World Boxing Association

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

The World Boxing Association (WBA) is one of four major organizations which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the IBF, WBC and WBO. The WBA awards the WBA world championship title at the professional level. Founded in the United States in 1921 by thirteen state representatives as the National Boxing Association (NBA), in 1962 it changed its name in recognition of boxing's growing popularity worldwide, and began to gain other nations as members.

By 1975, a majority of votes were held by Latin American nations, and the organization headquarters were moved to Panama. After being located during the 1990s and early 2000s in Venezuela, the organization offices returned to Panama in 2007. It is the oldest of the four major organizations recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF), which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organization (WBO).


The World Boxing Association can be traced back to the original National Boxing Association, organized in the United States in 1921. The first bout it recognized was the Jack DempseyGeorges Carpentier Heavyweight Championship bout in New Jersey.

The NBA was formed by representatives from thirteen American states, including Sam Milner, to counterbalance the influence that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) wielded in the boxing world. The NBA and the NYSAC sometimes 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 as follows:

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]

Gilberto Mendoza from Venezuela was the President of the WBA since 1982 until his death in 2016, after which Gilberto Mendoza Jr. took over as president. In the 1990s, the WBA moved its central offices from Panama City, Panama, to Caracas, Venezuela. In January 2007, it returned its offices to Panama.

In 2014 the WBA approved the creation of the WBA Oceania based in Brisbane, Australia.[3] The WBA Oceania's inaugural Committee is President Francisco Martinez, Vice President Damon Locantro, Secretary Derek Milham, and Ratings Chairman Ferlin Marsh.


The WBA has been plagued with charges of corruption for years. 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] In a 1982 interview, the promoter Bob Arum claimed that he had to pay off WBA officials to obtain rankings for his fighters.[5]

Though the "Super Champion" designation are for WBA champions who concurrently hold titles with the WBO, IBF and/or WBC, in some instances, the WBA has designated as "Super Champion" fighters with only the WBA title. (See below for the WBA's explanation of this.) This particular practice has come under scrutiny, as several boxing experts consider it a means for the organization to gain more sanctioning fees within each division.

Ranking of Ali Raymi despite his death

The WBA continued ranking Ali Raymi in its flyweight rankings in 2015, despite the fact that he was dead. Ali Raymi was ranked Number 6 at the time of his death and Number 11 after his death.[6]

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 a "Super Champion", "Unified Champion", or "Undisputed Champion". This applies even if the WBA title is not one of the titles held by the "Undisputed Champion."[7][8] In September 2008 for example, Nate Campbell was recognized as the WBA's "Undisputed Champion" at lightweight due to holding the WBO and IBF titles as well, while the WBA's "Regular" champion was Yusuke Kobori.[9]

If a fighter with multiple titles also holds the WBA's title, the fighter is promoted to "Super Champion" and the WBA title—which is then referred to as the "Regular" title—becomes vacant for competition by other WBA-ranked boxers. As a result, the WBA's official list of champions will often show a "WBA Super World Champion" and a "WBA World Champion" for the same weight class, instead of simply "WBA Champion."[10] The WBA has even been known to recognize three different fighters as one form of champion or another in the same weight class ("Super", "Regular", and "interim champion"), and there have been occasions where two different WBA "World" champions have defended their own versions of the same title, in the same weight class, on the same night, in two different parts of the world.

A WBA champion may be promoted to "Super Champion" without winning another organization's title: Chris John, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Anselmo Moreno are examples. The WBA will also promote their titlist to a "Super" champion when he successfully defends his title five times.[11]

