Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Mendoza Jr now heads WBA

Published:Friday | January 22, 2016 | 1:00 AMLeroy Brown

The World Boxing Association (WBA), one of the leading controlling bodies in professional boxing, has a new president. He is Gilberto Mendoza Jr, a former vice-president who succeeds his father, Gilberto Mendoza Sr. The latter resigned recently because of ill health.

There was a similar father-son succession two years ago with the World Boxing Council (WBC) when Maurice Sulaiman succeeded his father, JosÈ Sulaiman, as the head of the World Boxing Council (WBC).

On that occasion, the older Sulaiman had died. The WBA is the oldest of the top four organisations that control professional boxing worldwide. The others are the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Organisation.

The elder Mendoza was in Jamaica with his son in 2012 for the world featherweight title fight between Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters and Dualis Prescott, a fight that Walters won by a technical knockout in Round 7 to take the then vacant WBA featherweight title. He has been ailing for some time, and because of his poor health, he decided at age 72 to "hang up his gloves".

tribute to Mendoza Sr

No doubt as a tribute to Mendoza Sr, and also as a reward to his son for the hard work he has put in as a vice-president for many years, Mendoza Jr was elected unanimously by the 40 delegates who were present at a meeting of directors in Panama when Mendoza Sr made his retirement announcement by video stream.

It had been generally expected that whenever Mendoza Sr decided to retire, his son, who has been by his side many years as a confidante, would succeed him.

The WBA, which had its base in Venezuela for many years, relocated to Panama in 2007, and Mendoza Jr had been acting as president during the recent illness of his father.

Commenting on his election, he said that he was happy to take over the leadership, and the only regret he had was that his father was not present physically when the directors made the decision to elevate him to the top spot.

In accepting the position, Mendoza Jr said that the passion that he puts into his job was inherited from his father and urged the worldwide boxing fraternity to " let us all work together for the good of the sport".