By Gabriel F. Cordero
The WBA is planning to present “KO Drugs” festivals in three Latin American countries. The first is expected to be held in Costa Rica in February or March, followed by July or August in Venezuela and lastly in Panama in October. The last time the WBA staged the event in Venezuela was 2004 at the Poliedro de Caracas. Maracay is the leading candidate for 2011 as that is where the “KO Drugs” event was born in 1993. It was the idea of WBA president Gilberto Mendoza to raise money to donate to children’s institutions.
From 2004 to date, “KO Drugs” events have taken place mainly in Panama, where the oldest sanctioning organization moved its offices to from Venezula in 2006. Nicaragua and Argentina have also hosted “KO Drugs” shows.
Fighters like Marcos Maidana, Rafael Marquez, Ricardo Mayorga, Roman Gonzalez, Jose Alfaro, Luis Concepcion, Leo Gamez, Alexander Munoz, Edwin Valero and Jorge Linares have been part of this event before becoming world champions.
In recent years, WBA vice-president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. performed in boxing exhibitions with boxing legends such as Evander Holyfield, John Ruiz, Oscar de la Hoya and Felix “Tito” Trinidad.