Boxing has evolved over the last 40 years and has undergone necessary changes for the safety of the fighters and a better performance of the activity. Those changes would not have been possible without great minds to lead the discipline and Gilberto Mendoza, President Emeritus of the World Boxing Association (WBA), led the path in many ways to achieve them.
Mendoza led the WBA from 1982 to 2015 and his administration paid special attention to the athletes. Besides the creation of social programs to get the underprivileged off the streets and into the sport, he also focused on adapting the rules to the new times and on being consistent with the protection of the fighters.
Several factors marked the need for a change, such as the death of Duk Koo Kim in 1982 and the arrival of more TV stations and the business world, which made it necessary to change forever in order to survive and to remain at the forefront of the sport.
Before becoming President of the WBA, Mendoza created the ranking system used today. Bob Arum himself praised the system at the time, as many had tried to figure out a solution but had never found a way to please everyone until Mendoza’s initiative came along.
Other initiatives such as the “KO Drugs” program, the reduction of the number of rounds, and the implementation of supervisors for world championship fights were thought and promoted by Mendoza.
Mendoza was a visionary like few others in the history of boxing. He dared, implemented changes for the sport he loved and made it better for its protagonists, the boxers. Thank you very much, Don Gilberto.