By Gabriel F. Cordero
Fightnews.com spoke to WBA Executive Vice President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza regarding the state of affairs with boxing and the sanctioning bodies.
What do you think about boxing at this moment?
Professional boxing is in a critical time when greater importance is given to names like Pacquiao, Haye, Mayweather and others over the world championships. [Note: This response prompted some follow up questions which will appear in the coming days.]
What influences are causing this change in boxing?
The power of the broadcasters in the sport of boxing is above many things. The TV networks are distant from the boxing bodies there is no communication.
The main reason for this change?
The general public and boxing fans want to see the fighters and their conquests. There will come a time that TV will have their own fighters and not need world titles and will be there not be world title bouts.
What does the WBA think?
We should start looking among children and young figures in each country to produce more champions like Khan, Haye, Golovkin and Shumenov. They see in boxing more than a sport. They are stars within their countries and are examples worldwide.
The performance of judges and referees?
Boxing is public and our officials can’t be making mistakes. Among the changes is to further improve the performance of our officials and we’ll continue with programs that help them develop further.
KO Drugs for 2011?
It is our intention to do it in three different countries, Panama, Costa Rica and Venezuela. It’s an ongoing campaign as part of our social work.
Working with the WBC, IBF and WBO?
I believe we must review many extra sports-related things and spend less time in meetings concerning regulations, sanctions and norms. It is time that we devote more to boxing and everything related to the sport, including trainers, managers and promoters. We need to go beyond the world titles and look to make better athletes.
How will the WBA enter to the next decade?
First of all, we’ll seek to do social work, attempt to create tournaments, have junior championships, be open to all boxers without exception, look for more opportunities to combat type unification. We must move from continent to continent by promoting our brand but above all boxing. A very long and difficult task awaits us in this new phase and we need the participation of everyone including the press.
As a leader, what do you expect in 2011?
Not only for 2011 but for a long time now I’ve devoted myself to find more opportunities for young people and children to see in boxing the opportunity to have a better lifestyle. A way out of the dark and poverty. Our champions have to be careful and make a good example for the people in their countries”