International Boxing Federation

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International Boxing Federation
Formation1983; 41 years ago (1983)[1]
TypeNon-profit institution
PurposeBoxing sanctioning organization
HeadquartersSpringfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Region served
Daryl Peoples
Main organ
General Assembly

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) is one of four major organizations recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) which sanctions professional boxing bouts, alongside the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).


The IBF was preceded by the United States Boxing Association (USBA), a regional championship organization like the North American Boxing Federation (NABF). In 1983, at the WBA's annual convention, held in Puerto Rico, Robert W. "Bobby" Lee Sr., president of the USBA, lost in his bid to become WBA president against Gilberto Mendoza. Lee and others withdrew from the convention after the election, and decided to organize a third, world-level organization, to co-exist with the WBA and the WBC. Formed as USBA-International, the fledgling organization was renamed the International Boxing Federation on November 6, 1983, based in New Jersey, where its main offices remain.[2]

Bobby Lee had also been a New Jersey boxing commissioner until 1985, when, according to news reports, "he was suspended and fined by the Ethical Standards Commission for accepting contributions from fight promoters and casino executives."[3]

The IBF's first world champion was Marvin Camel, a former WBC world cruiserweight champion who won the IBF's belt in the same division. During its first year of existence the IBF remained largely obscure, but by 1984 it decided to recognize Larry Holmes, Aaron Pryor, Marvin Hagler and Donald Curry, already established champions from other organizations, as IBF world champions. In Holmes' case, he relinquished his WBC title to accept the IBF's recognition. It established the IBF as the third sanctioning body, and a legitimate organization.[4]

IBF men's world championship belts are red, whereas women's world championship belts are light blue.[citation needed]

20th-century bribery scandal[edit]

Despite achieving an appearance of legitimacy, subsequent to a three-year investigation started by 1996 charges levied by former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer; IBF's reputation was ruined in 1999 with founder Lee's indictment for racketeering and other violations for taking bribes in exchange for high boxer rankings. Indicted on federal racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges were "president, Robert W. Lee, 65; his son and IBF liaison, Robert Lee Jr., 38; former IBF executive and Virginia boxing commissioner Donald William Brennan, 86; and South American IBF representative Francisco Fernandez."[5] Lee was subsequently convicted of money-laundering and tax evasion in August 2000, then sentenced, in 2001, to 22 months in prison and fined $25,000.[6]

In 2000, citing extortion, boxing promoter Bob Arum voluntarily testified to having paid IBF president Bobby Lee $100,000 in two installments in 1995, as the first half of a $200,000 bribe, through "middleman, Stanley Hoffman", adding that Lee had first demanded $500,000 to approve the Schulz-Foreman fight, but had settled for the lesser amount of $200,000 (half of which was never paid).[7] Arum was sanctioned and fined $125,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Boxing promoters Cedric Kushner and Dino Duva also admitted to making similar payments to Lee.[8]

"A culture of corruption has festered in the IBF virtually since its inception... IBF ratings were not earned – they were bought... The crimes have bastardized the ratings in most of the weight classes."
— Adam Miller quoting Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cleary, "FEDS BID TO KO BOXING BIGS WITH ‘BRIBE’ RAP", New York Post, November 5, 1999

21st-century management[edit]

The IBF was under federal observation from Lee's conviction through September 2004. Former Michigan Boxing Commissioner, WBA vice-president, boxing safety advocate and IBF interim president Hiawatha Knight (October 22, 1929 – October 22, 2014) became president following Lee's conviction, and was the first woman president of any world governing boxing organization. In 2001, Marian Muhammad assumed the presidency, followed by Daryl J. Peoples, who remained president as of 2018.[9]

The IBF ran the "1st Annual Convention of IBF Muaythai" in Bangkok on 20–21 December 2017.[10] Daryl Peoples, IBF president, attended the convention. The new champions of IBF Muay Thai were crowned in three weight divisions.

