Six years after the physical disappearance of the World Boxing Association (WBA) Emeritus President, the family of the pioneer organization remembers a man who left a mark and a great legacy.
Discipline, perseverance and love, three of the pillars of Mendoza’s life (March 30, 1943 – March 11, 2016), who fell in love with boxing and worked for the sport, fought for the rights of its protagonists and proposed changes that would allow it to be better for everyone.
That made him an undisputed leader who took the reins of the WBA in October 1982 and remained until 2016 itself.
His 33 years in such an important position showed his kindness, those who knew him were marked by his generosity, but also by his discipline and his hard work in favor of boxing.
Among so many contributions and creations, the classifications manual stands out, which he created when he was in the Executive Committee during the administration of the Panamanian Rodrigo Sanchez. This manual was adopted by the boxing world and over the years has remained in force.
Mendoza also created guidelines for supervisors, members of the Executive Committee and officials. On the other hand, he created KO Drugs, a program that worked for years to steer young people away from the wrong path and give them boxing as a tool. Anecdotally, this week the 37th edition of this festival is taking place.
He was also key in the globalization of the sport by putting his grain of sand in the creation of regional bodies such as Fedelatin, NABA, WBA Europe, among others. Another idea he proposed was the reduction of the number of rounds from 15 to 12 and although he was not the one who officially implemented it, he was the first to talk about it openly.
The legacy he left in boxing also marked him in everything he did. From his performance as top manager of the Central Azucarero El Palmar, in the state of Aragua, Venezuela, to being president of the Scout Association of this country. He also served as deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the state of Aragua, headed the National Council of Economy; also Fedecámaras between 1995 and 2001.
The boxing world remembers one of its most brilliant minds and after six years his ideals continue to run through the veins of those who make up the WBA family. Thank you very much, Don Gilberto.