Cuban police capture boxing champ attackers

Havana, Jan 10 (IANS) A special Cuban police unit has apprehended two suspected robbers for the weekend attack and shooting of two-time world boxing champion Julio Cesar La Cruz.

“Following an investigation, the special police unit arrested the perpetrators,” the interior ministry said in a statement Thursday, reports Xinhua.
La Cruz, world champion at Baku in 2011 in the 81-kg category, and again at Almaty in 2013, was wounded by a gunshot in the early morning hours of Jan 4 in the city of Camaguey, 570 km east of Havana, outside a recreational centre.
La Cruz, who spent a night at the hospital before being discharged Jan 5 for recovering “favourably”, was accompanied at the time of the attack by Leiner Pero, who is also a member of the Cuban national boxing team. Officials didn’t say whether Pero was also injured in the incident.
The assailants were identified as Freidys Felix Arias Matos, on conditional release since August on charges of robbery and assault, and Kelvis Lazaro Ballester Guerrero, who has a criminal record for stealing livestock.
“Both confessed to committing the crime to steal and said they did not know the identity of the victims,” said the ministry.
The Cuban Boxing Federation said La Cruz will return Friday to team training.