Rio 2016: Cuban boxers look to dominate in the ring

[Sports ★★★]


(P1) A dominant force in the Olympics boxing ring, Cuba will find it tough to maintain supremacy against professional boxers.

(P2) Professional boxers are competing at the Olympics for the first time after the international boxing association, AIBA, approved a constitutional change earlier this June.

(P3) The male boxers will also be in the ring without head guards for the first time since 1980, which could see more fights stopped on cuts and a new 10-point scoring system approach.

(P4) Cuban boxers, staunchly amateur, have dominated Olympic and World Championships for more than 40 years.

(P5) “Some boxers are better technically or stronger than others, but I don’t think there’s any fear or danger between professionals or amateurs under the Olympic rules,” Eduardo Limonta, a Cuban Boxing Commission official, told Al Jazeera.

(P6) The Caribbean nation has won 67 medals in the ring, 34 of them gold. However, AIBA’s decision to include professional boxers means the Cubans could be up against a stronger than normal opposition in Rio de Janeiro.

WORDS: 162


VOCABULARY: supremacy, constitutional, approach, staunchly, commission, opposition


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think professionals should be allowed to compete in the Olympic games? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think the Cuban boxing team has dominated for so long?
  4. Which do you like better, the summer or winter Olympics? Why?


  1. Who’s allowed to participate in the Olympics for the first time ever?
  2. Olympic boxers will still have to wear head protection. (T or F)
  3. How long have boxers from Cuba outshined their opponents in amateur competitions?
  4. Which news agency is mentioned in the article?
  5. How many overall medals has the Cuban boxing team won?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • dominant force (P1)
  • more fights stopped on cuts (P3)
  • under the Olympic rules (P5)
  • stronger than normal (p6)

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Image source: by “unknown” The Associated Press

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