In an interesting debate led by great figures such as Hanna Gabriels, Seniesa Estrada, Claressa Shields, Miriam Gutierrez and Orlando Cruz, there was an agreement on the proposed topics: Implementing the same time and number of rounds in both the female and male bouts: “I think that 2 minutes is not enough time, while 3 minutes would allow us to have a better action plan and more opportunities to achieve a KO,” the boxer Estrada said, and she was supported by Shields, a boxer who has held multiple world titles. Shields said: “It’s something I’ve waited for a long time. My next fight must be one of three-minute rounds. The female boxing should be more advanced, and if data supports this decision, then it should be approved. When I participated in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, we won with 4 rounds of 2 minutes each. Currently, bouts in amateur level are 3×3. Everything must be equal. However, men should fight men and women should fight women to be equal. But everything else must be the same.
The WBA President, Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, participated to support all the above mentioned issues, especially regarding the increase of payments to match the male payments, since they all do the same sport: “The WBA is not against. We want to make it compulsory. I want to continue supporting you, but I need you to help me: talk to your promoters, ask for it. If you ask for it, you will get the results you want.”
On the other hand, the transgendered boxer’s participation was discussed. Everybody agreed Claressa Shields’ opinion: “Men are bigger and stronger physically. Although I understand their personal transition, I don’t consider it’s fair. I think there should be a protocol to deal with this situation because there is an unfair advantage here. I have prepared myself a lot to be able to be in these bouts. I have needed to increase my muscle mass and work my legs.”
Later, the work on gender-based violence was addressed. Gutierrez, the Spanish boxer, works hard in this field to provide tools to the victims: “We always need to seek support and trust the people around you. We cannot remain silent. We must have the courage to go hunt our dreams because they can come truth,” Miriam said.
There is much work to do and every day more progress is achieved regarding equal rights and opportunities for both men and women, and the WBA is willing to continue supporting our growth on this matter.