The World Boxing Association closed its third “KO to drugs” event in 2012 with a big climax. To Choose a country like Jamaica with no boxing culture, was a challenge and stimulating vision of both Gilberto Mendoza and his son Gilberto Jesus, top leaders of the WBA. The intention was to see if the Caribbean island was prepared to host such a deep-rooted tradition event well known worldwide. They did.
The atmosphere in the National Indoor Center of Kingston was surprising. It was historical because it was the first time they hosted an event of this magnitude of the WBA. Never before we had seen two world title fights in the same card. A new opening to make boxing. The organizers can declare happy to see about 1,500 people gathered at the site, in a three-day-event.
The WBA aim is to reach to countries with little, or no boxing recognition, with social needs among its younger people. Undoubtedly, Jamaica, met the expectations with high score. The experience was as good as the participation of the people in each of the presentation held.
The show exceeded in every way. The organization was very good, except for normal situations typical of the Latin or Caribbean nations’ idiosyncrasy. The disorder of some fans near the ring was a mole. Even though they were supporting or celebrating the victory of their favorite boxer.
There is a decisive value in the food chain to conclude the success was devastating: live TV, united to another vital point, the support of a government that worked together with the promoting company to carry out the boxing card.
To match very similar fights helped. The “KO Drugs” concept is based on showing a boxer who is going up, to make him a star. Form a respectable figure for the society and not just on the ring. That was the case of the Jamaican Nicholas Walters who will always remember he was crowned as world champion for the first time in his career in an event that was created by Gilberto Mendoza 27 years ago.
Nevertheless, there are things to correct. The WBA should give the opportunity to boxers who are just starting their careers, so they have showcase. With fights of four or six rounds. This time there was a high presence of Panamanian judges and the selection should be made from different countries, beyond the issue of neutrality.
In my opinion, the KO Drugs held in Jamaica has been the best planned in the last three years by the WBA, that should reinforce the strategy to reach countries with no rich boxing history. The Jamaica experience was extraordinary and fascinating.
A country that is really abstract, cozy and fascinating. With striking stories in the culture of its people that are hard to understand. Jamaica came to stay. Boxing should become custom with feather champion “Axe man” Walters as its pyramid, that becomes a fixed square. If successful, the WBA should be satisfied. Kingston, Jamaica brought together social, sports, the broadcast of its values, unique goal of the “KO Drugs”. Jamaica, land of reggae, land of athletics, and why not boxing.