JUNGLES in PARIS presents

In Havana, boys come of age in the boxing ring.

Ever since boxing came to Cuba in the early 20th century, the country has punched well above its weight in the ring. Its boxers have won more gold medals on the international circuit than those of any other country.

The Cuban style of boxing is notable for its elegance—it emphasizes speed and footwork, and breeds boxers so chiseled they seem to be cheating their weight class.

Traditionally, these boxers have not been paid. They are amateurs, hungrily recruited by the state. "No athlete in the world lives in a place more dedicated to discovering, nurturing and celebrating great athletes," the sports writer S.L. Price has observed. "If you are a dirt-poor, ten-year-old phenom buried somewhere in Cuba's deepest backwater, you will be found. You will win. You will be a national hero."

Times are slowly changing. But even as boxing in Cuba becomes professionalized, the promise of youth--of the quick, fierce boys who train in Havana--continues to fuel the sport.

Cinematographer- Laurent Tixon Editor -Ben Louis Nicholas

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