A Guide to Boxing Organisations

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While most sports have top events run by a single association or organization, the world of boxing is very much fragmented across countries and even continents.

In other words, there is no one competition title held by a boxer that allows them to assert that there’s no one better than them. The reason is that there are a few titles that suggest that they are the best. Take the title of “Heavyweight Champion of the World,” for example. Did you know that there can be upwards of four boxers with this title at a point in time? The reason is that the WBA, IBF, WBO and WBC all offer this title.

You can also have the Lineal Champion and the Ring Champion.

Differences Between WBC, IBF, WBA and WBO?

Boxing organizations

To many fans, the difference between champions from the WBC, IBF, WBA and WBO is unclear. No boxing association ranks above all else to decide who truly is the World Champion. This contrasts with other sports like football that has FIFA, or men’s tennis that has the ATP. It comes down to every organization’s boxers trying to claim the top spot by declaring themselves to be the best.

The only thing left to do for a fighter to remove any doubt is to circumnavigate the different organizations and make a run by claiming all four belts. It’s therefore not unusual for a WBC champion to take on the WBO champion. This task means putting one’s belt on the line for the chance to claim their opponent’s, otherwise known as unifying the belts.

Particularly in the heavyweight division, finding an undisputed champion is a scarcity. In fact, in the last decade, we’ve only seen light welterweight boxer Terrence Crawford and cruiserweight Oleksander Uysk with this distinction. On the women’s side, middleweight Claressa Shields, welterweight Cecilia Brækhus and lightweight Katie Taylor can make this same boast.

Due to the promotional side of boxing, top boxers may not meet each other in the ring at the pinnacle of their prowess. The problem may be the result of top fighters holding out for the greatest deal, which may even result in the best boxers never getting to fight one another. We’ve seen examples of this in the past with Aaron Pryor versus Sugar Ray Leonard, Ike Quartey versus Felix Trinidad and Nigel Benn versus Roy Jones Jr. In the case of Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather, we saw a match of two great fighters who were probably past their peak ability.

Next up, we’ll introduce you to the world’s largest organizations, including the respective top boxers from each weight division. This will allow you to view the sport from the best angles, with an understanding that will put you in a position to maximize your Sports Bets.

World Boxing Association (WBA)

World Boxing Association (WBA)
There are four leading boxing organizations, which include the WBA, in addition to the WBC, IBF and WBO. The World Boxing Association was founded in 1921 in the US but was originally called the National Boxing Association. In 1962, it renamed itself in a bid to appeal to an international audience as the sport was continuing to grow by leaps and bounds.

The first match in 1921 involved Georges Carpentier from France, who got knocked out by Jack Dempsey from the United States in the 4th round. It gave Jack the first heavyweight championship title from the WBA.

Weight Class and WBA Rankings

At present, you’ll find a total of seventeen weight classes for men and sixteen women’s weight classes in the WBA.

You can find a Regular World Champion and a Super World Champion for each weight class, which we’ll cover shortly. Beneath these champions, you’ll find 15 top-ranked fighters. These boxers are contenders for future championships.

The WBA, and other organizations, has the power to intervene by imposing mandatory fights to make sure that these top-ranked fighters have a legitimate chance to face the champions for the title. The champion will have to accept the challenge within a specific period or relinquish the belt. Effectively, this WBA power prevents fighters from picking and choosing the easier fights to hold on to their belt. Also, champions will not be able to become inactive to hold on to their belt for as long as possible.

The Different Belts and WBA Champions

It can be more than a little confusing to see different weight classes housing multiple belt holders and champions.

In each division, two titles can be won, including the Super Champion and the Regular Champion. The explanation is simple as the WBA recognizes IBF, WBO and WBC title holders. If a boxer holds 2+ major belts, then he/she is referred to as a ‘Super Champion.’ When a division has a Super Champion, a Regular Champion is also permitted. A Regular Champion can become a Super Champion by defending their WBA title a total of five times.

Famous Champions in WBA

Over 45 heavyweight champions have come and gone since the National Boxing Association was renamed to the World Boxing Federation in 1962. Wladimir Klitschko is the record holder for the lengthiest reign of 1,610 days, which came to an unexpected end in November 2015 against Tyson Fury. Your betting strategy needs to consider that, as with any other sport, the unexpected can happen in boxing too.

