Boxers head to Cuba for preparations

Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Vijender Singh has, however, decided to skip the April 19-May 8 trip due to a nose injury picked up during the Commonwealth Championships here last month.

With the world number one Indian opting out, the contingent for Cuba does not feature any middleweight (75kg) boxer.

Those going to Cuba include Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar (57kg) and Commonwealth Championships gold medallists Suranjoy Singh (51g), Amandeep Singh (48kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Dinesh Kumar (81kg) and Paramjeet Samota (+91kg).

“Training in Cuba always helps. It is the toughest tour to endure but a very rewarding one. This is part of our build-up for the Commonwealth Games,” said national coach Gurabax Singh Sandhu.

“Part of the credit for improvement in our boxing goes to our training trips to Cuba because we trained in a country which is a powerhouse of the sport. But it has been a while since we went there. The last time we trained in Cuba was before the Asian Games in 2006,” he added.

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