Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Olympics [Print without images]

Friday, August 21, 2009
Cuba: Women boxing not 'appropriate'

Associated Press

HAVANA -- Cuba has no intention of fielding a team in women's boxing when the event makes its Olympic debut at the 2012 London Games, according to the president of the Cuban boxing federation.

The International Olympic Committee added the event to its program last week. Female boxers will compete in three weight classes, with 12 competitors each in flyweight, lightweight and middleweight.

"We have no plans at the moment to participate in any international events because we don't think the sport is appropriate for women," Jose Barrientos said in comments reported on Friday by Cuba's official news service, Prensa Latina.

The addition of women's boxing means all Olympic sports will have female and male competitors.

"Cuban women should be showing off their beautiful faces, not getting punched in the face," said Pedro Roque, a top coach of Cuban boxers.