Next to his homeland’s fine cigars, many in the boxing world would consider Joel Casamayor one of Cuba’s greatest exports. The 35-year-old southpaw’s record speaks for itself. From winning an Olympic gold medal at the Barcelona games to reigning as the current WBC Lightweight Champ, Casamayor has had a career most boxers would only dream about. “Growing up in Cuba I didn’t have many athletic options,” said Casamayor. “I was too short for baseball, and boxing fit my temperament well.”

Casamayor won the NABF Super Featherweight title in 1999. Later that year, he won the WBA Super Featherweight title. In 2002, he lost that title in a unification bout with WBO champion Acelino Freitas. After working his way up the rankings, Casamayor took on Diego Corrales and defeated him by split decision, winning the WBC Lightweight title in October of 2006.

Casamayor is a fighter motivated by his family and the prestige of being a world champ. “I have a great will to win. I hate to lose, and I feel that I never have really lost a fight,” said the champ. “I will definitely never let any chump say he beat the great Casamayor.”
Along with his loyalty to his wife Escarlin and his nine children, Casamayor feels a strong allegiance to his native Cuba. “I’m the only Cuban champ right now. That’s special to me,” said Casamayor. “My Cuban flag is always on my trunks. I always represent Cuba when I fight.” As an amateur, Casamayor once traded a bike given to him by Fidel Castro for winning the gold medal in exchange for a pig so his family could eat. “I’m true to my family and my beliefs,” he said. “I’m a cool Cuban with the talent to be on top for a long, long time. My ultimate goal is most certainly the Boxing Hall of Fame.”

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