Boxing is a popular sport in Cuba. As of 1992, there were over 16,000 boxers on the island. Across Cuba today there are 494 boxing coaches and 185 facilities. Of the 99,000 athletes in Cuba currently, 19,000 are boxers, including 81 of Olympic competence, even though only 12 make the Olympic team.
The Cuban amateur boxing system along with other sports programs start in grammar schools. Sports are considered a high priority in the Cuban education system and it’s there a potential athlete can be recognized. From the age of 12, talented youths are sent to specialized schools where they can focus on enhancing their skills. From there the young boxers train throughout a very competitive youth program. The ones that graduate from the program are sent to the top school in Wajay, where they train advanced drills and exercises. The support that the state gives is crucial to the advancement of the highly technical boxing program.