World Boxing Association
|Motto||Simply the pioneers|
|Purpose||Boxing sanctioning organization|
The World Boxing Association (WBA) is an international boxing organization that sanctions official matches, and 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, 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, in 2007 the organization offices returned to Panama. It is the oldest of the four major organizations recognized by IBHOF which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Council and the World Boxing Organization.
The original sanctioning body of professional boxing, the World Boxing Association can be traced back to the original National Boxing Association, organized in 1921 in the United States. 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 in the boxing world. 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.'"
With the growth of boxing's popularity worldwide, in 1962 the NBA changed its name to the World Boxing Association. The organization remained mainly American in membership until 1974, however. In that year, Rodrigo Sanchez and Elias Cordova, two Panamanian figures in boxing, manipulated the WBA rules to give a majority of votes to nations in Latin America.
Gilberto Mendoza from Venezuela has been the President of the WBA since 1982. 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.
In 2014 the WBA approved the creation of the WBA Oceania based in Brisbane Australia. The WBA Oceania's inaugural Committee is President Francisco Martinez, Vice President Damon Locantro, Secretary Derek Milham and Ratings Chairman Ferlin Marsh.
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 recognizes the title holders from the WBC, WBO, and IBF organizations. The WBA refers to a champion who holds two or more of these titles in the same weight class as an "undisputed champion" or "super champion". This applies even if the WBA title is not one of the titles held by the "undisputed champion". In September 2008, Nate Campbell was recognized as lightweight "undisputed champion" for his WBO and IBF titles, while the WBA's own champion was Yusuke Kobori.
If a fighter with multiple titles holds the WBA's title as well, the fighter is promoted to "Super Champion" and the WBA title becomes vacant for competition by other WBA-ranked boxers. As a result, the WBA tables will sometimes show a "WBA Super World Champion" and a "WBA World Champion" for the same weight class, instead of "WBA Champion". The WBA has even been known to recognize three different fighters as one form of champion or another in the very same weight class (Interim, Super and Regular Champion) and there have been occasions where on the same night in two different parts of the world two different WBA "World" Champions are defending their versions of same WBA weightclass titles. This is extremely confusing to boxing fans.
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 promote their titlist to a "Super" champion when he successfully defends his title five times.
Current WBA world title holders
|Weight class:||Champion:||Date won:|
|Light minimumweight (102 lbs)||Ayaka Miyao||16 September 2012|
|Minimumweight (105 lbs)||Anabel Ortiz||23 July 2013|
|Light flyweight (108 lbs)||Yesica Bopp||20 June 2009|
|Flyweight (112 lbs)||Susi Kentikian||1 February 2013|
|Super flyweight (115 lbs)||Naoko Fujioka||13 November 2013|
|Bantamweight (118 lbs)||Irma Garcia||5 January 2013|
|Super bantamweight (122 lbs)||Jackie Nava||24 May 2014|
|Featherweight (126 lbs)||Dahiana Santana||28 June 2014|
|Super featherweight (130 lbs)||Choi Hyunmi||15 August 2013|
|Lightweight (135 lbs)||Cecilia Comunales||31 March 2012|
|Super lightweight (140 lbs)||Ana Laura Esteche||18 January 2014|
|Welterweight (147 lbs)||Cecilia Brækhus||14 March 2009|
|Super welterweight (154 lbs)||Layla McCarter||30 September 2012|
|Middleweight (160 lbs)||Teresa Perozzi||30 December 2011|
|Super middleweight (168 lbs)||Vacant|
|Light heavyweight (+168 lbs)||Vacant|
WBA affiliated organizations
- Pan Asian Boxing Association (PABA)
- North American Boxing Association (NABA)
- World Boxing Association Oceania](WBAO)
Transition of WBA titles
- Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London, England, UK: Carlton Books. p. 121. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.
- "Boxing Bodies: A Brief Chronology and Rundown". International Boxing Digest 40 (1): 58. January 1998.
- Mullan. The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. p. 122.
- Heller, Peter (1988). Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story. New York, New York: New American Library. pp. 141–142. ISBN 0-688-10123-2.
- "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". WBA. September 2008. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-11-14.[dead link]
- "Oficial Web Site >> World Boxing Association". Wbanews.com. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- Gabriel F. Cordero (November 30, 2012). ""Chocolatito" is the latest WBA super champion". Fightnews.com. Retrieved 2012-11-30.