WBA president Gilberto Mendoza has come out to disagree with undefeated lightweight contender Ryan Garcia, after he recent asserted that world title belts no longer mean anything in the current era of boxing.
Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) believes the sport has changed, and the title belts have lost their meaning due to the way the four sanctioning bodies have watered down and polluted each weight class with multiple title belts. Many fighters, such as Garcia himself, were able to build up fanbases themselves through social media, before earning any title.
“You guys put so much emphasis on these belts,” Ryan Garcia said to DAZN Boxing Show. “Let them go; they don’t mean s—. Belts don’t mean s— nowadays.”
“Strong words,” WBA president Gilberto Mendoza said to the DAZN Boxing Show in response to Garcia.
“My belt is 100 years old, no matter what. I understand, Ryan. I understand that he’s at the top of the game, but I think he’s very positive about the sport.
“But not every boxer is like him. A boxer needs belts at the end of the day. Unfortunately, I think he got caught up in the moment.”
“He’s young; he gets a lot of attention because he doesn’t have a belt, but if he wants to write his name in the history books, that legacy cannot continue to happen if he doesn’t have four belts,” Mendoza said.
“If he wants to prove himself in this current boxing atmosphere, he needs to win the four belts not only at lightweight but at 140 and 147, which I think he has a lot of potential to do.”