List of current world boxing champions

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Since at least John L. Sullivan, in the late 19th century, there have been world boxing champions. The first of today's organizations to award a world title was the World Boxing Association, known as the National Boxing Association when it sanctioned its first title fight in 1921 between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier for the heavyweight championship.

There are now four major sanctioning bodies in professional boxing. The official rules and regulations of the World Boxing Association,[1] World Boxing Council,[2] International Boxing Federation[3] and World Boxing Organization[4] all recognize the other three major sanctioning bodies in their rankings and title unification rules. Each of these organizations sanction and regulate championship bouts and award championships. American boxing magazine The Ring began awarding world championship belts in 1922.

There are seventeen weight divisions. To compete in a weight division, a boxer's weight must not exceed the upper limit. Manny Pacquiao has won world championships in eight different weight divisions, more than any other boxer. The Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, held all four major titles in the heavyweight division; they were the first brothers to hold versions of the heavyweight championship at the same time.[5]

Championships[edit]

When a champion, for reasons beyond his control such as an illness or injury, is unable to defend his title within the normal mandatory time, the sanctioning bodies may order an interim title bout and award the winner an interim championship. The WBA and WBC may change the status of their inactive champions to Champion in Recess.

World Boxing Association[edit]

The World Boxing Association (WBA) was founded in 1921 as the National Boxing Association (NBA), a national regulating body of the United States. On August 23, 1962, the NBA became the WBA, which today has its head office in Panama.[6] According to WBA championship rules, when a champion also holds a title of one of the other three major sanctioning bodies in an equivalent weight division, that boxer is granted a special recognition of "Unified Champion", and is given more time between mandatory title defences. The WBA Championships Committee and President may also designate a champion as a "Super Champion" or "Undisputed Champion" in exceptional circumstances;[1] the standard WBA title is then vacated and contested between WBA-ranked contenders. When a WBA "Regular Champion" makes between five and ten successful defences, he may be granted the WBA "Super" title upon discretion of a vote of the WBA's board of governors.

World Boxing Council[edit]

The World Boxing Council (WBC) was founded in Mexico City, Mexico on February 14, 1963 in order to establish an international regulating body.[7] The WBC established many of today's safety measures in boxing, such as the standing eight count,[8] a limit of 12 rounds instead of 15, and additional weight division. More information about the WBC's titles including Silver, Diamond, Emeritus, Honorary and Supreme Champion can be read at the WBC article.

International Boxing Federation[edit]

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) originated in September 1976 as the United States Boxing Association (USBA) when American members of the WBA withdrew in order to legitimize boxing in the United States with "unbiased" ratings.[9] In April 1983, the organization established an international division that was known as the United States Boxing Association-International (USBA-I).[9] In May 1984, the New Jersey-based USBA-I was renamed and became the IBF.[9]

World Boxing Organization[edit]

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico (which is a self-governing commonwealth of the United States) in 1988. In its early years the WBO's titles were not widely recognized. By 2012 when the Japan Boxing Commission officially recognized the governing body, it had gained similar status to the other three major sanctioning bodies. Its motto is "dignity, democracy, honesty."[10] When a WBO champion has reached "preeminent status" the WBO's Executive Committee may designate him as a "Super Champion".[11]

The Ring[edit]

The boxing magazine The Ring maintains its own version of the lineal championship. The original sequence began from the magazine's first publication in the 1920s until the lineal championships were placed on hiatus in 1989, continuing as late as 1992 in some divisions. When The Ring started awarding titles again in 2001, it did not calculate retrospective lineages to fill in the gap years, instead nominating a new champion.[12] CBZ commented in 2004, "The Ring has forfeited its credibility by pulling names out of its ass to name fighters as champions".[13] In 2007, The Ring was acquired by the owners of fight promoter Golden Boy Promotions,[14] which has publicized The Ring's world championships when they are at stake in fights it promotes (such as Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr. in 2008).[15] Since 2012, to reduce the number of vacant titles, The Ring allows fights between a #1 or #2 contender and a #3, #4, or #5 contender to fill a vacant title. This has prompted further doubts about its credibility.[16][17][18]

Some boxing journalists have been extremely critical of the new championship policy and state that if this new policy is followed, the Ring title will lose the credibility it once held.[19][20][21]

Lineal[edit]

The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB) hands out the most complete version of the lineal championship and is universally recognized as the most authoritative boxing rankings in the world today. TBRB was formed in October 2012 as a volunteer initiative to provide boxing with authoritative top-ten rankings, identify the singular world champion of every division by strict reasoning and common sense, and to insist on the sport's reform.[22][23] Board membership includes fifty respected boxing journalists and record keepers from around the world who are uncompromised by sanctioning bodies and promoters.

