World Boxing Organization
|World Boxing Organization|
|Motto||Dignity, Democracy, Honesty|
|Purpose/focus||Boxing sanctioning organization|
|Headquarters||San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|Main organ||General Assembly|
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) is a sanctioning organization currently recognizing professional boxing world champions. The organization is recognized as one of the four major world championship groups by the IBHOF alongside the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Council and the World Boxing Association. WBO offices are located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- 1 History
- 2 Criticism
- 3 Current WBO world title holders
- 4 Former champions
- 5 WBO affiliated organizations
- 6 Other boxing organizations
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The WBO started after a group of Puerto Rican and Dominican businessmen broke out of the World Boxing Association's 1988 annual convention in Isla Margarita, Venezuela over disputes regarding what rules should be applied.
The WBO's first president was Ramon Pina Acevedo of the Dominican Republic. Soon after its beginning, the WBO was staging world championship bouts around the globe. Its first championship fight was for its vacant super-middleweight title, between Thomas Hearns and James Kinchen; Hearns won by decision. In order to gain respectability, the WBO next elected former world light-heavyweight champion José Torres of Ponce, Puerto Rico, as its president. Torres left in 1996, giving way to Puerto Rican lawyer Francisco Varcarcel as president. Varcarcel has been there since.
At heavyweight, especially in the United States, the organization struggled to gain credibility as a major sanctioning body, with WBO heavyweight title-holders Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, and Henry Akinwande relinquishing the title to pursue other options. Boxing publication The Ring also didn't recognize the WBO, despite having recognized the IBF after its inception in 1983, five years prior to the WBO.
In the lighter weight divisions however, long-reigning champions during the 1990s such as Chris Eubank, Dariusz Michalczewski, Johnny Tapia, and Naseem Hamed gave the WBO title much more prestige. The WBO was also made popular by boxers such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, Nigel Benn, Ronald "Winky" Wright, Joe Calzaghe, and Wladimir Klitschko holding its title.
In Europe, the WBO was more accepted during its early years than in the U.S., and WBO champions always fared well in unification bouts with WBC, WBA, and IBF champions. By the early 2000s, the WBO was becoming universally recognized alongside the other three major sanctioning bodies.
For many years, as with the IBF, boxers based in Japan were not permitted to fight for WBO titles. In 2012, the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) recognized the governing body.
Initial holder of heavyweight title
While the IBF had awarded recognition to Larry Holmes soon after its inception in 1983 (as they did with several established champions in the lower weight divisions), the WBO sanctioned a fight between two relatively unknown fighters, Francesco Damiani (winner of the super heavyweight silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles) and Johnny DuPlooy, to determine the initial holder of its heavyweight title in 1989. All other sanctioning bodies of boxing recognized the then-undefeated Mike Tyson as the heavyweight champion. Damiani went on to win the initial WBO heavyweight title.
Minimumweight title declared vacant
On August 23, 1997, WBC minimumweight champion Ricardo López won the WBO minimumweight title by knocking out Puerto Rican fighter Alex Sánchez. After the bout, López told a Mexican newspaper that he wanted to give his newly won championship belt to his father, who is a boxing fan. WBO president Francisco Varcarcel said he viewed that comment as a public resignation and declared the title vacant without holding a hearing or notifying López. The WBO sanctioned a bout between Eric Jamili (10-5-1) and Mickey Cantwell (13-4-1) to fill the vacancy despite protests by López.
Ranking of deceased boxer
The WBO twice moved Darrin Morris up in its super-middleweight rankings in 2001, despite the fact that he was dead. Morris was Number 7 at the time of his death and Number 5 when the WBO discovered the error. Varcarcel said, "We obviously missed the fact that Darrin was dead. It is regrettable." Valcarcel also stated that other boxing sanctioning organizations had made similar errors in the past by continuing to rank another boxer after he was dead. One week after British newspaper The Independent broke the story, one of the three men ranking the boxers, Gordon Volkman, still had not heard that Morris was dead.
