Award of Excellence
"On the Ring"
Two Cuban children standing on the corner of a ring, during a boxing workout, in a small boxing school of Centro Havana. They are watching other two young fellow boxer, competing on the ring.
Havana, Cuba. 15 December 2016
Boxing is a very popular sport in Cuba, so much that its athletes are considered true national heroes. Boxing originally arrived on the Island as a tourist attraction, mainly as championship bouts between North American Boxers during the high tourist season. By 1959, Cuba had six professional world champions who were considered to be the founding fathers of this sport on the Island. But in 1962 the Revolutionary government banned professional boxing, since it was considered corrupt, and was hopelessly associated with exploitation of working class kids. As a result many professional athletes left the island.
The ban, which has been only recently lifted, left fertile ground for the flourishing of amateur boxing which become one of the most popular and successful sports in the Caribbean island. Nowadays Cuban boxers are dominant in all major international amateur competitions. The country is the second most successful boxing nation at the Olympic Games, with an incredible 73 medals, including 37 golds, behind only the United States. One reason for the unusual success in men's boxing, may be that Cubans identify sports talent at a young age, being the sport considered as an important factor for the growth of a person.
The picture was taken into one of the many boxing school in Havana during a regular training for children. The picture is not staged.