The board was formed to continue where The Ring "left off" in the aftermath of its purchase by Golden Boy Promotions in 2007 and the following dismissal of the editorial board headed by Nigel Collins.[24] After the new editors announced a controversial new championship policy in May 2012,[25] three prominent members of the Ring Advisory Panel resigned. These three members (Springs Toledo, Cliff Rold and Tim Starks) became the founding members of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board,[26] which was formed over the summer of 2012 with the assistance of Stewart Howe of England. The board only awards vacant championships when the two top-ranked fighters in any division meet, and currently recognizes legitimate world champions or "true champions" in each weight classes.[27]

Current champions[edit]

The current champions in each weight division are listed below. Each champion's professional boxing record is shown in the following format: wins–losses–draws–no contests (knockout wins).

Heavyweight (200+ lb, 90.7+ kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Tyson Fury
Unified champion
 United Kingdom
25–0–0–0 (18)
November 28, 2015
Deontay Wilder
 United States
37–0–0–0 (36)
January 17, 2015
Anthony Joshua
 United Kingdom
17–0–0–0 (17)
April 9, 2016
Tyson Fury
 United Kingdom
25–0–0–0 (18)
November 28, 2015
Tyson Fury
 United Kingdom
25–0–0–0 (18)
November 28, 2015
Tyson Fury
 United Kingdom
25–0–0–0 (18)
November 28, 2015
vacant
Luis Ortiz
Interim champion
 Cuba
25–0–0–2 (22)
October 17, 2015

Cruiserweight (200 lb, 90.7 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Denis Lebedev
Super champion
 Russia
29–2–0–0 (22)
May 20, 2016
Tony Bellew
 United Kingdom
27–2–1–0 (17)
May 29, 2016
Denis Lebedev
 Russia
29–2–0–0 (22)
May 21, 2016
Oleksandr Usyk
 Ukraine
10–0–0–0 (9)
Sep 17, 2016
vacant vacant
Beibut Shumenov
 Kazakhstan
17–2–0–0 (11)
May 21, 2016
Yunier Dorticos
Interim champion
 Cuba
21–0–0–0 (20)
May 20, 2016
Grigory Drozd
In recess
 Russia
40–1–0–0 (28)
March 16, 2016

Light heavyweight (175 lb, 79.4 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Sergey Kovalev
Undisputed champion
 Russia
30–0–1–0 (26)
November 8, 2014
Adonis Stevenson
 Canada
28–1–0–0 (23)
June 8, 2013
Sergey Kovalev
 Russia
30–0–1–0 (26)
November 8, 2014
Sergey Kovalev
Super champion
 Russia
30–0–1–0 (26)
January 16, 2015
vacant Adonis Stevenson
 Canada
28–1–0–0 (23)
June 8, 2013
Jürgen Brähmer
 Germany
48–2–0–0 (35)
December 14, 2013
Dmitry Bivol
Interim champion
 Russia
7–0–0–0 (6)
May 21, 2016

Super middleweight (168 lb, 76.2 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Felix Sturm
Super champion
 Germany
40–5–3–1 (18)
February 20, 2016
Badou Jack
 Sweden
20–1–2–0 (12)
April 24, 2015
James DeGale
 United Kingdom
23–1–0–0 (14)
May 23, 2015
Gilberto Ramírez
 Mexico
34–0–0–0 (24)
April 9, 2016
vacant vacant
Giovanni De Carolis
 Italy
24–6–1–0 (12)
January 9, 2016

Middleweight (160 lb, 72.6 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Gennady Golovkin
Super champion
 Kazakhstan
36–0–0–0 (33)
June 3, 2014
Gennady Golovkin
 Kazakhstan
36–0–0–0 (33)
May 18, 2016
Gennady Golovkin
 Kazakhstan
36–0–0–0 (33)
October 17, 2015
Billy Joe Saunders
 United Kingdom
23–0–0–0 (12)
December 19, 2015
Saúl Álvarez
 Mexico
48–1–1–0 (34)
November 21, 2015
Saúl Álvarez
 Mexico
48–1–1–0 (34)
November 21, 2015
Daniel Jacobs
 United States
32–1–0–0 (29)
August 9, 2014
Alfonso Blanco
Interim champion
 Venezuela
12–0–0–0 (5)
October 25, 2015

