The first day of the 99th Convention of the World Boxing Association (WBA) began on Wednesday with the General Assembly. The President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza and the rest of the directorate members met to discuss current boxing issues and how this pioneer organization will face the challenges of the sport at a global level.
The WBA is the first boxing organization to carry out a world convention under the new normality built by the coronavirus pandemic. It has been possible by using the available Internet platforms and digital communication apps. The organization has always been a pioneer, and it is at the forefront, in line with the management models that are already implemented by leading sports organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, FIBA, MLB, NFL and NBA, among others.
“This is a historical moment. Beyond the fact that it is the first online convention, it has started the countdown to 100 years,” Mendoza said about the convention, looking to the centennial celebration in Russia in 2021.
Several world champions and former world champions, such as Amir Khan, Acelino Freitas, Kina Malpartida, among others, participated during the meeting and offered their views on the WBA’s work, and they also offered important projects like that of Khan, who aims to work along with the WBA to bring boxing to Pakistan.
An audience greater than 350 people joined the webinar platform, while about 50 more people were watching it on YouTube. Also, some people could access directly via GoToMeeting.
The WBA made it clear that they aim to look into the future, but taking into account history and learning from it. The current situation the sport is going through right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the important topics of the meeting, as well as the flexibility that the organization must have to make the situation easier for boxers, who are the most affected ones by this situation.
Other important proposals arised from the promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, who offered a plan to do boxing in Buenos Aires along with the WBA, and his proposal will be studied by the relevant committees of the body.
The final presentation was given by Mendoza, who summarized all the WBA projects that go hand in hand with the transformation of the organization with the changes that boxing is currently experiencing. Among many other things, he highlighted their intention to obtain recognition from the International Olympic Committee and to continue helping Olympic boxing.
He also talked about how important it is for the WBA to have physical headquarters in different countries such as China, Mexico and Nicaragua, in order to continue with the systematic development of boxing.
The 99th Convention of the WBA will continue on Thursday with several important forums, including a talk made by the top promoters Bob Arum and Don King.