The World Boxing Association (WBA) is a boxing association that sanctions official matches, and awards the WBA world championship title, at the expert level. It was before known as the National Boxing Association, it is one of four major organizations recognized by IBHOF which authorize world championship boxing bouts, alongside the IBF, WBC and the WBO. 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 known by the organization being the Jack Dempsey-Georges Carpentier Heavyweight Championship bout in New Jersey, USA. The NBA was created by representatives from thirteen American states to counterbalance the influence the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) wielded in the boxing world. This frequently meant that the NBA and the NYSAC crowned dissimilar world champions in the same division, important 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 enlargement 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 system 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 of 2007 it moved its offices again to Panama.
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