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shadow boxing

The sweat-covered boxer from this post is the man on the left, giving it his all in full Cuban sun.

The men would pair up, sparring until the coach said, in a calm deep voice, “Tiempo.” They’d rest a few minutes, wipe their faces, drink some water*. And when the coach again announced, “Tiempo.” they’d start back up until the next announcement.

Gimnasia de Boxeo Rafael Trejo
Havana, Cuba 

photographed 11.11.2022

*And if we were there, put up with a swarm of photographers intent on getting a Very Important Portrait of Very Sweaty Boxer.

boxing gym, after practice

 

 

Our days in Cuba were of course filled with photography. And it wasn’t just the things you’d expect, like old cars and older buildings. We spent part of one morning at a boxing gym, watching the men work out. It was an open-air gym, it was hot, it was muggy, and they were sweaty. It was rich with history and aspirations.

The gym is named for famed revolutionary Rafael Trejo González, who was killed leading student protests in 1930; his killing was a turning point in the battles against the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado.

Aspiring boxers train here under the coaching of Nardo Mestre Flores, whose goal is to keep alive Cuba’s rich boxing heritage.

Gimnasia do Boxeo Rafael Trejo
Havana, Cuba
photographed 11.11.2022

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