World Boxing Association

The World Boxing Association (WBA) is a boxing organization that sanctions official matches, and awards the WBA world championship title, at the professional level. It was previously known as the National Boxing Association before changing its name in 1962. It is the oldest of the major organizations recognized by IBHOF which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the International Boxing Federation, 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; the first bout recognized by the organization being the Jack Dempsey-Georges Carpentier Heavyweight Championship bout in New Jersey, USA.

The NBA was formed by representatives from thirteen American states to counterbalance the influence the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) wielded in the boxing world. This often meant that the NBA and the NYSAC 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 in this way: "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.'

In 1962 the NBA, with the growth of boxing's popularity world-wide, changed its name to the World Boxing Association. The organization remained mainly American until 1974, however. In that year, two Panamanian boxing figures named Rodrigo Sanchez and Elias Cordova manipulated the WBA rules to give a majority of votes to nations in Latin America.

Gilberto Mendoza has been the President of the WBA since 1982. The WBA in the 1990s moved its central offices from Panama City, Panama, to Caracas, Venezuela. In January 2007 it moved its offices again to Panama.


The WBA has been plagued with charges of corruption for years. In perhaps the most notable instance, promoter Bob Arum claimed in a 1982 interview that he had to pay off WBA officials to obtain rankings. 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.

The WBA also came under fire in the 1980s for allowing South Africans to fight for its titles.

Other organizations

Through the years, many competitors who also recognized world championship bouts sprung up, and in that line, the WBC started out in 1963, the IBF in 1983, the WBO in 1988, and nearly a dozen others.

Current WBA world title holders

Weight class: Champion: Date won:
Minimumweight Román González September 15 2008
Light flyweight Brahim Asloum December 8 2007
Flyweight Takefumi Sakata March 19 2007
Super flyweight Cristian Mijares May 17 2008
Nobuo Nashiro September 15 2008
Bantamweight Anselmo Moreno May 31 2008
Super bantamweight Celestino Caballero October 4 2006
Featherweight Chris John November 4 2006
Super featherweight Vacant N/A
Lightweight Nate Campbell March 8 2008
Yusuke Kobori May 19 2008
Super lightweight Andreas Kotelnik March 22 2008
Welterweight Antonio Margarito July 26 2008
Super welterweight Daniel Santos July 11 2008
Middleweight Felix Sturm April 28 2007
Super middleweight Mikkel Kessler June 21 2008
Light heavyweight Hugo Garay July 3 2008
Cruiserweight Guillermo Jones September 27 2008
Heavyweight Nikolai Valuev August 30 2008

See also

Other world organizations

Regional Organizations

WBA affiliated organizations

Transition of WBA titles

External links


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