By José Alejandro Rodríguez Zas
This Tuesday, September 21, a few days after reaching his 75th birthday, “El Zurdo de Juanelo”, Orlandito Martínez, ex-boxer and the first Olympic champion of Cuban sport after 1959, died after suffering from Alzheimer’s.
According reported A note from Jit, Orlandito was born in the Juanelo neighborhood, in San Miguel del Padrón, Havana, on September 2, 1946 and took his first steps in a San Miguel gym, in Luyanó Moderno, back in 1963.
He participated in the Olympic Games in Mexico 1968, Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976, obtaining the gold medal in 1972. He was champion of the Pan American Games in Mexico 1975 and bronze medalist in the Central American Games of Santo Domingo 1974. Always boxing in the division of the 54kg, he won the International Boxing Tournament “Giraldo Córdova Cardín” three times and multiple times as national champion.
“His death, which we deeply regret, is not enough to undo the mark that he carved as a symbol of the sport to which he gave himself fully. Orlandito Martínez will continue with us as the champion that he is. Our hug to family, friends and followers of the great boxer, ”wrote the head of the Cuban Olympic Committee Roberto León Richards, also on Twitter.
“It hurts to know that Orlando Martínez Romero, our beloved Orlandito, the first Olympic champion of revolutionary sport, died in Munich 1972. He shone in other struggles and was undefeated monarch of loyalty to his people. Condolences from #InderCuba to family and friends ”, the president of INDER, Osvaldo Vento, expressed on his Twitter account.
On behalf of the Swing Completo team, we convey our condolences to the family and friends of Orlandito Martínez, “El Zurdo de Juanelo”, as well as to all the fans of the cuban boxing. His corpse will be veiled at the Santa Catalina funeral home today, Wednesday, September 22, and around five in the afternoon, Cuban time, he will be buried in the pantheon of sports glories in the Necropolis of Colón.