World Boxing Association bow to pressure as future in boxing is questioned

Phil Jay
World Boxing Association Super title
Mark Robinson

Following days of mounting pressure, the World Boxing Association has decided to change its stance on the Gabriel Maestre vs. Mykal Fox fight. They also extended their suspension on a judge involved.

Gilberto Mendoza, the President of the under-fire organization, participated in a media damage-control mission this week after days of disgruntlement.

Despite Fox controlling the fight, fans and media were shocked at the sheer audacity of a unanimous decision handed to Maestre.

At first, the WBA offered a review. However, now they say they’ll push for a no contest. This outcome backs up those who stated the battle was shady.

By asking the Minnesota Commission to declare the bout a “no contest,” the WBA has admitted guilt in this matter. Otherwise, why would they want a result backed up by three of their judges so quickly scrapped?

WBA chiefs didn’t order the review until two days later, but now it’s stated they did it immediately after the fight.

Releasing a statement, they said: “The World Boxing Association (WBA) has declared the Interim Welterweight title vacant. It comes after the controversial decision of August 7 in Minnesota in the fight between Gabriel Maestre and Mykal Fox.

“In addition, the organization will respectfully request the Minnesota Commission to declare the bout a “No Contest.”

“At the end of the Fox and Maestre fight, the WBA Officials Committee evaluated the fight. For that reason, and pursuant to rule C26, the WBA ordered a direct rematch. They granted the parties 60 days to make the fight. In case there is a Purse Bid, the split will be 50% for each boxer.

“In addition, the WBA will not approve any fight o special permission to the contenders before the direct rematch takes place.”

One of the judges, Gloria Martinez Rizzo, got caught out for historical racist tweets due to media and fans wanting to know more about those who scored the bout so badly.

Rizzo initially got a sixth-mon ban. Uproar ensued on social media, and now the WBA state it’s an indefinite suspension.

“The WBA also expresses its rejection of any act of intolerance against others, which includes racism, as stated in Article 9.01 of our Code of Ethics: “To oppose and counteract discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, religion, social status.”

“For that reason, the WBA has suspended judge Gloria Martinez indefinitely.

“The World Boxing Association promotes the values of fair competition and respect for others, as well as the constant work for the systematic development of this sport and providing opportunities for boxers to achieve their dreams.”

Sean Michael Ham

WORLD BOXING ASSOCIATION FUTURE

Black fighters who participate in future bouts will hold reservations about dealing with the WBA after this scenario.

The whole debacle proves once again that WBN was correct in declassifying the WBA as a significant sanctioning body in the sport.

Promoters, managers, and networks are implored to do similar until the WBA clean house, improve their rankings system and go back to one world title per division.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.

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