The World Boxing Association (WBA) is a major sanctioning body that sanctions official matches, and awards the WBA world championship title, at the professional level. It is also the most major title out of the four.
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 IBF, the WBC and the WBO.
History and Information[edit | edit source]
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.
Controversies[edit | edit source]
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.
Regular and Super titles[edit | edit source]
A boxer who holds WBA title is considered by the organization as regular champion. If that champion manages to include a title of a similar weight class which is from another organization (WBC, IBF or WBO) or vice-versa, he/she will be promoted to super champion. In this, their regular title becomes vacant for other WBA-ranked boxers to fight for.
Sometimes, it is possible for a regular champion to become super champion without adding another organization's title. One of these fighters include Antonio Margarito.