Cuban fighters

Boxing originally arrived in Cuba as a tourist attraction mainly as championship bouts between North American Boxers during the high tourist season. In 1909 Havana had its first professional fight. Boxing matches had to go behind closed doors as it grew popular throughout the island. Despite the banishment of the sport at the time, for the lower classes, boxing constituted a possible ticket out of poverty as well as steady and reliable entertainment. In 1921 Cuba legitimized boxing with the establishment of the National commission on boxing and Wrestling. In 1961, along with other sports, the Revolutionary government banned professional boxing. However, Cuba has built a reputation in amateur boxing. By 1959, Cuba had six professional world champions who were considered to be the founding fathers of boxing and national heroes of Cuba. These fighters included Kid Gavilan, Benny Paret, and Kid Chocolate. The Cuban government used sport as a means of exhibiting the success of the new socialist government, and winning medals in international competitions became a high-profile means of promoting the ideals of new Cuba.