The paralysis of boxing because of the pandemic that is sweeping the world does not mean a deadlock for the World Boxing Association (WBA). Beyond the fact that no bouts are taking place, the organization is working at full speed and this was stated by its president, Gilberto Jesús Mendoza, in a great interview with “A la Vera del Ring” and its presenter, Andrés Mooney, through Instagram Live..
It was a very enjoyable and enriching conversation, in which they discussed some of the most important issues of the organization and boxing in general. Mendoza spoke about the work that is currently being done in the midst of the contingency.
“We have initiated a series of investigations into our regulations. Among those things we have looked into the WBA’s last 15-round fight, we have looked into the three-knockdown rule and the birth of the WBA, as well as our first champions”, said Mendoza.
One of the most controversial points at present is the creation of various titles. The WBA President referred to this in a sincere and extended way.
“People criticize titles but as it is in professional boxing no matter what you do, you’re going to have four world champions. You cannot change that. Having only one champion sounds romantic and charming and one of the best things for boxing, but the sport already took a path similar to the 1920s. When the WBA was formed under the name of the NBA, the world champion was determined by popularity, journalists and promoters”, Mendoza said.
“If you have four options, there are four chances for the fighters. There’s more opportunity to make money and that’s what a fighter dreams of. They need a way to make a living. Ten-round fights don’t pay enough. You got sports like football that have scholarships, signings, bonuses. Boxing is more anarchic. There’s a lot of criticism about the business, but organizations have to survive. The essence of those years had something important and that is that the commissions belonged to the organization. But now the commissions cannot be affiliated with an organization because of the Muhammad Ali Act”, the leader continued.
Mendoza spoke about the Interim championships and presented examples to show the importance and usefulness of their existence.
“The Interim Championships serve a purpose. Many times, when there were mandatory challengers, the champions chose to vacate their belts to avoid to comply with those fights. We have a case with Maidana, whose interim championship served him to get the fight against Mayweather. The Interim championship is about creating opportunities. We have sanctioned many that were not justified, but it is something that we have assumed responsibility for and have been correcting”, said Mendoza, who also spoke about working opportunities for WBA judges and referees who cannot work with many commissions.
The WBA is studying several options and one of them is making a closed-door boxing program, tentatively scheduled for May 2nd.
“We want to be one of the first organizations that attempts to stage a local event (Colombia) behind closed doors. We are trying to encourage local promoters to do this. I would work directly to get the right permits, to get people to take the tests and that sort of things. I do this because I believe in a world without the big fights and the important support. I think boxing is mystical, it helps a lot and we’re not going to let it down. My mission is to develop talent and if all this was created by a virus, we will be that positive virus that motivates others through boxing. All this is because of the initiative Dana White had, I won’t hide it”, said the WBA President.
Mendoza also cleared up doubts about the WBA’s plan with amateur boxing and stressed that the organization was declared an amateur and professional organization since 2016, that the work in this sense is long term and that its purpose is to help in the middle of the crisis boxing is going through in the Olympic area, besides getting the recognition of the International Olympic Committee.
The head of the pioneer organization will continue talking to the media, while he will begin a series of interviews with boxing stars through his social media. These will be announced in the next few hours.