The WBA Thankful to Argentina after succesfull Directory Meeting
Photos by Ramón Cairo
The World Boxing Association (WBA) is pleased to announce that all its members experienced such a great time July 1 through 3 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where both the WBA Annual Directory Meeting and Awards Dinner were held. Once again, the WBA came back to a friend country like Argentina in order to not only work there but also to meet long time friends.
In spite of President’s Gilberto Mendoza’s absence as he had some minor health problems that prevented him from being in Buenos Aires like he would have wanted, the Directory Meeting was a complete success as important decisions were made aiming to resolve on several matters that have an impact on boxing’s present and future.
Among those decisions, after an injury suffered last June 26 while training, WBA Heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev was declared “Champion in Recess” and the WBA title will disputed by the next two highest available contenders, WBA #1 Nicolay Valuev and WBA #2 John Ruiz.
Also, WBA Light Flyweight champion Brahim Asloum sent a medical certification informing the WBA about an injury that forced to cancel his mandatory defense against Giovanni Segura, originally scheduled for next July 26 in France.
Another of the highlights was a meeting between WBA Executive Vice-President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza with former champion and current Bahia State Sports Ministry Acelino Freitas and Sao Paulo’s Professional Boxing League’s President Reinaldo Carrera.
Mr. Mendoza made it clear the WBA intention of working closely with Brazilian boxing, something that will start to be instrumented in the next weeks through Freitas and Carrera, who will put together a project that will allow the WBA to help Brazilian boxing to continue growing as well as the development of several social programs.
The Directory Meeting had the presence of international promoters and managers like Don King, Dietmar Poszwa (Universum Box Promotions and Spotlight Boxing), Chris Meyer (Sauerland Event), Tony Gonzalez, Sampson Lewkowicz, and the locals Osvaldo Rivero, Mario Margossian and Mario Arano.
Current WBA champions Firat Arslan (Cruiserweight), Andreas Kotelnik (Super Lightweight), Celestino Caballero (Super Bantamweight) and Suzy Kentikian (Female Flyweight) were also present in Buenos Aires, along with former champions John Ruiz and Acelino Freitas.
After a few years, the WBA had its traditional Annual Awards Dinner that it happened to be a huge success, with over 300 persons in attendance to the Milk’s Producers Union’s building.
The best of boxing 2007/2008 received an specially designed award that consisted in a bronze statuette created by local artist Constanza Palou, of which there are only 15 pieces in the world.
Crowning such a great week for the WBA in Argentina, a two-world title card was held on Thursday July 3 at the legendary Luna Park stadium, which was filled by 10,000 enthusiastic boxing fans that saw Argentina’s Hugo Garay conquering the vacant WBA Light Heavyweight title after defeating Ukraine’s Yuri Barashian and also WBA Female Super Bantamweight champion Marcela Acuña retaining her title against mandatory challenger Danielle Bouchard from Canada.
Additionally, WBA FEDELATIN Super Middleweight champion Gusmir Perdomo from Venezuela retained the crown as he knocked out local Héctor Velazco.
Therefore, the WBA wants to deeply thank all those who contributed for these events to be that fruitful and enjoyable and look forward to continue with the great relationship with Argentina’s boxing.