Cuba ends half-century ban on pro boxing

Associated Press + More

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba is breaking a five-decade ban on professional boxing and joining an international semi-pro league.

Fighters will compete for sponsored teams, box without protective headgear and earn $1,000 to $3,000 a month.

This is a big step for the island's Communist authorities, who long ago decided professional sports were not in keeping with Marxist social ideals.

The World Series of Boxing consists of 12 squads from across the globe that square off in a series of five fights using a point system similar to the pros. The competition begins in November.

The World Series of Boxing is organized by the international boxing association. The association's president, C.K. Wu, said Friday the WSB is "extremely pleased" to welcome Cuba.

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