World Boxing Union
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|Founder||Jon W. Robinson|
|Founded at||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Purpose||Boxing sanctioning organization|
The World Boxing Union (WBU) is a boxing sanctioning body. The original WBU was founded in January 1995 by IBF European representative Jon W. Robinson. It sanctioned boxing with various promoters worldwide.
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The World Boxing Union, Inc. (WBU) is a professional boxing sanctioning body based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA that has revitalized and registered the "WBU" brand that was recognized for ten years until 2004 in the United Kingdom in the sport of prizefighting. After all boxing sanctioning contracts were fulfilled, the UK company became dormant and eventually was dissolved. The "WBU" brand has been immortalized in cinema history by the hit movie "The Fighter" starring Mark Wahlberg. The previous incarnation WBU company of WBU titles were particularly well recognised in Europe while not so much in the USA. The former UK WBU titles have been held by the likes of Ricky Hatton, George Foreman, Thomas Hearns, Baby Jake Matlala, James Toney, Johnny Nelson and Micky Ward (on whom the movie "The Fighter" is based).
The prior WBU had a 'golden' period between 1996–2004 when its title contests were often shown live on satellite and terrestrial television. After the death of the UK WBU founder, the organization fell to the status of "dormant" -thus forcing the organisation's titles in weight categories to become vacant of champions. This for all practical reasons was the end of the UK WBU until the company no longer existed.
In 2010, after realizing there were no legal remaining assets of the UK based WBU and after a period of years had passed of no activity of the original company nor an operating subsequent company of such brand , the USA based WBU brand was formed, registered, licensed, and launched under the stewardship of United States of America citizen Don “Moose” Lewis-President of men’s professional boxing sanctioning body the IBU-International Boxing Union, Inc., the WAA-World Athletic Association, Inc., and the WIBC-Women’s International Boxing Council, Inc. The current WBU Executive Committee has always acknowledged the UK WBU as part of professional boxing history and continues to continue the prior championship lineage. However, under advice of legal counsel and to be governed under the laws of the USA, it was decided to re-establish the brand totally independent of any legal reference to the UK WBU so as to not expose today's WBU with any remaining potential liabilities from the previous dormant and dissolved company that could occur under the auspices of British law no matter how remote as well as from cyber squatters. The USA based WBU-referred to as simply "The WBU" continues the philosophy of its sister sanctioning bodies by providing opportunities in professional boxing for fighters often overlooked by the recognized organizations. Now the WBU brand is once again alive and well.
The WBU had it first recognized World title under reorganization on 10 September 2011 when former “The Contender” television show participant Jimmy Lange defeated Raul Munoz by TKO in round 6 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2012 with new champions crowned and a world title even changing hands. Entering 2017, the WBU has already crowned a new world champion in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada as co-main event on a pay-per-view card of promoter Yvon Michel's GYM Promotions.
In the latter part of 2017, the WBU was sold to an investment group still located in the state of Georgia in the USA. Longtime President Don "Moose" Lewis resigned officially his position as President. On 4 January 2018 the stockholders voted to appoint former WBU Vice-President Tony Rodriguez as the new President and lead the WBU forward in a new direction.
List of WBU heavyweight champions
|Name||Duration of reign||Defenses||Notes|
|George Foreman (USA)||March 29, 1995 – 1997||2||Foreman was recognized as champion after he was stripped of the IBF title|
|Corrie Sanders (RSA)||November 15, 1997 – May 20, 2000||3||Defeated Ross Purity|
|Hasim Rahman (USA)||May 20, 2000 – April 21, 2001||0||Relinquished the title in order to fight Lennox Lewis for the IBF, IBO and WBC titles|
|Johnny Nelson (GBR)||November 24, 2001 – December 4, 2001||0||Defeated Alexander Vasiliev. Relinquished the title in order to concentrate on defending his WBO Cruiserweight title|
|Georgi Kandelaki (GEO)||December 21, 2002 – January 2004||0||Defeated Alexander Vasiliev. Kandelaki either relinquished or was stripped of the title|
|Matt Skelton (GBR)||February 25, 2005 – January 26, 2009||0||Skelton relinquished the title|
Other WBU champions (selected)
Other past WBU champions include Eamonn Magee, Tony Oakey, Corrie Sanders, Enzo Maccarinelli, Lee McAllister, Angel Manfredy, George Scott, Hasim Rahman, Willie Limond, Michael Gomez, Kevin Lear, Anthony Farnell, Jimmy Lange, Derry Mathews, Choi Tseveenpurev, Jeremy Williams, Don Diego Poeder, Wayne Elcock Lawrence Murphy, Craig Docherty, Kevin Kelly, Tyson Cave, and Marselles Brown.v
- "George Foreman vs. Axel Schulz". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "BoxRec - Corrie Sanders". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "Hasim Rahman vs. Corrie Sanders". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "BoxRec - Johnny Nelson". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "BoxRec - George Kandelaki". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "BoxRec - Matt Skelton". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.