World Series of Boxing, the annual professional series overseen by AIBA, the international boxing association, has announced that Cuba will run a franchise in the 2013-14 season.
It is the first time that Cuba has signed up to WSB, which has now completed three seasons, and marks the return of professional sport to the country since it was outlawed by the Communist regime in 1962.
While WSB boxers are paid by their franchises and/or sponsors, they can still compete in events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Boxers earn between $1,000 and $3,000 a month in the WSB, as well as receiving bonuses ranging from $500 to $2,000 for winning bouts. Cuban athletes collect lifetime stipends of $100 to $300 a month for winning Olympic or world championship medals, but the average monthly salary on the island is just $20.
Alberto Puig de la Barca, president of the Cuban Boxing Federation, said: "I am extremely happy to finish this intensive week of discussions and work with this very symbolic moment. I can feel a lot of respect between us, a lot of transparency, and I am convinced that this is just the beginning of a fruitful working relationship and friendship. We are thrilled to enter this great competition and we are already preparing ourselves with a lot of enthusiasm."
He continued: "We are convinced that this competition will help our boxers in becoming even better and preparing the World Championships, Continental Championships and obviously the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the best possible conditions."
The Cuba WSB squad will feature 30 boxers across various weight categories.
Karim Bouzidi, chief executive of WSB, said: "Cuba has always been one of the best - if not the best - boxing country in the world and it really is with huge pride that we welcome your franchise in WSB. On behalf of Dr Ching-Ku Wu, AIBA President and WSB Board chairman, I want to express our gratitude to the National Sports Authorities of Cuba who have demonstrated a great support to our competition programmes since we first visited the island a few months ago.
"We are excited to witness the Cuban Franchise and boxers competing in WSB next season. We appreciate the massive step it represents not only for boxing but for all sports in Cuba."
At present, the WSB, the first involving national rather than city-based franchises, involves Mexico, USA, Argentina, Italy, UK, Germany, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Algeria and Kazakhstan.
The 2013-14 WSB season gets under way in November, with the full make-up of franchises yet to be announced.