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Ramirez Accuses Cuban Regime of Intimidation in Fulton vs Inoue Undercard Fight

Earlier today, featherweight champion Robeisy Ramirez voiced strong criticism against Cuban government officials following his title defense bout against Satoshi Shimizu. The title match took place in Tokyo, Japan, as part of the undercard for the Stephen Fulton vs Naoya Inoue showdown.

Robeisy Ramirez successfully defended his Featherweight title against  Satoshi Shimuzu today (July 25th)
Robeisy Ramirez successfully defended his Featherweight title against Satoshi Shimuzu today (July 25th)

Despite Cuba's recent loosening of a six-decade ban on professional boxing, the sport is still heavily regulated. The ban originated from Fidel Castro's 1962 policy which sought to curb 'corporate exploitation' in professional sports in favor of amateur boxing, in line with the nation's one-party communist state ideology.

This shift towards amateur boxing allowed Cuba to become a powerhouse in the sport, even as many of its top talents, like Ramirez, defected to pursue professional boxing careers elsewhere. Ramirez himself, a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2012, 2016) for Cuba, left his homeland in 2019 to turn pro in the United States.

Despite a surprising loss in his professional debut, Ramirez has since emerged victorious in all subsequent 12 fights, and recently claimed the WBO featherweight crown after defeating Isaac Dogboe.

Today, he faced his first world title defense as part of the Fulton vs Inoue undercard. However, according to Ramirez, Cuban officials reached out to Japanese broadcasters and demanded they refrain from playing the Cuban national anthem and restrict Ramirez from displaying the Cuban flag due to his defection.

Ramirez took to social media to condemn what he referred to as a "vicious and tyrannical act" and a "vile attempt at intimidation." He proclaimed, "I am a free man. The anthem, like the flag, does not belong to the regime... What they don't know is that far from silencing me, they have further motivated me to achieve success and continue to raise my voice and clamour for the freedom of my homeland."

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