The second day of the 98th World Boxing Association (WBA) Convention began with the Official Opening Ceremony, attended by all the people involved in the organization of this event in Fuzhou, China, and was chaired by its president, Gilberto Jesus Mendoza.
Chinese and Fuzhou’s typical dances and typical dances entertained the audience, Mendoza officially lowered the curtain with a speech focused on China boxing development and its link to the global expansion of the WBA.
“It is a pleasure to hold this convention here and I thank you all for your presence. We are very excited and happy to be here. On behalf of the WBA, I would like to express my gratitude. We love this sport, we have the greatest desire to strengthen boxing development. Thank you for hosting it and thank you for supporting our work,” said the president.
The event was attended by several world champions like Thammanoon Niyomtrong, Erislandy Lara, among others. But the most notable was the idol of the city, Can Xu.
“From his beginnings until now, Can Xu has travelled a long way to achieve his dream. We hope that young people follow his example to achieve their dreams like he did, it will be an honor to support them. Fuzhou is the symbol of boxing development in China and we are proud of it.
The WBA is happy for Can Xu success, he is a good inspiration for future generations and he is encouraging,” he said about the featherweight champion, who will defend his title on November 24, in California.
Xu Can also spoke to the audience amidst cheers and applause for his presence: “My father was a baker and if I wasn’t a boxer I would be a baker like him. He is fond of boxing. He likes Pacquiao very much.
When I was a child I began to fall in love with boxing thanks to him. When I made the decision to become a boxer, he supported me and told me that I would be champion at the age of 26. But I won the title at 24, two years earlier. I thank my hometown. Few people appreciated me at first, but my hometown sent representatives and gave me support for my title fight against Jesús Rojas.
Then, in May, we fought here. And now we’re hosting the convention. I hope to make better fights to give love back to my hometown. On the 24th I will make the second defense and I have trained for two and a half months, and I think I’m going to win.
Continuing with Mendoza’s speech, he spoke about the organization of WBA-China. “We have a good basis for physical development and education. We have a strong local organization that does a great job. 20 years ago we wanted to develop operations in China and we have entered a growth phase and we are going to create more things,” he said.
Fuzhou municipal government representatives as well as the presidents of WBA Asia and WBA China spoke, they two fundamental cornerstones in WBA’s operations in Eastern lands. In this way, the 98th convention was officially opened.