Current WBA world title holders


World champions

Weight class: Champion: Reign began: Days
Minimumweight  Thammanoon Niyomtrong (THA) June 29, 2016 159
Light flyweight  Ryoichi Taguchi (JPN) December 31, 2014 705
Flyweight  Kazuto Ioka (JPN) April 22, 2015 593
Super flyweight  Luis Concepción (PAN) August 31, 2016 96
Bantamweight  Rau'shee Warren (USA) (Undisputed Champion) June 18, 2016 170
 Jamie McDonnell (UK) May 31, 2014 919
Super bantamweight  Guillermo Rigondeaux (CUB) (Super Champion) November 13, 2010 2214
 Nehomar Cermeño (VEN) June 24, 2016 164
Featherweight  Carl Frampton (UK) (Super Champion) July 30, 2016 128
 Jesús Cuellar (ARG) August 23, 2013 1200
Super featherweight  Jezreel Corrales (PAN) (Super Champion) April 27, 2016 222
 Jason Sosa (PUR) June 24, 2016 164
Lightweight  Jorge Linares (VEN) September 24, 2016 72
Super lightweight  Ricky Burns (UK) May 28, 2016 191
Welterweight  Keith Thurman (USA) January 27, 2013 1408
Super welterweight  Erislandy Lara (CUB) (Super Champion) June 8, 2013 1276
 Jack Culcay (GER) June 8, 2016 180
Middleweight  Gennady Golovkin (KAZ) (Super Champion) October 14, 2010 2244
 Daniel Jacobs (USA) August 9, 2014 844
Super middleweight  Tyron Zeuge (GER) November 5, 2016 30
Light heavyweight  Andre Ward (USA) (Undisputed Champion) November 19, 2016 16
 Nathan Cleverly (UK) October 1, 2016 65
Cruiserweight  Denis Lebedev (RUS) (Super Champion) December 17, 2012 1449
 Beibut Shumenov (KAZ) August 25, 2015 468
Heavyweight Kubrat Pulev (BUL)

Interim champions

Weight class: Champion: Reign began: Days
Minimumweight Vacant
Light flyweight Vacant
Flyweight  Yutthana Kaensa (THA) July 29, 2015 495
Super flyweight Vacant
Bantamweight  Zhanat Zhakiyanov (KAZ) November 7, 2015 394
Super bantamweight  Moises Flores (MEX) April 18, 2015 597
Featherweight  Carlos Zambrano (PER) March 28, 2015 618
Super featherweight Vacant
Lightweight Vacant
Super lightweight Vacant
Welterweight  David Avanesyan (RUS) November 7, 2015 394
Super welterweight  Brian Carlos Castaño (ARG) November 18, 2016 9
Middleweight  Alfonso Blanco (VEN) October 10, 2015 422
Super middleweight Vacant
Light heavyweight  Demitry Bivol (RUS) May 21, 2016 198
Cruiserweight  Yunier Dorticos (CUB) May 21, 2016 198
Heavyweight Vacant


World champions

Weight class: Champion: Reign began: Days
Light minimumweight (102 lbs) Vacant
Minimumweight (105 lbs)  Anabel Ortiz (MEX) 23 July 2013 1231
Light flyweight (108 lbs)  Yesica Bopp (ARG) 20 June 2009 2725
Flyweight (112 lbs)  Susi Kentikian (GER) 1 February 2013 1403
Super flyweight (115 lbs)  Linda Lecca (PER) 15 April 2016 234
Bantamweight (118 lbs)  Mayerlin Rivas (VEN) 16 January 2015 689
Super bantamweight (122 lbs)  Liliana Palmera (COL) 15 April 2016 234
Featherweight (126 lbs)  Jelena Mrdjenovich (CAN) 11 March 2016 269
Super featherweight (130 lbs)  Choi Hyunmi (KOR) 15 August 2013 1208
Lightweight (135 lbs)  Cecilia Comunales (URU) 31 March 2012 1710
Super lightweight (140 lbs)  Ana Laura Esteche (ARG) 18 January 2014 1052
Welterweight (147 lbs)  Cecilia Brækhus (NOR) 14 March 2009 2823
Super welterweight (154 lbs)  Hanna Gabriels (CRC) 18 June 2016 170
Middleweight (160 lbs) Vacant
Super middleweight (168 lbs) Vacant
Light heavyweight (+168 lbs) Vacant

WBA affiliated organizations

Transition of WBA titles


  1. Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London: Carlton Books. p. 121. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.
  2. "Boxing Bodies: A Brief Chronology and Rundown". International Boxing Digest. 40 (1): 58. January 1998.
  3. "World Boxing Association Oceania".
  4. Heller, Peter (1988). Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story. New York: New American Library. pp. 141–142. ISBN 0-688-10123-2.
  5. Mullan. The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. p. 122.
  6. "WBA ranking update leaves questions and criticism". Asian Boxing.
  7. "Super championships guidelines". WBA. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  8. "WBA Super Championships". WBA. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  9. "Official Ratings as of September 2008" (PDF). WBA. September 2008. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  10. "Oficial Web Site >> World Boxing Association". Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  11. Gabriel F. Cordero (November 30, 2012). ""Chocolatito" is the latest WBA super champion". Retrieved 2012-11-30.

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