World Boxing Association

World Boxing Association
World Boxing Association
Abbreviation WBA
Motto Simply the pioneers
Formation 1962
Purpose/focus Boxing sanctioning organization
Region served Worldwide
President Gilberto Mendoza
Main organ General Assembly

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, the 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.[1]

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.'"[2]

In 1962 the NBA, with the growth of boxing's popularity worldwide, 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.[3]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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

Regular titles and super titles

The WBA recognizes the title holders from the WBC, WBO and IBF organizations. The WBA refers to a champion who holds two or more of these titles in the same weight class as an "undisputed champion" or "super champion". This applies even if the WBA title is not one of the titles held by the "undisputed champion".[5][6] In September 2008, Nate Campbell was recognized as lightweight "undisputed champion" for his WBO and IBF titles, while the WBA's own champion was Yusuke Kobori.[7]

If one of the multiple titles held to earn the designation WBA Super Champion is the WBA's own title, then the fighter is promoted to Super Champion and their regular title becomes vacant for other WBA-ranked boxers to fight for. Thus, the WBA tables will sometimes show a WBA Super Champion and a WBA Regular Champion for the same weight class.

Sometimes it is possible for a regular champion to become super champion without adding another organization's title; Chris John is an example.

Current WBA world title holders


Weight class: Champion: Reign began:
Minimumweight Japan Akira Yaegashi October 24, 2011
Light flyweight Nicaragua Roman Gonzalez February 4, 2011
Flyweight Mexico Hernan Marquez April 2, 2011
Super flyweight Japan Tomonobu Shimizu August 31, 2011
Bantamweight Panama Anselmo Moreno (Super Champion) May 31, 2008
Japan Koki Kameda (regular champion) December 26, 2010
Super bantamweight United States Rico Ramos July 9, 2011
Featherweight Indonesia Chris John (Super Champion) November 1, 2003
Panama Celestino Caballero (regular champion) October 14, 2011
Super featherweight Japan Takashi Uchiyama January 11, 2010
Lightweight Mexico Juan Manuel Márquez (Super Champion) February 28, 2009
United States Brandon Ríos (regular champion) February 26, 2011
Light welterweight United Kingdom Amir Khan (Super Champion) July 18, 2009
Argentina Marcos Maidana (regular champion) July 23, 2011
Welterweight Ukraine Vyacheslav Senchenko April 10, 2009
Super welterweight Puerto Rico Miguel Cotto (Super Champion) June 5, 2010
United States Austin Trout (regular champion) February 6, 2011
Middleweight Germany Felix Sturm (Super Champion) April 28, 2007
Kazakhstan Gennady Golovkin (regular champion) October 2010
Super middleweight United States Andre Ward (Super Champion) November 21, 2009
Hungary Karoly Balzsay (regular champion) August 26, 2011
Light heavyweight Kazakhstan Beibut Shumenov January 29, 2010
Cruiserweight Panama Guillermo Jones September 27, 2008
Heavyweight Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko (super champion) July 2, 2011
Russia Alexander Povetkin (regular champion) August 27, 2011


Weight class: Champion: Date won:
Strawweight (105 lbs) vacant?
Junior flyweight (108 lbs) vacant?
Flyweight (112 lbs) Armenia Susi Kentikian 30 March 2007
Junior bantamweight (115 lbs) vacant?
Bantamweight (118 lbs) vacant?
Junior featherweight (122 lbs) vacant?
Featherweight (126 lbs) vacant?
Super Featherweight (130 lbs) Peru Kina Malpartida 21 February 2009
Lightweight (135 lbs) vacant?
Junior welterweight (140 lbs) vacant?
Welterweight (147 lbs) Norway Cecilia Brækhus 14 March 2009
Junior middleweight (154 lbs) vacant?
Middleweight (160 lbs) vacant?
Super middleweight (168 lbs) vacant?
Light heavyweight (175 lbs) vacant?
Cruiserweight (200 lbs) vacant?
Heavyweight (200+ lbs) vacant?

See also

Other world organizations

International Boxing Hall of Fame recognized
Other organizations

Regional Organizations

WBA affiliated organizations

  • Pan Asian Boxing Association (PABA)
  • European Boxing Association (EBA)
  • North American Boxing Association (NABA)

Transition of WBA titles

  • List of WBA world champions
  • List of WBA international champions
  • List of WBA Fedecentro champions
  • List of WBA Fedelatin champions
  • List of WBA Pan African champions
  • List of WBA female world champions

External links


  1. ^ Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London, England, UK: Carlton Books. pp. 121. ISBN 0785806415. 
  2. ^ "Boxing Bodies: A Brief Chronology and Rundown". International Boxing Digest 40 (1): 58. January 1998 
  3. ^ a b Mullan. The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. pp. 122. 
  4. ^ Heller, Peter (1988). Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story. New York, New York: New American Library. pp. 141–142. ISBN 0688101232. 
  5. ^ "Super championships guidelines". WBA. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  6. ^ "WBA Super Championships". WBA. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  7. ^ "Official Ratings as of September 2008". WBA. September 2008. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-11-14. [dead link]

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