A Farewell Is Not Goodbye

by
A Farewell Is Not Goodbye

This April 25, 2020 is a special day. Special because it prevents me from going out in search of popular stories in the streets and racing in the city. Special because urologists, oncologists and cardiologists mark my painful retirement as a director of the greatest boxing organization in history, the WORLD BOXING ASSOCIATION.

The Coronavirus pandemic and an efficient medical workforce invites to reasoning and has to be obeyed to keep on writing what I see, what I feel and the good, bad and ugly of this beautiful life.

Pretending to search the urban streets for stories is impossible with the malignant surveillance of the virus that teaches us to re-engineer our lives. To pretend to go beyond medical concepts is unreasonable and very dangerous because of the risk of shortening our lives. Obeying and analyzing what we have done in 83 years is the right thing to do.

Storytelling is our business at El Caminante and the life I have left, I intend to use it in that endeavor. Thousands and thousands of topics come to mind and organizing them takes time. It is time to start the long journey of anecdotes and I select a very important one of my friends Pacho and Rodolfo, outstanding professionals, simple, intelligent, with Colombian Caribbean flavor and exemplary exponents defending Colombian boxing.

On this day of my retirement and permanence in the owner of the boxing world, Pacho and Rodolfo are important. To feel their esteem in this difficult moment of retirement after 42 years of defending Colombian boxing is gratifying. Hearing that we will keep in touch because we must continue studying how to promote boxing, gives the body new life.

And you might wonder why permanence. Permanence because on May 28, 2005 in a KO drugs I became an Honorary Member of the WBA by the benevolence of Gilberto Mendoza father, at the time a great leader of the organization -and an unforgettable friend- The silver fox as I called him, has been the greatest leader of boxing in many years.

Back to my friends, with Pacho and Rodolfo, we have traveled halfway around the world in supervisions and world boxing conventions. Pacho, an organized and thoughtful traveler who, like me, likes to be at the airport hours early, and Rodolfo, the most relaxed person for these cases. I envy his coolness and precision to keep the flights from leaving him. With them boxing can be relaxed and be sure of their permanent defense. They know the history, the rules and how to act without hesitation to guarantee the boxer his peace of mind and support in his career. Pacho and Rodolfo, with great joy I can say, are my friends. Friends in good and bad times. Friends with controversies that have given boxing excellent guidelines.

I await the complaint of my great directorate friends. Don’t worry, the issue does not end with these words and I hope that my hands will not stop to remember, to laugh and to argue about what can or cannot be published of the multiple anecdotes that relate us in the powerful WBA.

I cannot neglect the interesting issue of Gilbertico, today he is the great conductor of the Association and an example of permanent dedication to the WBA. I remember in Margarita, after a dangerous and threatening Convention in which there was an attempt to overthrow Gilberto by Pepito Cordero, a Puerto Rican businessman, the silver fox entrusted me with the responsibility of drafting the minutes that very day. As a veteran journalist I only write with one finger and holding the machine laterally, today the computer. I had never written a document so quickly.

In the course of the mission, I noticed a child at the door of the room where I was working, who was constantly judging my work. Hours later I learned that he had asked who was the cripple that looked like a machine gun, writing with only one finger. It helped me; with the computer I make these notes today as modern typing requires.

And I cannot forget Elena, the great lady, the lady example and golden cover of the Association to the social world. To see the queen mother at a meeting is to receive a message of tranquility and pride. At Elena’s side we are happy with her communication spirit. Cielito, my friend and marriage partner for 56 years, adores her and when time goes by without seeing her, she always asks me to track her down to talk. We are unfaithful. We have been planning to visit her in Maracay for a long time and we haven’t done it, Elena, Lucrecia de Piña and Cielito, were a supporting post for the first big Convention in Medellin. What great value the ladies in the WBA have.

Finally, when I started as a member of the Directorate, I went through twelve positions until I was elected Vice President of the WBA in 1988, which was a part of my humble curriculum vitae in my second home. Someday I will be judged, and I hope to pass with flying colors.

My retirement obeys to health, I want to oxygenate myself and avoid the jab, upper, straight and hooks that have been thrown to me and I have also thrown


Concentration and distractions with Roberto Torres



Joshua Franco is the boxer of the month in the WBA

Joshua Franco is the boxer of the month in the WBA

The World Boxing Association (WBA) published the monthly rankings for...