and wins two bronze medals at the 1989 and 1991 WC.

(-63.5 kg) In the quarter-finals, Eduardo Correa (not to be confused with Emilio) loses vs Vailiy Shishov/USSR, on points 0-5. Previously, Correa wins his first two preliminary fights. He left the Cuban Olympic and World team.

Comparisons with other teams :

Cuba finishes first, with 7 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. The USA are second and USSR third.

In direct confrontation, Cuba has 5 wins and 1 loss against the USSR.

Cuba has won 2 fights against the U.S. for 3 losses, a very surprising result.

Cuba has fought 48 fights, with 43 wins and 5 defeats, a victory ratio of 89.5%. This result is much better than the 3rd WC, in 1982, with 81.5%, the 2nd WC in 1978 with 86% and the 1st WC, in 1974 with 84%.

Concerning the general opposition, with the exception of Henry Maske (silver medalist in the -75 kg) and the Canadian Lennox Lewis (eliminated by Petar Stoymenov/Bulgaria in his first preliminary fight) no futur professional boxing star has participated in these World Championships.


Henry Maske (left) against Angel Espinosa, 1988

After the World Championships :

For the 15th Central American and Caribbean Games, held from June 24th to July 5th, 1986, in the Dominican Republic, Cuban wins 11 gold medals and 1 silver.

Cuba meets twice the US team. On 13th December, 1986, in Lake Tahoe/USA, Cuba wins 9 fights and loses 3 fights with a new team, including old and new fighters.

On 18th December, 1986, in Sacramento/USA, Cuba wins 7 fights for 2 losses.

During these 3 tournament, Felix Savon is now a part of the Cuban team.

Conclusions :

Reno 1986, with the last presence of Teofilo Stevenson and Adolfo Horta is a turning point for the Cuban boxing team.

At the same time, a new generation emerges with Felix Savon, who will dominate the heavyweights for nearly 14 years and Arnaldo Mesa, who will fight at the highest level until 1996.

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