Light middleweight (154 lb, 69.9 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Erislandy Lara
Super champion
 Cuba
23–2–2–0 (13)
June 8, 2016
Jermell Charlo
 United States
28–0–0–0 (13)
May 21, 2016
Jermall Charlo
 United States
24–0–0–0 (18)
September 12, 2015
Saúl Álvarez
 Mexico
48–1–1–0 (34)
September 17, 2016
vacant vacant
Jack Culcay
 Germany
22–1–0–0 (11)
June 8, 2016

Welterweight (147 lb, 66.7 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Keith Thurman
 United States
27–0–0–1 (22)
January 16, 2015
Danny García
 United States
32–0–0–0 (18)
January 23, 2016
Kell Brook
 United Kingdom
36–1–0–0 (25)
August 16, 2014
Jessie Vargas
 United States
27–1–0–0 (10)
March 5, 2016
vacant Manny Pacquiao
 Philippines
58–6–2–0 (38)
April 9, 2016
David Avanesyan
Interim champion
 Russia
22–1–1–0 (11)
November 7, 2015

Light welterweight (140 lb, 63.5 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Ricky Burns
 United Kingdom
40–5–1–0 (14)
May 28, 2016
Terence Crawford
 United States
29–0–0–0 (20)
July 23, 2016
Eduard Troyanovsky
 Russia
25–0–0–0 (22)
November 4, 2015
Terence Crawford
 United States
29–0–0–0 (20)
April 18, 2015
Terence Crawford
 United States
29–0–0–0 (20)
July 23, 2016
Terence Crawford
 United States
29–0–0–0 (20)
July 23, 2016

Lightweight (135 lb, 61.2 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Jorge Linares
 Venezuela
41–3–0–0 (27)
September 24, 2016
Dejan Zlaticanin
 Montenegro
22–0–0–0 (15)
June 11, 2016
Robert Easter Jr.
 United States
18–0–0–0 (14)
September 9, 2016
Terry Flanagan
 United Kingdom
31–0–0–0 (12)
July 11, 2015
Jorge Linares
 Venezuela
41–3–0–0 (27)
September 24, 2016
vacant

Super featherweight (130 lb, 59 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Jezreel Corrales
Super champion
 Panama
20–1–0–1 (8)
April 27, 2016
Francisco Vargas
 Mexico
23–0–2–0 (17)
November 21, 2015
José Pedraza
 Puerto Rico
22–0–0–0 (12)
June 13, 2015
Vasyl Lomachenko
 Ukraine
6–1–0–0 (4)
June 11, 2016
vacant vacant
Jason Sosa
 United States
19–1–4–0 (15)
June 24, 2016
Miguel Berchelt
Interim champion
 Mexico
30–1–0–0 (27)
March 12, 2016

Featherweight (126 lb, 57.2 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Carl Frampton
Super champion
 United Kingdom
23–0–0–0 (14)
July 30, 2016
Gary Russell Jr.
 United States
27–1–0–0 (16)
March 28, 2015
Lee Selby
 United Kingdom
23–1–0–0 (8)
May 30, 2015
Óscar Valdez
 Mexico
20–0–0–0 (18)
July 23, 2016
vacant vacant
Jesús Cuellar
 Argentina
28–1–0–0 (21)
February 21, 2015
Carlos Zambrano
Interim champion
 Peru
26–0–0–0 (11)
March 28, 2015
Óscar Escandón
Interim champion
 Colombia
25–2–0–0 (17)
March 5, 2016

Super bantamweight (122 lb, 55.3 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Guillermo Rigondeaux
Super champion
 Cuba
17–0–0–0 (11)
May 6, 2016
Hozumi Hasegawa
 Japan
36–5–0–0 (16)
September 16, 2016
Jonathan Guzmán
 Dominican Republic
22–0–0–1 (22)
July 20, 2016
Nonito Donaire
 Philippines
37–3–0–0 (24)
December 11, 2015
vacant Guillermo Rigondeaux
 Cuba
17––0–0 (11)
April 13, 2013
Nehomar Cermeño
 Venezuela
24–5–1–1 (14)
June 24, 2016
Moises Flores
Interim champion
 Mexico
25–0–0–1 (17)
April 18, 2015

Bantamweight (118 lb, 53.5 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Rau'shee Warren
Undisputed champion
 United States
14–1–0–1 (4)
June 18, 2016
Shinsuke Yamanaka
 Japan
26–0–2–0 (18)
November 6, 2011
Lee Haskins
 United Kingdom
34–3–0–0 (14)
November 20, 2015
Marlon Tapales
 Philippines
29–2–0–0 (12)
July 27, 2016
Shinsuke Yamanaka
 Japan
26–0–2–0 (18)
September 16, 2016
vacant
Jamie McDonnell
 United Kingdom
28–2–1–0 (13)
May 31, 2014
Zhanat Zhakiyanov
Interim champion
 Kazakhstan
26–1–0–0 (18)
November 7, 2015

