Sport provides opportunities, generates social communion, physical and psychological well-being, these attributes acquired at an early age and maintained over time support the preparation of individuals with the purpose of a better quality of life.
With this vision in mind, the KO Drugs program was launched when its creator, President Emeritus of the World Boxing Association (WBA), Gilberto Mendoza, decided to support one of the most affected regions of the world, Latin America, with the aim of helping young people to stay away from bad habits and to find in boxing a chance to access a better future.
Although it is a relatively new project, it has been one of the most important activities for its social aspect and for all the lives it has rescued as the pioneer organization celebrates its centennial in 2021.
In 1997, the first festival was held at the Parque de las Naciones Unidas, in Caracas, and it was the beginning of a great process that has benefited thousands of fighters from the farthest corners of the world.
The program has featured fighters such as Jorge Linares, Jorge “Locomotora” Castro, Brian Castaño, Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, Mariano Carrera, Yésica La Tuti Bopp, Jean Marc Mormeck and Raúl Balbi. The events have also had the promotional support of Don King, Top Rank, Universum, Michel Acaries, among others.
One of the countries that has been an important stage for the KO Drugs is Argentina, where, for example, in 2005 and 2006, a very important fundraising was achieved that it was the first year it was possible to contribute to the Garraham Hospital, located in the city of Buenos Aires, which is an important children’s care center. On the second occasion, the funds were transferred to another children’s hospital in the province of Córdoba, Argentina.
Among the great and precious memories, we can mention the exhibitions held by WBA President Gilberto Jesús Mendoza with Felix “Tito” Trinidad in 2008 and with Oscar de la Hoya in 2009, which were an important support for institutions dedicated to the fight against drugs, as well as kitchens and hospitals that have required financial support to continue at the forefront of the important commitment to the lives of many people.
The WBA is proud of this festival that has made its contribution since its creation and has formed great figures in boxing.