Current WBO world title holders
|Weight class:||Title holder:||Reign began:|
|Mini flyweight||Merlito Sabillo||10 April 2013|
|Junior flyweight||Donnie Nietes||8 October 2011|
|Flyweight||Juan Francisco Estrada||6 April 2013|
|Junior bantamweight||Omar Narvaez||15 May 2010|
|Bantamweight||Tomoki Kameda||1 August 2013|
|Junior featherweight||Guillermo Rigondeaux||13 April 2013|
|Junior lightweight||Mikey Garcia||9 November 2013|
|Lightweight||Terence Crawford||1 March 2014|
|Junior welterweight||Ruslan Provodnikov||19 October 2013|
|Welterweight||Timothy Bradley||9 June 2012|
|Junior middleweight||Demetrius Andrade||9 November 2013|
|Middleweight||Peter Quillin||20 October 2012|
|Super middleweight||Arthur Abraham||1 March 2014|
|Light heavyweight||Sergey Kovalev||17 August 2013|
|Cruiserweight||Marco Huck||29 August 2009|
|Heavyweight||Wladimir Klitschko||23 February 2008|
|Weight class:||Champion:||Date won:|
|Strawweight (105 lb.)||Su-Yun Hong||28 June 2012|
|Junior flyweight (108 lb.)||Yesica Bopp||6 November 2009|
|Flyweight (112 lb.)||Melissa McMorrow||16 May 2012|
|Junior bantamweight (115 lb.)||Carolina Duer||17 December 2010|
|Bantamweight (118 lb.)||vacant|
|Junior featherweight (122 lb.)||Yésica Patricia Marcos||16 March 2012|
|Featherweight (126 lb.)||Alejandra Marina Oliveras||5 January 2012|
|Junior lightweight (130 lb.)||Ramona Kuehne||4 June 2010|
|Lightweight (135 lb.)||Enis Pacheco||16 March 2012|
|Junior welterweight (140 lb.)||Fernanda Alegre||3 December 2010|
|Welterweight (147 lb.)||Cecilia Brækhus||15 May 2010|
|Junior middleweight (154 lb.)||Oxandia Castillo||28 February 2013|
|Middleweight (160 lb.)||vacant|
|Super middleweight (168 lb.)||Christina Hammer||4 May 2013|
|Light heavyweight (175 lb.)||vacant|
|Junior heavyweight (200 lb.)||vacant|
|Heavyweight (200+ lb.)||vacant|
WBO affiliated organizations
Transition of WBO titles
Other boxing organizations
- International Boxing Hall of Fame recognized
- Other organizations
- Myron Sta. Ana (November 20, 2012). "Wars Katsumata Wins by Knockout in Japan". PhilBoxing.com. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Hurley, Matthew (211 August 2007). "Klitschko Ibragimov Close To Being Set For February". East Side Boxing. Retrieved 3 June 2009. "The WBO, which was introduced in 1989, was not generally considered a legitimate heavyweight belt at the time. The organization's first heavyweight champion was Francesco Damiani whose short reign came during Mike Tyson's run as undisputed champion."
- Hauser, Thomas (16 March 2008). "The Heavyweight Follies". SecondsOut.com. Retrieved 3 June 2009. "And the WBO belt has NEVER been carried into the ring by the true heavyweight champion of the world. The first WBO heavyweight beltholder was Francesco Damiani, who won the bauble by knocking out Johnny DuPlooy in 1989"
- "PLUS: BOXING; Jamili Takes Strawweight Title". The New York Times. 20 December 1997.
- Bunce, Steve (13 February 2001). "Death no barrier to fighter's rise in rankings". The Independent (London). Retrieved 1 March 2009.
- Graham, Tim (20 February 2001). "New WBO division: Dead weight". ESPN.com. Retrieved 1 March 2009.