The World Boxing Association (WBA), one of the leading controlling bodies in professional boxing, has a new president. He is Gilberto Mendoza Jr, a former vice-president who succeeds his father, Gilberto Mendoza Sr. The latter resigned recently because of ill health.There was a similar father-son succession two years ago with the World Boxing Council (WBC) when Maurice Sulaiman succeeded his father, JosÈ Sulaiman, as the head of the World Boxing Council (WBC).On that occasion, the older Sulaiman had died. The WBA is the oldest of the top four organisations that control professional boxing worldwide. The others are the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Organisation.The elder Mendoza was in Jamaica with his son in 2012 for the world featherweight title fight between Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters and Dualis Prescott, a fight that Walters won by a technical knockout in Round 7 to take the then vacant WBA featherweight title. He has been ailing for some time, and because of his poor health, he decided at age 72 to “hang up his gloves”.tribute to Mendoza SrNo doubt as a tribute to Mendoza Sr, and also as a reward to his son for the hard work he has put in as a vice-president for many years, Mendoza Jr was elected unanimously by the 40 delegates who were present at a meeting of directors in Panama when Mendoza Sr made his retirement announcement by video stream.It had been generally expected that whenever Mendoza Sr decided to retire, his son, who has been by his side many years as a confidante, would succeed him.The WBA, which had its base in Venezuela for many years, relocated to Panama in 2007, and Mendoza Jr had been acting as president during the recent illness of his father.Commenting on his election, he said that he was happy to take over the leadership, and the only regret he had was that his father was not present physically when the directors made the decision to elevate him to the top spot.In accepting the position, Mendoza Jr said that the passion that he puts into his job was inherited from his father and urged the worldwide boxing fraternity to ” let us all work together for the good of the sport”.
Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif has openly said that he regrets his spot-fixing scandal seven years ago and affirmed his readiness for playing international cricket but hit out at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and accused them of duality towards players.Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Amir and then captain Salman Butt were all caught in a spot-fixing scandal on tape during the fourth Test at Lords against England in 2010 and were banned from the game for five-years.Since their completion of the ban period and availability for international cricket, Mohammad Amir has made a stupendous return to the Pakistan national team but Asif and Butt are still struggling to make a comeback.Asif asserted that he has sincerely done everything required under ICC anti-corruption code but it is the PCB that has turned a blind eye to all his efforts.”What I did seven years back was wrong and I regret it. I have served my full punishment and done all that was required of me under the ICC anti-corruption code.”However, not once has anyone in the board or National Cricket Academy bothered to even call me and check about my fitness or form,” Asif said in an interview on Friday.Asif has from time to time produced impressive spells post his five-year ban. Last year, in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy day and night final, his spell with the new ball set up Wapda on the road to victory.This season he has come up with some smart spells including six wickets in one session during a Quaid Trophy game against a strong KRL side.advertisement”I have performed in two seasons and I am fit. I am ready to take any fitness test or undergo intensive training. But the board appears to have double standards,” Asif said.”They can allow Mohammad Amir back into the Pakistan team without any notable comeback performances and support him but for me or Salman Butt, they do not want to touch us and give us another chance in the national team even though we have done well,” he complained.The pacer feels that the PCB needs to have a clear and uniform policy regarding tainted players.”You can not treat players differently. I do not want to go into details but all three of us were equally responsible for what happened seven years back in England,” he said.Since his return to cricket after serving the ban period, Butt has led Wapda to the Quaid Trophy title and also set them up to defend their title this season as well.He is also frustrated that despite reforming himself and proving his fitness and form even in camps, he is not being considered for a comeback to the national side.”Only God knows if I will ever get a chance to play for my country again. But I will keep doing what I am doing. Rest is up to the board and selectors as cricket is my bread and butter,” Butt said.Insiders in the PCB and those close to the selectors say they know Asif is still a top bowler but given his background and his attitude even after the spot-fixing scandal, they are reluctant to trust him again.Asif has seen and done it all. He has outfoxed the world’s best batsmen including Kevin Pietersen, Virender Sehwag, Andrew Strauss, Jacques Kallis and more. He claimed 106 wickets in only 23 Tests.However, he was regularly involved in scandals including being caught at the Dubai airport with possession of illegal drugs, a notorious affair with a top actress and a failed dope test.”You never know with Asif what might happen next. And now we have lot of pace options and he has got on with age,” a source close to the selectors said.But Asif, who turns 35 this month, hit back by challenging the selectors to test his skills out with the current crop of pace bowlers.”I still remain the best new ball bowler in Pakistan cricket. I have been praised for my bowling skills by the best in cricket. I know the art of using the new ball,” he said.(Courtesy: PTI)