- World Boxing Council
The World Boxing Council was initially created by 11 countries: the
United States, Argentina, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Philippines, Panama, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Brazilplus Puerto Rico, met in Mexico Cityon February 14, 1963, upon invitation of the then President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, to create an international boxing organization that would achieve the unity of all commissions of the world to control the expansion of boxing.
The groups that historically had recognized several boxers as champions included the
New York State Athletic Commission, the National Boxing Association, the European Boxing Unionand the British Boxing Board of Controlbut these groups for the most part lacked the all-encompassing "international" status they boasted of.
The WBC's green championship belt portrays the flags of all of the 161 member-nations of the organization; the flags of the original 12 member-nations are displayed on the belt’s ovular, gold center-plate (surrounding a boxer raising his arm in victory). All WBC World title belts look identical regardless of weight class; however, there are minor variations on the design for secondary and regionally-themed titles within the same weight class. A WBC Title belt is a highly sought-after collector's item.
The WBC has nine regional governing bodies affiliated with it, such as the
North American Boxing Federation(NABF), the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation(OPBF), the European Boxing Union(EBU), and the African Boxing Council(ABC).
Although rivals, the WBC's relationship with other sanctioning bodies has improved over time, and there have even been talks of unification with the WBA. Unification bouts between WBC and other organizations' champions are becoming more common in recent years. Throughout its history, the WBC has allowed some its organization's champions to fight unification fights with champions of other organizations, although there were times it stepped in to prevent such fights. For many years, it also prevented its champions from holding the WBO belt. When a WBO-recognized champion wished to fight for a WBC championship, he had to abandon his WBO title first, without any special considerations. This, however, is no longer the case.
1983, the WBC took the unprecedented step of reducing the distance of its world championship bouts, from 15 rounds to 12—a move other organizations soon followed (for boxers' safety).
Among those to have been recognized by the WBC as world champions were
Wilfredo Benitez, Wilfredo Gómez, Julio César Chávez, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Salvador Sanchez, Hector Camacho, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon, Roberto Duran, Juan Laporte, Felix Trinidad, Edwin Rosario, Mike Tyson, Alexis Arguello, Nigel Bennand Lennox Lewis.
The WBC bolstered the legitimacy of women’s boxing by recognizing fighters such as Christy “The Coalminer’s Daughter” Martin and
Lucia Rijkeras contenders for World Female titles in 16 weight divisions. The first WBC World Female Champion (on May 30 2005) was super-bantamweight (limit of 122 lb. / 55.338 kg.) Mexican, Jackie Nava. With her former-champion father at ringside, Laila Aliwon the super-middleweight (limit of 168 lb. / 76.204 kg.) title on June 11 2005.
Former WBC presidents include
Luis Spotaand Ramon G. Velazquezof Mexico, Onslow Faneof Great Britain and Justiniano N. Montano, Jr.of the Philippines. The organization's current president is Jose Sulaiman.
The WBC and Don King
Many in the boxing community have accused the WBC of bending its rules to suit powerful promoter Don King. As journalist
Jack Newfieldsays, “... [WBC President Jose] Sulaiman became more King’s junior partner than his independent regulator.” [cite book|last=Newfield|first=Jack|title=Only In America|publisher=William & Morrow Co.|date=1995|location= New York, NY|pages=141|isbn=0688101232] Another journalist, Peter Heller, echoes that comment: “Sulaiman...became little more than an errand boy for Don King.” Heller also quotes British promoter Mickey Duff as saying, “My complaint is that Jose Sulaimanis not happy his friend Don King is the biggest promoter in boxing. Sulaiman will only be happy when Don King is the "only" promoter in boxing.” [cite book|last=Heller|first=Peter|title=Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story| publisher=New American Library|date=1988|location=New York, NY|pages=143|isbn=0688101232]
The actions of the WBC give some credence to this charge. A partial list:
Leon Spinkswon the WBA and WBC Heavyweight championships from Muhammad Ali in 1978, the WBC stripped Leon Spinks of his title. Jose Sulaiman said the WBC did so because Spinks was signed for a rematch with Ali instead of fighting a Don King fighter, Ken Norton. Norton then defended the WBC title against another Don King fighter, Larry Holmes, who won the belt. [cite book|last=Newfield|first=Jack|title=Only In America|publisher=William & Morrow Co.|date=1995|location=New York, NY|pages=141|isbn=0688101232]
*In 1983, WBC Super Featherweight champion
Bobby Chaconwas signed to fight the WBC’s mandatory challenger for his title, Cornelius Boza-Edwards. Promoter Don King, however, wanted his fighter, Hector Camacho, to fight for the title. Even though WBC rules said the mandatory challenger should receive a shot at the title, the WBC withdrew its sanction from the fight and then stripped Chacon for refusing to fight Camacho. [cite book|last=Heller|first=Peter| title=Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story|publisher=New American Library|date=1988|location=New York, NY|pages=220-221|isbn= 0688101232]
*Under WBC rules, a fighter is supposed to defend his title against a mandatory challenger at least once a year. For fighters controlled by Don King, this rule is often ignored. Mike Tyson,
Alexis Arguello, and Carlos Zarate, for instance, were allowed to ignore their obligations to their mandatory contenders while WBC champions. [cite book|last=Newfield|first=Jack|title=Only In America|publisher=William & Morrow Co.|date=1995|location=New York, NY|pages=141| isbn=0688101232]
*While WBC Super Featherweight champion,
Julio César Chávezwanted to fight top contender Roger Mayweatherfor a promoter other than Don King. The WBC withheld its sanction of the fight until Don King became promoter. [cite book|last =Newfield|first=Jack|title=Only In America|publisher=William & Morrow Co.|date=1995|location=New York, NY|pages=141|isbn= 0688101232]
*When Mike Tyson lost to James "Buster" Douglas during a WBC and WBA Heavyweight championship defense, Don King convinced the WBC (along with the WBA) to withhold recognition of Douglas as heavyweight champion. King claimed that Tyson had actually won the fight due to knocking down Douglas and the referee giving Douglas a “long count." [cite book|last=Newfield|first =Jack|title=Only In America|publisher=William & Morrow Co.|date=1995|location=New York, NY|pages=287-289|isbn=0688101232] Referee
Octavio Meyran, in a sworn affidavit, claims that King threatened to have the WBC withhold payment of Meyran's hotel bill if Meyran did not support King's protest. [Citation|last=Sugar|first=Bert|title=In This Corner|journal=Boxing Illustrated|volume=32, no. 8|page=4|date=October 1990] Because of intense public pressure, both the WBA and WBC backed down and recognized Douglas as champion.
