Friday, February 03, 2023  |


WBA is suspending judge Gloria Martinez Rizzo indefinitely and demanding Mykal Fox-Gabriel Maestre rematch

Gabriel Maestre (left) vs. Mykal Fox. Photo credit: Sean Michael Ham/Premier Boxing Champions

WBA president Gilberto Mendoza told The Ring on Thursday afternoon that judge Gloria Martinez Rizzo will be suspended indefinitely after her dubious scorecard in the Mykal Fox-Gabriel Maestre interim welterweight title fight in Minnesota on Saturday and racially insensitive tweets.

“I spoke with both camps, I spoke with Fox and I spoke with Maestre and I will ask (in a letter to the Minnesota Office of Combative Sports) to make it a no-contest and declare the title vacant,” Mendoza told The Ring. “Fox didn’t think it was fair for him to lose that fight. We had a unanimous decision and I’m trying to make a statement for our organization to be more conscious of the officials and results of the fights.

“I don’t think the sport needs any more controversy. I can live with peace in my heart.”

Mendoza has gone to Mike Mazzulli, the president of the Association of Boxing Commissions, in an appeal to the Minnesota Office of Combative Sports to overturn the Maestre’s unanimous-decision victory over Fox (22-3, 5 knockouts). Mazzulli cannot overturn the result. That will be left up to the Minnesota Office of Combative Sports, which did not return numerous phone calls asking for comment about the matter.

“We want the decision to be overturned and we’re looking for an immediate rematch, but only the (Minnesota Office of Combative Sports) can do that,” Mendoza said. “As for Gloria, she will be suspended indefinitely due to the racist comments. We looked back and we’re suspending her now indefinitely because of ethics. There is no time to it.

“Gloria felt that her (social media posts) were political views and that she has a right to state her opinions. The WBA does not approve of any racist views involving race, ethnicity or religion.

“I want to clean this up. I want to make things right.”

Rizzo handed in a ludicrous 117-110 scorecard in favor of 34-year-old Maestre (4-0, 3 KOs). He is a two-time Olympian from Venezuela, where the WBA is based. Fox, 25, and is Black said he did not feel he had a chance to win that fight after racists tweets about Michelle Obama and LeBron James surfaced from 2020 belonging to a Twitter account for @GloriaRizz. The account no longer exists.

As for the fight, Mazzulli’s biggest concern is the number of belts the WBA has.

“I’m going to put Gilberto’s feet to the fire, and I told him that,” Mazzulli said. “I like Gilberto, I respect the WBA and what they do. They’re one of the longest sanctioning bodies in boxing. I have no control over what the (Minnesota Office of Combative Sports) will do, but I can recommend. We’ll see what happens. At the end of the day, everyone knows the fight should be run again.

“I’ll provide documentation from what Gilberto sends to me. It’s up to the (Minnesota Office of Combative Sports) what happens. I will be keeping a close watch on what the WBA does, and I will be watching the other sanctioning bodies. It’s time the ABC gets more involved with the sanctioning bodies and make sure we look at for the best interest of boxing and the boxer.”

Mendoza himself stressed that “We need to get new, better judges. We’re all looking out for the best interest of the sport, and most importantly, the fighters. That comes with fights being judged the way they should be judged. I would like to see more people become involved with the sport. We all want the same thing—that’s to make boxing better.”

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/ since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.


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