Super flyweight (115 lb, 52.2 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Luis Concepción
 Panama
35–4–0–0 (24)
August 31, 2016
Román González
 Nicaragua
46–0–0–0 (38)
September 10, 2016
Jerwin Ancajas
 Philippines
25–1–1–0 (16)
September 3, 2016
Naoya Inoue
 Japan
11–0–0–0 (9)
December 30, 2014
vacant vacant

Flyweight (112 lb, 50.8 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Kazuto Ioka
 Japan
20–1–0–0 (12)
April 22, 2015
Román González
 Nicaragua
46–0–0–0 (38)
September 5, 2014
John Riel Casimero
 Philippines
23–3–0–0 (15)
May 25, 2016
vacant Román González
 Nicaragua
46–0–0–0 (38)
September 5, 2014
Román González
 Nicaragua
46–0–0–0 (38)
September 5, 2014
Stamp Kiatniwat
Interim champion
 Thailand
15–0–0–0 (6)
July 29, 2015

Light flyweight (108 lb, 49 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Ryoichi Taguchi
 Japan
25–2–1–0 (11)
December 31, 2014
Ganigan López
 Mexico
28–6–0–0 (17)
March 4, 2016
Akira Yaegashi
 Japan
24–5–0–0 (12)
December 29, 2015
vacant vacant vacant

Minimumweight (105 lb, 47.6 kg)[edit]

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring Lineal
Knockout CP Freshmart
 Thailand
13–0–0–0 (6)
June 29, 2016
Wanheng Menayothin
 Thailand
43–0–0–0 (17)
November 6, 2014
José Argumedo
 Mexico
18–3–1–0 (10)
December 31, 2015
Katsunari Takayama
 Japan
31–8–0–1 (12)
August 20, 2016
vacant vacant

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ a b "Rules of World Boxing Association" (PDF). World Boxing Association. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ "World Boxing Council Rules and Regulations" (PDF). World Boxing Council. Retrieved January 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ "IBF/USBA Rules Governing Championship Contests" (PDF). International Boxing Federation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ "World Boxing Organization Regulations of World Championship Contests". World Boxing Organization. Retrieved March 2, 2009. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Ron (October 13, 2008). "Vitali Klitschko impressive in comeback victory". The Times. Retrieved January 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ "World Boxing Association History". World Boxing Association. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  7. ^ "World Boxing Council". World Boxing Council. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Rules that have changed the History of Boxing". World Boxing Council. Archived from the original on September 25, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c "History of the IBF". International Boxing Federation. December 4, 2000. Archived from the original on December 4, 2000. Retrieved June 6, 2006. 
  10. ^ "WBO logo". World Boxing Organization. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  11. ^ "WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests" (PDF). World Boxing Organization. Section 14. 
  12. ^ Boxing News : The Disputed Light Heavyweight Champion of the World
  13. ^ DeLisa, Mike (August 2004). "What the CBZ Means When it Refers to "Lineal Championships"". The CBZ Journal. cyberboxingzone. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Golden Boy Enterprises' Subsidiary, Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, Acquires The Ring Magazine, KO, World Boxing and Pro Wrestling Illustrated". Golden Boy Promotions. 2007-09-12. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  15. ^ Kimball, George (2008-04-27). "Calzaghe claim far from undisputed". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  16. ^ Chat: Chat with Dan Rafael - SportsNation - ESPN
  17. ^ The Horrible New Ring Magazine Championship Policy - Queensberry Rules
  18. ^ Ring Magazine's pretend rankings upgrade 'championship' policy – theboxingtribune.com
  19. ^ "Chat: Chat with Dan Rafael - SportsNation - ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  20. ^ [1] Archived May 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "Ring Magazine's pretend rankings upgrade 'championship' policy". theboxingtribune.com. 
  22. ^ The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board: More Support is Needed - Boxing247
  23. ^ Raskin, Eric (2013-04-02). "TBRB: A viable alphabet alternative?". ESPN. 
  24. ^ Tim Starks (September 9, 2011). "The Ring Magazine Shakes Up Its Leadership, Threatens Its Credibility". The Queensberry Rules. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  25. ^ The Ring Updates Championship Policy - The Ring
  26. ^ Boxing loses credibility with every new champion. Can the sport be saved? - The Guardian
  27. ^ "What if boxing had one champion for every weight division?". The guardian. October 15, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
General