On behalf of the World Boxing Association and myself, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all the personalities and members of the great boxing family who accompanied us during the celebration of our 99th Convention, from July 1 to 4, which ended with great success in terms of your participation and the high level of debate at each of the meetings and forums.
In the midst of the tough times in the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we, at the WBA undertook the challenge to overcome all the obstacles and move forward with creative solutions, embracing the motto that has forged the values and our identity through time: to be pioneers.
The convention was held online, thanks to the digital communication platforms, to open the doors of the WBA to the entire boxing community. Far from the need to comply with our calendar of events and statutory obligations, we proposed an open debate on the major challenges for Boxing, to outline solutions to promote Boxing to new venues.
Important figures like Bob Arum, Don King and Eddie Hearn shared with us their experiences, concerns, reflections and proposals for a better boxing. Champions and former champions of our organization: Bernard Hopkins, Claressa Shields, Chris Algieri, Hanna Gabriels, Orlando Cruz, Miriam Gutierrez, Siniesa Estrada, Robert Guerrero, Omar Narvaez, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Yordanis Despaigne, Amir Khan, Jorge Linares, Dave Castro and so many others who contributed in different ways to the success of our Convention.
We focused on forums with debates on the past, present and future of our sport; on issues such as equality and gender; on nutrition and veganism. As President of the WBA, I have made a commitment to move forward on these issues, particularly on women boxing, with its fair demands for equality and respect, areas in which our body has also been a pioneer.
The consensus on the importance of working alongside with promoters to overcome the present juncture, makes us commit ourselves to strengthen our relationships, which we assumed immediately, to be aware of their needs and ours, and on the vision of our sports future.
We got closer to the Federated and Olympic world, in the persons of AIBA President Mohamed Moustahsane; USA Boxing President Tyson Lee; Mexican Boxing Federation President Ricardo Contreras; and double Olympic medalist and world champion Clemente Russo, to confirm our “One Boxing” proposal, made two year ago. We agreed to create a working group with AIBA to contribute to the improvement of the quality of amateur boxing. On a personal note, this, and the words of Mexico and USA Boxing, encourage us to duplicate our commitment to this area of the sport
We would like to thank our great friend Paco Valcárcel, president of the WBO, for his support to this family idea in which we believe and which we profess passionately, since boxing is only one of only one boxing.
During these days, the WBA made important decisions regarding ratings and Championships. We debated important issues with our Medical Committee, with special emphasis on the fight against doping and Covid-19, a topic in which we have been the first organization in our sport to develop a Medical Protocol suitable for the return of boxing, which is available to the entire community. The WBA Academy also received a lot of attention, thanks to the work of the first world boxing academy since 2018 and its future plans.
Finally, the Judges and Referees Seminar closed the agenda with more than 150 participants, which encourages and commits us to work even more to create training programs, but also, to expand the capabilities of the WBAcademy to offer a hand to the many people who see boxing as an opportunity to establish a professional life project.
With music from C4Trio band, Victor Manuelle, Pipe Pelaez, Dj Cheo Pardo, we offered the colorful note for the whole audience which followed the closing party through our social networks.
In the absence of the physical presence, technology allowed us to bring together the great boxing family spread across the planet. In the absence of the physical presence, technology allowed us to bring together the great boxing family spread across the planet. With them we shared all the topics and debates, and we raised a prayer for the thousands of victims caused by the Covid-19, with a heartfelt and special memory for the members of our sport who have died during this year
With the closing of the historic 99th Convention, on July 4th, we opened the WBA 100th anniversary year, which will close in Moscow, Russia, with the “Centenary Convention”.
Over the next 12 months we will be conducting a variety of activities to honor the legacy of the men and women whose work has made the WBA the world’s leading boxing organization. From the pioneers, those who sanctioned the first world title fight between Jack Dempsey and George Carpentier on July 2, 1921, up to this date, the WBA has led the way. The men and women of the Centenary have a beautiful opportunity to map the route of the years to come.
WBA, Simply the pioneers
Gilberto Jesús Mendoza
World Boxing Association