World Boxing Association
|Motto||Simply the pioneers|
|Formation||1921, 1962 (as WBA)|
|Purpose||Boxing sanctioning organization|
|Headquarters||Panama City, Panama|
|Gilberto Mendoza, Jr.|
The World Boxing Association (WBA) is the oldest and one of four major organizations which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the IBF, WBC, and WBO. The WBA awards the WBA world championship title at the professional level. Founded in the United States in 1921 by thirteen state representatives as the National Boxing Association (NBA), in 1962 it changed its name in recognition of boxing's growing popularity worldwide, and began to gain other nations as members.
By 1975, a majority of votes were held by Latin American nations, and the organization headquarters were moved to Panama. After being located during the 1990s and early 2000s in Venezuela, the organization offices returned to Panama in 2007. It is the oldest of the four major organizations recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF), which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organization (WBO).
The World Boxing Association can be traced back to the original National Boxing Association, organized in 1921. The first bout it recognized was the Jack Dempsey–Georges Carpentier Heavyweight Championship bout in New Jersey.
The NBA was formed by representatives from thirteen American states, including Sam Milner, to counterbalance the influence that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) wielded. The NBA and the NYSAC sometimes crowned different world champions in the same division, leading to confusion about who was the real champion.
The International Boxing Research Organization describes the early NBA as follows:
Originally more comparable to the present American Association of Boxing Commissions than to its offspring and successor, the NBA sanctioned title bouts, published lists of outstanding challengers, withdrew titular recognition, but did not attempt to appoint its own title bout officials or otherwise impose its will on championship fights. It also did not conduct purse bids or collect "sanctioning fees."
Gilberto Mendoza from Venezuela was the President of the WBA since 1982 until his death in 2016, after which Gilberto Mendoza Jr. took over as president. In the 1990s, the WBA moved its central offices from Panama City, Panama, to Caracas, Venezuela. In January 2007, it returned its offices to Panama.
The WBA has been plagued with charges of corruption for years. In a 1981 Sports Illustrated article, a WBA judge claimed that he was influenced by the WBA president to support certain fighters. The same article also discussed a variety of bribes paid to WBA officials to obtain title fights or rankings with the organization. In a 1982 interview, the promoter Bob Arum claimed that he had to pay off WBA officials to obtain rankings for his fighters.
Though the "Super Champion" designation are for WBA champions who concurrently hold titles with the WBO, IBF and/or WBC, in some instances, the WBA has designated as "Super Champion" fighters with only the WBA title. (See below for the WBA's explanation of this.) This particular practice has come under scrutiny, as several boxing experts consider it a means for the organization to gain more sanctioning fees within each division.
The WBA garnered some attention in 2015 when it continued ranking Ali Raymi in its flyweight rankings, despite Raymi, who worked as a colonel in the Yemeni military was reportedly killed by a Saudi airstrike that year. Ali Raymi was ranked Number 6 at the time of his death and Number 11 after his death.
The WBA recognises the title holders from the WBC, WBO, and IBF organisations. The WBA refers to a champion who holds two or more of these titles in the same weight class as a "Super Champion", "Unified Champion", or "Undisputed Champion". This applies even if the WBA title is not one of the titles held by the "Undisputed Champion." In September 2008 for example, Nate Campbell was recognized as the WBA's "Undisputed Champion" at lightweight due to holding the WBO and IBF titles as well, while the WBA's "Regular" champion was Yusuke Kobori.
If a fighter with multiple titles also holds the WBA's title, the fighter is promoted to "Super Champion" and the WBA title—which is then referred to as the "Regular" title—becomes vacant for competition by other WBA-ranked boxers. As a result, the WBA's official list of champions will often show a "WBA Super World Champion" and a "WBA World Champion" for the same weight class, instead of simply "WBA Champion." The WBA has even been known to recognize three different fighters as one form of champion or another in the same weight class ("Super", "Regular", and "interim champion"), and there have been occasions where two different WBA "World" champions have defended their own versions of the same title, in the same weight class, on the same night, in two different parts of the world.
A WBA champion may be promoted to "Super Champion" without winning another organization's title: Chris John, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Anselmo Moreno are examples. The WBA will also promote their titlist to a "Super" champion when he successfully defends his title five times.
Current WBA world title holders
As of September 9, 2018.
|Weight class:||Champion:||Reign began:||Days|
|Minimumweight||June 29, 2016||802|
|Light flyweight||May 20, 2018||112|
|March 18, 2018||175|
|Flyweight||February 24, 2018||197|
|Super flyweight||December 10, 2016||638|
|Bantamweight||October 21, 2017||323|
|May 25, 2018||107|
|March 23, 2018||170|
|Super bantamweight||December 9, 2017||274|
|Featherweight||January 28, 2017||589|
|July 5, 2018||66|
|July 15, 2018||56|
|Super featherweight||October 21, 2017||323|
|Lightweight||May 12, 2018||120|
|Super lightweight||March 10, 2018||183|
|Welterweight||November 2, 2016||676|
|July 15, 2018||56|
|Super welterweight||7 April 2018||155|
|November 18, 2016||652|
|Middleweight||July 26, 2014||1506|
|October 22, 2017||322|
|Super middleweight||May 27, 2017||470|
|July 14, 2018||57|
|Light heavyweight||May 21, 2016||841|
|Cruiserweight||July 22, 2018||49|
|Heavyweight||April 31, 2017||498|
|November 25, 2017||288|
|Weight class:||Champion:||Reign began:||Days|
|Light minimumweight (102 lbs)||Vacant|
|Minimumweight (105 lbs)||23 July 2013||1874|
|Light flyweight (108 lbs)||20 June 2009||3368|
|Flyweight (112 lbs)||13 March 2017||545|
|Super flyweight (115 lbs)||15 April 2016||877|
|Bantamweight (118 lbs)||16 January 2015||1332|
|Super bantamweight (122 lbs)||18 November 2017||295|
|Featherweight (126 lbs)||11 March 2016||912|
|Super featherweight (130 lbs)||15 August 2013||1851|
|Lightweight (135 lbs)||28 October 2017||316|
|Super lightweight (140 lbs)||18 January 2014||1695|
|Welterweight (147 lbs)||14 March 2009||3466|
|Super welterweight (154 lbs)||18 June 2016||813|
|Middleweight (160 lbs)||22 June 2018||79|
|Super middleweight (168 lbs)||3 March 2018||190|
|Light heavyweight (+168 lbs)||Uninaugurated|
WBA affiliated organizations
Transition of WBA titles
- Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London: Carlton Books. p. 121. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.
- "Boxing Bodies: A Brief Chronology and Rundown". International Boxing Digest. 40 (1): 58. January 1998.
- Heller, Peter (1988). Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story. New York: New American Library. pp. 141–142. ISBN 0-688-10123-2.
- Mullan. The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. p. 122.
- "WBA ranking update leaves questions and criticism". Asian Boxing.
- "Super championships guidelines". WBA. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
- "WBA Super Championships". WBA. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- "Official Ratings as of September 2008" (PDF). WBA. September 2008. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
- "Official Web Site >> World Boxing Association". Wbanews.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- Gabriel F. Cordero (November 30, 2012). ""Chocolatito" is the latest WBA super champion". Fightnews.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2012. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- "WBA Intercontinental Champions".
- "WBA International Champions".
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