Fury would go on to lose his title following a rematch cancellation with the IBF’s mandatory challenger, Vyacheslav Glazkov. Anthony Joshua then claimed the title after fighting Ukrainian-born Klitschko at Wembley Stadium, with an 11th round knockout. Now holding the IBF and IBO titles, he became a Super Champion.

As we mentioned already, upsets are part of the game. After 763 days, Anthony Joshua’s reign as Super Champion would end with a knock out blow from the huge underdog Andy Ruiz Jr, who had a 14/1 shot. His family, who had backed him in winning boxing bets, would laugh all the way to the bank by collecting thousands.

Remember that boxing is not only about heavyweight bouts, and in fact, you can find stars in all divisions. For example, you’ve got Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao at the welterweight. There’s also Canelo Alvarez at the middleweight and Amir Khan from Britain who fought in the middleweight, welterweight, light-welterweight and lightweight.

As you can see, some fighters have made a move from one division to another. Of recent note, Oleksandr Usyk unified the cruiserweight division and moved up to heavyweight.

World Boxing Council (WBC)

World Boxing Council (WBC)
The World Boxing Council is a collaborative effort of 11 founding members since 1963: the UK, the US, Mexico, France, Puerto Rico, Panama, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru and Brazil. The organization is responsible for some of the biggest boxing bouts of all time, putting them among the more famous in the world.

WBC is known for its big-name fights and can take credit for the 2017 ‘Money Belt’ clash between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

The WBC has led the charge when it has come to regulations in the sport of boxing to what we see today. For instance, the World Boxing Council was responsible for setting limits on the number of rounds to 12 rather than 15. They also take credit for the standing eight counts, along with the increase in the number of weight divisions.

Weight Class and WBC Rankings

At present, you’ll find a total of eighteen weight classes for men and sixteen weight classes for women in the WBC.

Similar to the WBA, the highest 15 boxing contenders in each division are ranked, and you can find one or maybe two champions in each weight class.
Where the WBA does differ from the WBC is the simplified definition of champions and rankings. However, there may be interim belts issued on occasion when a champion is unavailable for long periods.

You will find the WBC Diamond Championship for elite, high profile fighters. There’s also the WBC Eternal Championship for champions who’ve dominated, managing never to lose a world title, and retiring with an unbeaten record. Boxers given these prestigious, honorary titles include Vitali Klitschko and Jiselle Salandy, both of whom racked up a good track record of title defences.

Famous Champions in WBC

It’s not difficult to find the names of some of the biggest boxing names amongst past WBC champions. It’s especially true in the heavyweight division with boxers like Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Frank Bruno, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Canelo Alvarez.

The International Boxing Federation (IBF)

boxing ibf
In 1983, the International Boxing Federation was born from the US Boxing Association. The association would go on to create the Muay Thai world championships in 2017 to broaden its offering.

Weight Class and IBF Rankings

At present, you’ll find a total of seventeen weight divisions for men and seventeen weight divisions for women in the IBF.

To its credit, the IBF has avoided the confusion created by super, regular and interim championship titles, which is, of course, not the case of the WBA, WBC and IBF.

Famous IBF Champions

In 1984, Martin Camel was crowned as the first IBF champion, but the organization remained relatively unknown. This obscurity would change when it began to accept other major organizations’ champions like Larry Holmes, Donald Curry, Aaron Pryor and Marvin Hagler. It allowed them to piggyback on the success of other champions and organizations while working on increasing the value of their belts. In fact, Larry Holmes would surrender his WBC title for the option of getting an IBF one instead. Bold actions would catapult the IBF into the 3rd-biggest boxing organization in just a few short years.

The featherweight champion Josh Warrington of Britain is presently one of the biggest boxing stars after taking the title in 2018 from fellow compatriot Lee Selby. He would go on to defend his title against challengers like Kid Galahad and Carl Frampton to run his unbeaten streak to 29-0.

The World Boxing Organisation (WBO)

The World Boxing Organisation (WBO)
The World Boxing Organization was the result of a disagreement over changes to the WBA rules in 1988. Following the dispute, a group of Puerto Rican and Dominican businessmen decided to start the new organization.

The WBO made a name for themselves aided by fighters like Wladimir Klitschko, Chris Eubank, Joe Calzaghe and Oscar De La Hoya.

As is the case of the WBA, the idea of super champions was imported to the WBO, provided that the fighters met specific criteria. There is a pretty impressive compilation of WBO Super Champions, including Manny Pacquiao, Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua. In contrast to WBA Super titles, these titles are more of an achievement award instead of belts. Hence, other boxers don’t win ‘Super’ belts from boxers who hold them.

