Francisco Gilberto Mendoza, the long time President of the World Boxing Association passed away in Venezuela on Friday, March 11th at the age of 72.
The WBA is the oldest of the current sanctioning bodies, and Mendoza was the WBA’s guiding hand since 1982 when he stepped into the Presidency, taking over for American Robert Lee. He left the top spot in 2015, announcing at the WBA’s annual convention in Panama that he was resigning due to ill health. The reigns of the WBA were handed to his son, Gilberto Jesus Mendoza. In recognition of his status with the WBA, Mendoza was made President Emeritus.
He headed the WBA for 33 years and he established many initiatives within the boxing community, such as his successful “KO to Drugs” events sponsored throughout the world. Mendoza was known for his care for the sport and love of the athletes.
It was under his watch that the WBA adopted their current structure of title belts. The creation of “interim” titles, multiple regional titles and “Super” titles all started with the WBA. In retrospect, that direction has been to the detriment of boxing and to the repsect of the WBA itself.
Rest in Peace to a man who has been a fixture in the boxing world for more than three decades. A TSS moment of silence for Gilberto Mendoza.