By Elisinio Castillo
World Boxing Association President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza held a conference with the Panamanian press on Friday morning, in which he maintained that his organization was dedicated to a policy of having a single WBA champion in each division.
"It is not easy to clean house, but we are doing everything possible. There was recently an interim-title approved for Argentine Brian Castano, but this was a long-standing agreement and it was my duty to comply. However, it's the last one we're going to do," Mendoza said.
In addition, he stressed that the super-champion at 130 pounds, Jezreel Corrales of Panama, will have to fight against America's Jason Sosa, who holds the regular title in the same division, as part of the WBA's plan to reduce the number of champions.
"We must remember that in 2016 Takashi Uchiyama and Javier Fortuna had to face each other as part of a resolution by the Championships Committee. However, they lost to Corrales and Sosa, so they inherited this commitment," said Mendoza.
Regarding the multiple champions in the heavyweight division, Mendoza explained the solution.
"In the heavyweights division we created a tournament that we could not finish last year because of the many inconveniences. For this reason I will clarify it here: Klitschko vs. Joshua is for the super championship, Briggs Vs Oquendo is for the regular title. The winner of the first match must go before Luis Ortiz and the winer of the second against Alexander Ustinov," Mendoza said.
Last year, controversy broke out after professionals were allowed to compete in the Olympics. However, Mendoza has not overlooked this issue and approached the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA).
"We believe in boxing being united and that's why we approach Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu to know his vision. I must say that I agree with him on several things, but soon we will have a new meeting. Boxing is changing and we must adapt and walk together," said Mendoza.
Mendoza assured that the second meeting with Dr. Wu, if positive, will be start of a working relationship on new tournaments that may be beneficial to the boxers.
During the press conference, Mendoza also touched on the subject of anti-doping and confirmed that the WBA's position on the matter will get much stricter in 2017.
"We know that the WBC has reached an agreement with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and we plan to do the same. We believe that positive initiatives should be followed no matter where they come from. Although our anti-doping policy has always been strong, we will reinforce it much more," said the WBA President.