Weight Class and WBO Rankings

At the current time, you’ll find a total of seventeen WBO weight divisions for men and women, the latter of which came into creation in 2010.

As we’ve seen already with other boxing organizations, the WBO rankings are made up of 15 of the top contending boxers per division in combination with the division champion. Usually, there is only one divisional champion in any instant, but there have been occasions where interim belts were issued. An example was when John Riel Casimero, the bantamweight division belt holder outside of the presence of the ‘real’ champion Zolani Teti.

Famous WBO Names

Although the WBO is one of the major boxing associations and has become an important cog in the wheel for boxers dreaming of a championship, it didn’t always have a prestigious reputation.

We’ve seen some great matches over its history, including the gem between Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn in 1990. Eubank would eventually claim the title after a 7th round knockout. They would have a rematch in 1993 that resulted in a rare draw.

Of course, something would be amiss if you failed to mention the heavyweight division bout between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko. Fury would defeat Klitschko to take the belt. Andy Ruiz would lose to Joseph Parker, who would then claim the vacant belt. He would then fall to Anthony Joshua, who would lose the belt back to Andy Ruiz. Do you need any more proof that this is a tight competition?

Ring Boxing Champion: What is it?

Ring Boxing Champion: What is it?
Aside from the WBO, IBF, WBC and WBA that each crown world championship titles across the divisions, two alternative boxing world titles are popular with sports fans. The first is called the Ring Champion, and the second is called the Lineal Champion. As with the other four associations that we’ve already examined, these additional two were once intertwined but have become independent.

A popular boxing magazine called The Ring has been awarding championship titles as early as 1922 up until the 90s. In 2001, it returned to awarding titles.

The rules surrounding the awarding of The Ring title have varied in the past. However, today, a transparent set of regulations guiding the revocation and awarding of a title has been established.

The Ring championship policy dictates that only the fight winner between The Ring’s top contender and the 2nd or 3rd contender can win a vacant title. Under no other circumstances, is it possible to award a belt. The editorial board of the magazine compiles the rankings, called the Ring Ratings, with the help of international journalists that follow boxing.

If the titleholder loses the fight, this is no guarantee that the winner will receive the title award since they must also conform to the championship policy requirements. The champion will be stripped of the title under the following conditions: losing a weight class fight, moving weight classes, stopping fighting for eighteen months, failing to fight a top-5 contender for 2 years, being barred for failing a drug test, or retiring.

The result of these strict rules may lead to a title that is vacant for years. Case in point, as of 2015, The Ring’s welterweight title has been vacant since Floyd Mayweather retired. In 2013, he earned the title for the 2nd time, where no one claimed the title when he initially retired in 2008. In other words, he’s held the title of a welterweight champion since 2006, although retired for 10 out of 13 years.

The Lineal Championship was considered similar to The Ring title and, for a time, good reason. Then in 2012, The Ring presented stricter championship criteria. In many expert circles, The Ring is considered by far the more superior title of the two.


Boxing in Canada has been around since Confederation in 1867, where it began as bareknuckle fights. There is some debate as to the longest-serving professional championship sanctioning body. Both the National Championship of Canada and the Canadian Professional Boxing Council claim the honour. The CPBC is the more active, but the NCC, formally known as the Canadian Boxing Federation, has a certain level of prestige attached.

Canadian Boxers of Note

If we look at the history of Canadian boxers in Canada, it has had its fair share of notable fighters.

The Halifax, Nova Scotia born Sam Langford, is arguably one of the biggest heavyweights of all time. Born in 1886, he has crowned the heavyweight champion of Mexico, Australia, England and Canada.

Hanover, Ontario-born Tommy Burns is the only Canadian ever to hold a title as a world heavyweight champion. He would defend the title 13 times until he eventually fell to Jack Johnson from Sydney, NSW, Australia, in 1908.

George Dixon was another Halifax born fighter, considered the greatest bantamweight boxer. He would win the title in London in 1890 and the featherweight championship one year later.

Trevor Berbick has the distinction of being the last man to bout with Muhammad Ali in 1981 and held the WBC heavyweight title for a short period before going down to Mike Tyson.

Although born in London, England, Lennox Lewis would represent Canada in the 1988 Olympics, winning gold. American Riddick Bowe would vacate his WBC title in 1992, making Lewis the new champion.

As you can see, the world of boxing is more exciting than you would ever have thought. Here at Mr Green online casino, we bring you all the action!