Boxing dreams

Havana, Cuba – February 2010

During the last 30 years Cuba, a country of approximately 11 million residents, has produced more World Champions and Olympic gold medallists in amateur boxing than any other country, including the United States and Russia. Many famous Cuban fighters, like Teófilo Stevenson or Félix Savón, were training at Rafael Trejo boxing gym in their youth. This run down open air facility in the oldest district of Havana has a strong appeal. It is a place of learning and mastering the art of boxing by the old school style. Here, during the never ending afternoon drills, amongst the antiquated equipment, the dreams about better future are born and kept. Boys begin their training very young, many of them have just one dirty t-shirt and one pair of worn out shoes. As sports are given a high political priority in Cuba, all children are systematically encouraged and helped to develop their skills. Those who succeed will become heroes of Cuban society. Boxers in Cuba are like rock stars, loved and worshipped by the masses.

Photography by Jan Sochor
Music by Los Aldeanos – “El Rap Es Guerra”, El Atropello (2009)

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Copyright © 2014 Jan Sochor. No photographs and text may be used or reproduced in any form.