International Boxing Union
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The International Boxing Union (IBU) was created June 1911 in Paris, France. It was an attempt to create a unified international governing body for professional boxing. Signators of the Protocol for the IBU were: Paul Rousseau (President of Fédération Française de Boxe et de Lutte) for France; Fred Tilbury (an Englishman, Master of Boxing, and President of Fédération Belge de Boxe) for Belgium; and Victor Breyer (President of Société Française de Propagation de la Boxe Anglaise), having an official mandate by the New York State Athletic Commission, and consequently acting on behalf of some American boxing authorities. Switzerland joined the IBU in November 1913.
The IBU suspended operations with the outbreak of World War I, but resumed action on February 5, 1920—this time headquartered in Paris. Eventually, by the end of 1942, the IBU was in the hands of the Nazis and Fascists, who transformed it into the "Associazione Pugilistica Professionistica Europea" (APPE). By December 1, 1944, the IBU/APPE was dormant. In 1946, from the ashes of the APPE, the European Boxing Union (EBU) came into being.
International Boxing Union
Like the mystical bird "Phoenix", the IBU and its marks was reorganized in Atlanta, Georgia, USA resuming the of sanctioning professional fights under the name International Boxing Union in 1996. The IBU is indeed "international" and their "world champions" have come from countries such as Barbados, Guyana, Germany, and Hungary- though initially they often lack widespread recognition as the best fighters in their class-that is changing through the diligent efforts of its officers. IBU titles are often a first title for fighters who progress to gain additional titles of the more recognized "Big Four".
One notable former IBU Heavyweight Champion was Shannon Briggs, who had his title stripped in 2003 after refusing to face quality opponents. Briggs went on to win the WBO title a few years later, after defeating Sergei Liakhovich in November 2006. Another notable former IBU World Heavyweight Champion is "Fast" Eddie Chambers who captured the title in 2005. The IBU also sports two notable former Lightweight Champions in Gary Balletto and Gregorio Vargas. Balletto was 29-1-2 before losing the IBU Lightweight title to Vargas in 2003. Balletto attempted a comeback in 2006 on ESPN's "The Contender 2|The Contender". Other notable fights of the IBU were the two IBU World Super Middleweight title fights of Scott "The Sandman" Pemberton and Omar Sheika that became ESPN2's "Fight of the Year" in both 2003 and 2004. On 7 April 2012, 7-time multiple weight class World Champion James Toney captured the vacant IBU World Heavyweight championship with a TKO over World Heavyweight Bare Knuckle Championship Holder Bobby Gunn.