The coronavirus has once again struck the boxing community.
Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, president of the World Boxing Association (WBA) is the latest to have contracted the infectious virus. The longtime sanctioning body official revealed the news through his social media platforms.
“Dear friends, I want to inform you by this means that I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Mendoza announced on Wednesday. “I am currently recovering at home, and I will soon return to work for boxing with much more strength.
“The call is to take care of ourselves and follow the recommendations of local health entities.”
Mendoza was only recently tested, informing BoxingScene.com that he estimates having contracted the disease a week or so ago. The 50-year old was previously experience what he believed to be COVID-like symptoms, prompting the need to be tested this week and self-quarantining until able to return to full health.
Long entrenched in the family business, Mendoza has been involved with the WBA since 1997. The law school graduate worked alongside his late father Gilberto who ran the Panama City-headquartered sanctioning body from 1992 until stepping down in 2015 due to declining health. T
The younger Mendoza—affectionately known as Gilbertico and who was already serving as de facto president for years—officially assumed the role at that point, with his father holding the title of President Emeritus until passing away in March 2016.
With most of the world still working from remote locations, Mendoza will still be able to oversee his organization which sanctions no fewer than five fights this weekend.
Included among the lot is the lineal welterweight championship between long-reigning divisional queen Cecilia Brækhus (36-0, 9KOs) and unified WBA/WBC 140-pound titlist Jessica McCaskill (8-2, 3KOs), who moves up in weight. Their bout takes place this Saturday, airing live on DAZN literally from the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The same show will feature a WBA 154-pound title eliminator between Uzbekistan’s Israel Madrimov (5-0, 5KOs) and Louisiana’s Eric Walker (20-2, 9KOs).
The WBA also lends its “interim” lightweight title to a Showtime-televised clash between unbeaten contenders Rolando Romero (11-0, 10KOs) and Jackson Marinez (19-0, 7KOs).
Mendoza hopes to be back at full strength by next week, in time for the undisputed lightweight championship rematch between pound-for-pound queen Katie Taylor (15-0, 6KOs) and former WBC titlist Delfine Persoon (44-2, 18KOs) which takes place August 22 in Brentwood, Essex, England.
“I promise to come back stronger than ever,” Mendoza vowed to BoxingScene.com.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox