By WBA Vice President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza
New Year’s eve is the time of the year where all wishes, thoughts and expectations, travel through every corner of our mind. Boxing, good or bad, maintains its individualist atmosphere. It seems like time is still, and all the main players remain in a state of disunity and inequality. Excessive and caustic criticism will never lead to the harmony and comprehension necessary to reach a balance between economic power, fans’ needs, sanctioning body rulings and boxers’ benefits and development. America is the mecca of boxing and the dream for any boxer in the world. To date, the U.S.A. maintains its worldwide sports status.
The WBA had a very active year with a total of 80 championship bouts, including 23 interim and 15 super champion titles. Without any doubt the most criticized topic of the organization. While our goal is to increase boxing popularity and give more opportunities, another sector feels it is a form of adding confusion to the sport.
Perhaps, regarding interim titles, the WBA shall be vigilant as to the quality of boxers involved, consistent with the rules or even consider avoiding the topic altogether. The fact is any action will not stop the alleged proliferation. With so many young boxers and future legendary promoters starting from the bottom, and broadcasters demanding titles, other organizations may emerge. In the end we all form part of this community. Thus all your comments and concerns are welcome and considered with respect and understanding.
Another controversial point would be neutrality and officials’ performance in close bouts. Regarding the referees or judges, who are the face of fairness and justice in boxing, uniform criteria along with world title experience shall be guaranteed to participants. Within the current rules, local commissions must provide neutrality.
Coordination and agreement between major sanctioning bodies is necessary to face the same obstacle together. Working with promoters and TV networks is unfinished business to be pursue.
A close relationship with all boxers, and especially champions, listening to their concerns and thoughts would continue to be a top priority. After all they are the core of the business.
AIBA has made clear statements to expand its operation in the professional business or including pro boxers in the Olympics. Without any disrespect- the essence of amateurs is to build careers, facilitate the basics and respect for boxing. In these they shall focus.
Bringing back the importance of trainers, promoting seminars and certifications, is another task overlooked through the years. In the end, these mentors are the channel to bring hungry young kids a better way of living.
Happy New Year 2012!