On Tuesday morning, the World Boxing Association (WBA) held a press conference to introduce the 99th Convention, scheduled to take place online between July 1st and July 4th. More than 50 journalists from different countries joined Gilberto Jesús Mendoza, president of the pioneer organization, through digital platforms, to talk about the event starting next week.
As the WBA has expressed since announcing this convention, it will be the first virtual convention in boxing history and will serve as the kick-off for the 2021 centennial celebration in Moscow, Russia. But it is also an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, adapting to the moments we live in and offering new tools to the fans, who will be the great beneficiaries of this format.
“That’s the point, to teach the fans what sports are about and allow them to understand boxing from our perspective”, Mendoza said.
Conventions are events attended by people with direct links to boxing and to which fans have little access, so by opening the various forums, fans will be able to witness first-hand the challenges the organization is facing and understand the changes that boxing has undergone, as well as those that will occur in the future.
“These world crises are no foreign to boxing. They have happened before and boxing has always been able to adapt. This has allowed us to open up, think and step outside of our comfort zone”, the leader of the world’s oldest organization added.
The official convention agenda was presented in slides and will cover topics such as the 99-year history of the WBA, gender equality, veganism, amateur boxing, as well as the usual medical and official seminars. Among the speakers, the participation of Bob Arum, Timothy Bradley, Chris Algieri, Orlando Cruz, Miriam Gutierrez, Hanna Gabriels, among other great boxing figures, was introduced.
They also confirmed that a boxing show to close the convention will be held on July 4th and that it will take place in Russia. Mendoza said that the official program will be announced this week.
Mendoza also suggested opening a forum during the convention for the press to ask questions about any topic related to boxing and current events, in response to the many questions raised by various journalists.
The WBA President thanked all those present and especially the WBA Directorate for having approved such a visionary and ambitious activity. He assured that the objective is to get closer to the fans and for them to understand how boxing is handled today.