*In 1992, the WBC threatened to strip
Evander Holyfieldof his title for defending it against Riddick Boweinstead of Razor Ruddock. Holyfield obtained a court order to stop the organization. In a taped deposition for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Holyfield stated that the WBC wanted him to defend his championship against Ruddock because Ruddock was managed by Don King. [Citation|last=Heaney|first=John|title=The Senate Investigation: Much Ado About Nothing| journal=Boxing Illustrated|volume=35, no. 10|page=38|date=December 1992]
*During the 1990s, the WBC did not allow its champions to engage in unification bouts with
WBOchampions. However, in 1993, the Don King promoted super-middleweight showdown between WBC champion Nigel Bennand WBO champion Chris Eubankwas recognized as a title unification fight by the WBC. Ironically, both men fought to a draw and each retained their respective titles.
*When Mike Tyson was released from prison in 1995, the WBC installed him as their #1 contender for their heavyweight championship. Tyson had not fought in four years, but was promoted by Don King.
*In 2000, King-promoted Julio César Chávez was the mandatory challenger for
Kostya Tszyu's WBC super lightweight title. Chávez was the mandatory challenger though he had not fought at super lightweight for two years, had recently lost to journeyman boxer Willie Wise, and had not beaten a top contender since losing his first fight to Oscar de la Hoyain 1996.
*In 2005, the WBC stripped
Javier Castillejoof his super welterweight title for fighting Fernando Vargas instead of Don King-promoted Ricardo Mayorga. Mayorga somehow qualified for a shot at the super welterweight title despite the fact that he had never fought at that weight limit and had lost two of his last three fights.
1998, Roy Jones, Jr.announced that he was relinquishing his WBC world Light-Heavyweight Championship. In response, the organization ordered a bout between German contender Graciano Rocchigianiand former champion Michael Nunnto fill the vacancy, sanctioning it as a world championship match.
March 21 1998Rocchigiani won the fight and a WBC belt; in the subsequent WBC rankings, he was listed as “Light-Heavyweight World Champion." Jones, however, had a change of heart and asked if the WBC would reinstate him as the champion. In a move that violated nearly a dozen of its own regulations, the WBC granted the reinstatement. Rocchigiani received a letter from the WBC advising that the publishing of his name as champion was a typographical error, and he had never really been the official titleholder.
Rocchigiani immediately filed a lawsuit against the WBC in a U.S. federal court, claiming that the organization's actions both were contrary to their own rules and injurious to his earning potential (due to diminished professional stature). On
May 7, 2003, the judge ruled in Rocchigiani's favor, awarding him $30 million (U.S.) in damages and reinstating him as a former WBC Champion (Rocchigiani had lost a bout since his WBC Title match).
The following day, the WBC sought protection by filing for Chapter 11
bankruptcy(i.e., corporate debt restructuring) in Puerto Rico. The organization then spent the next 13 months attempting to negotiate a six-figure settlement with Rocchigiani, but Rocchigiani did not at first accept.
June 11, 2004, the WBC announced it would enter Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation (i.e., business closing and total asset sell-off) proceedings, effectively ending its existence. This action prompted some in the boxing community to plead with Rocchigiani to settle the dispute, which he did in mid-July 2004.
Like the WBA, IBF, and WBO, the WBC is almost universally criticized in the boxing community for its alleged corruption. Numerous contenders are considered unworthy of their respective rank by boxing critics and magazines. Likewise, many of its champions are not considered to be the world’s best fighters in their particular divisions. Of their current 17 recognized Champions, about eight are considered by most experts to be the theoretical “true champions” of their divisions.
Current WBC world title holders
Other world organizations
Other world organizations
*International Boxing Association
International Boxing Council
International Boxing Federation
International Boxing Organization
International Boxing Union
World Boxing Association
World Boxing Council
World Professional Boxing Federation
World Boxing Federation
World Boxing Organization
World Boxing Union
European Boxing Federation
Women's International Boxing Association(WIBA)
* [http://www.wbcmuaythai.com/ World Boxing Council Muay Thai] (WBC Muay Thai)
Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation(OPBF)
North American Boxing Federation(NABF)
European Boxing Union(EBU)
Asian Boxing Council(ABCO)
African Boxing Union(ABU)
Caribbean Boxing Federation(CABOFE)
Central American Boxing Federation(FECARBOX)
CIS and Slovenian Boxing Bureau(CISBB)
South American Boxing Federation(FESUBOX)
Transitions of WBC titles
List of WBC world champions
List of WBC Muay Thai champions
List of WBC international champions
List of WBC youth champions
List of WBC continental Americas champions
List of WBC Latino champions
List of WBC Fecarbox champions
List of WBC CABOFE champions
List of WBC female world champions
References and Notes
* [http://www.wbcboxing.com/ WBC official homepage]
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