In response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Federation blocked championship fights involving Russian and Belarusian boxers.[11]

Current IBF world title holders[edit]

As of 20 May 2024


Weight class Champion (16) Reign began Days
Mini flyweight (105 lbs) Ginjiro Shigeoka 7 October 2023 226
Junior flyweight (108 lbs) Sivenathi Nontshinga 16 February 2024 94
Flyweight (112 lbs) Vacant
Junior bantamweight (115 lbs) Fernando Martínez 26 February 2022 814
Bantamweight (118 lbs) Ryosuke Nishida 4 May 2024 16
Junior featherweight (122 lbs) Naoya Inoue 26 December 2023 146
Featherweight (126 lbs) Luis Alberto Lopez 10 December 2022 527
Junior lightweight (130 lbs) Anthony Cacace 18 May 2024 2
Lightweight (135 lbs) Vasiliy Lomachenko 11 May 2024 9
Junior welterweight (140 lbs) Subriel Matías 25 February 2023 450
Welterweight (147 lbs) Jaron Ennis 9 November 2023 193
Junior middleweight (154 lbs) Bakhram Murtazaliev 5 April 2024 45
Middleweight (160 lbs) Janibek Alimkhanuly 14 October 2023 219
Super middleweight (168 lbs) Canelo Álvarez 6 November 2021 926
Light heavyweight (175 lbs) Artur Beterbiev 11 November 2017 2382
Cruiserweight (200 lbs) Jai Opetaia 18 May 2024 2
Heavyweight (200+ lbs) Oleksandr Usyk 25 September 2021 968


Weight class Champion (15) Reign began Days
Junior mini flyweight (102 lbs) Sumire Yamanaka 12 January 2024 129
Mini flyweight (105 lbs) Seniesa Estrada 29 March 2024 52
Junior flyweight (108 lbs) Evelyn Nazarena Bermúdez 29 December 2018 1969
Flyweight (112 lbs) Arely Muciño 29 October 2022 569
Junior bantamweight (115 lbs) Micaela Luján 30 January 2021 1206
Bantamweight (118 lbs) Miyo Yoshida 9 December 2023 251
Junior featherweight (122 lbs) Ellie Scotney 10 June 2023 345
Featherweight (126 lbs) Amanda Serrano 24 September 2022 604
Junior lightweight (130 lbs) Alycia Baumgardner 15 October 2022 583
Lightweight (135 lbs) Beatriz Ferreira 27 April 2024 23
Junior welterweight (140 lbs) Katie Taylor 25 November 2023 177
Welterweight (147 lbs) Natasha Jonas 1 July 2023 324
Junior middleweight (154 lbs) Natasha Jonas 12 November 2022 555
Middleweight (160 lbs) Claressa Shields 22 June 2018 2159
Super middleweight (168 lbs) Savannah Marshall 1 July 2023 324
Light heavyweight (175 lbs) Lani Daniels 2 December 2023 170
Heavyweight (175+ lbs) Vacant

Muay Thai world champions[edit]

Weight class Champion Reign began Days
Junior lightweight (130 lbs) Petchaouthong Aor. Kwanmaung 21 December 2017 2342
Lightweight (135 lbs) Seksan Aor. Kwanmuang 21 December 2017 2342
Welterweight (147 lbs) Pinklao Bangkoknoivillage 20 December 2017 2343

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gems, Gerald R. (2014-03-13). Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science. p. 42. ISBN 9781442229914. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  2. ^ Wheeler, Paul (7 April 2020). "Judging the sanctioning bodies: The IBF - Boxing News". Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  3. ^ Marshall, Andrew "Bell tolls for ring-king Lee and the 'whore-house of pugilism'", The Independent, November 29, 1999. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  4. ^ Euan-Smith, Simon (27 January 2022). "A history of chaos - sanctioning bodies and broken titles". Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  5. ^ Hirsley, Michael "Another Black Eye For Boxing", Chicago Tribune, November 5, 1999. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Smothers, Ronald "I.B.F. Supervision Ends; Founder Gets 22 Months", The New York Times, February 15, 2001. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  7. ^ MCKINLEY, JAMES C. JR. "Arum Gives Description Of Payments to I.B.F.", The New York Times, June 7, 2000. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Springer, Steve "Settlement Approved in Arum Case", Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2000. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Kang, Arne K. (10 March 2017). "A Conversation with International Boxing Federation President Daryl Peoples". Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Facebook".
  11. ^ "Alan Hubbard: How Russian champion Bivol sent shockwaves down Mexico way".

External links[edit]