Amir Khan is poised to land a high-profile rematch against the man who denied him Olympic gold in Athens last summer.
The Amateur Boxing Association has confirmed that a deal had been struck for a Four Nations team to fight the mighty Cubans in Liverpool in April.
That could mean a return clash between Khan and Mario Kindelan, the legendary lightweight who beat the Bolton teenager 30-22 in their Olympic final.
Kindelan, unbeaten in major competitions since 1999, announced his retirement after beating Khan but subsequently told Cuban media he had reversed his
decision and would box on.
Another match between Khan and Kindelan would top a mouth-watering card against the cream of a nation which scooped no fewer than five boxing gold
medals in Athens. Cuba is the most successful amateur boxing nation in history, having claimed 32 golds going back to the first of the great Teofilo
Stevenson's three titles in Munich in 1972. Khan, who survived a knockdown and a bloody nose to make a winning start on his ABA Championships debut in
Preston on Monday night, said: "There are rumours that Kindelan is coming in April so 2005 is going to be as busy as ever."
News of the Cubans' imminent arrival represents a major coup for the ABA who are anxiously attempting to build on the unprecedented publicity afforded
them by Khan's success. Officials hope the Cuban team's visit will be an extended one during which the ABA can establish permanent links and learn
from the Caribbean nation's acclaimed training programme.
Khan's decision to remain at the lightweight limit of 60kgs for international competition makes his rematch against Kindelan possible. The 18-year-old
intends to continue boxing at the higher light-welterweight limit in domestic competition in order to gain more experience. Khan insisted he had not
been put off the idea by his tough senior ABA introduction, during which he was decked in the fourth round of his opening contest against Manchester's
Khan said: "I've been boxing at 60kgs for three years and won all the championships so I wanted to go up and box stronger lads.
"Internationally I will still box at 60kgs because I can still make the weight. But I am moving up in the ABAs for experience.
"I was not surprised by what happened because I spar with a lot of 64kg lads in my gym so I knew they would have a lot more power."
Khan said he would learn the lessons of his tough night against Watson and Salford's Liam Dorian, who gave him trouble before the favourite clinched a
lopsided points win. Khan now goes forward to the north-west counties finals at Liverpool Olympia on February 18. He added: "I want to go all the way
in every competition in the world and I want to win it.
"This weight gets me more focused and gives me that extra boost to go out there and train because I've gone up to fight lads who can hit a bit.
"It was a case of adapting and hopefully in Liverpool I can box a bit better. I think I can go out there and win the Championships."