Cuba could soon consider lifting its ban on women's boxing, International Boxing Association (AIBA) President C K Wu claimed here tonight.
A total of 280 boxers from 67 countries are taking part in the 2014 Women's World Boxing Championships, which Wu opened here, but Cuban fighters are again conspicuous by their absence, just as they were at London 2012 when female boxing made its debut on the Olympic programme.
When female boxing was added to the programme Cuban head coach Pedro Roque made clear his opposition to the idea by saying Cuban women "are made for beauty and not to take blows around the head", even though it offered the country an opportunity to consolidate their place as the second most successful nation in Olympic boxing history.
But Wu, who persuaded Cuba to end its decade long ban on professional boxing last year and enter a team in the World Series of Boxing, is optimistic that that prejudice is being eroded.
"I have visited Cuba three times and it has helped them to open their eyes to see what is happening internationally," Wu told insidethegames here.
"They cannot close the door and they are now starting to see how women's boxing has developed.
"They can see the potential."
This is the eighth edition of the Womens' World Championships since it launched in 2001 in Scranton in the United States, when 125 boxers from 30 countries competed.
Two of the three inaugural Olympic champions are competing here with American middleweight Claressa Shields aiming for her first world title and Irish lightweight Katie Taylor of Ireland chasing her fifth crown.
The only winner from London 2012 missing is flyweight champion Nicola Adams, a silver medallist in the last three World Championships, who will not compete on this occasion because she is recovering from a shoulder injury.
But England - the Home Nations compete separately at these Championships rather than under the British flag - still had reason to celebrate in the opening session.
European Women's Youth Continental Championships silver medallist Sandy Ryan beat Hungary's European Union champion Bianka Nagy, knocking her down in the third round of their light welterwight contest as she dominated every round.
The reward for the 21-year-old is a second round meeting will with Turkey's Gülsüm Şeyma Tatar, winner of this title at Ningbo in 2008 and Bridgetown in 2010.
The biggest surprise of the day, however, was the defeat of Argentina's American Women's Continental champion Leonela Sanchez in the bantamweight category, where she was considered a serious gold medal shot.
She was defeated on points by Dina Zholaman.
The tournament is due to continue until November 24.
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August 2009: Cuba refusing to send female boxers to London 2012