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FIGHTING THE RULERS OF THE WBA
Pat Putnam
March 23, 1981
More brazenly even than the WBC, its counterpart, the World Boxing Association has spun a web of dubious practices from its power base in Panama
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March 23, 1981

Fighting The Rulers Of The Wba

More brazenly even than the WBC, its counterpart, the World Boxing Association has spun a web of dubious practices from its power base in Panama

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Galindez ignored the letter and recommendation. Instead, on May 2, he wrote Palle: "All the championship matters...are handled by the committee and I only back up their decisions if has been taken in accordance the rules. I only want you maintain your faith on the WBA and its leaders. Trust is the basis of a real friendship relationship...."

Then Galindez met with his friend, Ramiro Machado, a Colombian promoter who was also the manager of his countryman, junior middleweight Emiliano Villa, to discuss plans for Kudo's first fight following the Gonzalez rematch. The bout was not to be with Kalule, but with Villa.

Galindez wrote the Japanese that he not only approved a fight with Villa, but that he also would personally sanction it. It would prove to be his Waterloo. On June 29, 1979 Kudo stopped Gonzalez nine seconds into the 12th round. This time there was no controversy. A few weeks later a wire-service story out of Bogota, Colombia reported that Kudo would next defend his title against Villa in Tokyo. Palle wired Mortimer to ask if this were true. Mortimer answered that Kudo was going to fight Kalule next and that no other fight would be sanctioned.

Then after months of trying to negotiate to fight Kudo, on Sept. 14 Palle received this cable from Japanese promoter Munekatsu Kawaragi: "The contract...between Kudo and Emiliano Villa...has been already approved by the president of the WBA and the title match has also been already scheduled."

It was an extremely irate Palle who stormed into Miami Beach a week later for the opening of the WBA's 1979 convention. There he found unexpected allies in Cordova and Sanchez, who wanted the WBA power base returned to Panama. After his unsuccessful bid of the year before, Cordova this time had decided to see if Sanchez could unseat Galindez.

"Who the hell do we vote for?" asked a dismayed Richard Farah, a boxing promoter and manager representing the Trinidad-Tobago commission. "What is the difference: Galindez or Sanchez? One is a deep river, the other an ocean. One is full of piranha, the other full of sharks. They give us a hell of a choice: we can vote for incompetence or we can vote for corruption."

"This man Galindez is a ridiculous person, a liar," said Palle. "He kept telling me to be patient, that the Villa fight hadn't been approved when he'd approved it himself."

On Sept. 25, 1979 the case of Palle vs. Galindez went before the WBA executive committee. Galindez said, "There is nothing better than compliance with the law." During the preceding week the WBA had urged Palle and the Japanese to work out a solution. Now Mortimer was asked by Galindez if anything had been resolved. Mortimer said no. One of the Japanese stood up and waved a document. "We have a contract to fight Villa duly signed by a representative of the WBA," he said.

Uncertain of his command of English, Palle had asked Bob Arum, the American promoter, to speak for him at the meeting. Now Arum demanded, "Who signed the contract?" The Japanese replied, "Mandry Galindez." Those in the room looked at Galindez, who was impassive.

Turning back to the Japanese representative, Mortimer said, "The championship committee voted nothing for you. Our recommendation still stands that you fight Kalule." At this the Japanese sighed. Then with quiet dignity he said, "The Nippon commission approved this contract and I'll tell you why. They approved it because it was not signed by just any one person but by the president of the WBA. It's not the intention of the Nippon commission to accuse any one person. We are used to keeping our word."

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