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Cuban Boxer Defects to US

Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has defected to the United States and plans to turn professional.

A U.S. representative of German-based Arena-Box Promotion says Rigondeaux is in Miami and has signed a contract with the company. The promoter would not say when or how the boxer made it to Miami.

Rigondeaux won the gold medal in the bantam weight division at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic games. He was dropped from the Cuban team after he and teammate Erislandy Lara unsuccessfully tried to defect during the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro. They were arrested by Brazilian police and sent back to Cuba.

Rigondeaux is the latest world class boxer to leave Cuba. Earlier defections include Lara and Odlanier Solis, the 2004 Olympic heavyweight champion.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.