Like any other sports boxing also reward the winner by giving him Boxing belts. But what boxing title the winner will get? is always confusing.
The confusion comes, when people mixed the boxing federations with each other. Different boxing federation has different world title. But the question arises which is the most prestigious out of all? why are there 4 federations? why there are so many boxing belts? to find the answers let’s dive in.
Why there are so many Boxing Belts?
In boxing, no single governing body decides the rules for a boxing match, promotion of a match, and long-term future planning. Instead, there are 4 major bodies who do all of it. They are
- The World Boxing Association (WBA)
- The World Boxing Council (WBC)
- The International Boxing Federation (IBF)
- The World Boxing Organization (WBO)
- Ring Magizine
Currently, there are four major boxing belts for 17 different divisions along with the Ring magazine title. These 17 divisions are divided by different weight classes. So in all 17 weight divisions, boxers can have 4 different boxing titles.
WBA- 1962 (The World Boxing Association).
WBA is the oldest boxing federation out of 5 governing bodies. Formed in 1963 in the United States but is now based in Panama.
According to WBA championship rules, when a champion also holds a title of one of the other three major boxing bodies in an equivalent weight division, that boxer is granted a special recognition of “Unified Champion”.
WBC-1963 (The World Boxing Council)
The world Boxing Council championship title is regarded as the most prestigious boxing belt. Every fighter in every category wants to win this belt.
It was originated in 1963. A year later after WBO. Fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Calzaghe, and Joe Frazier held the WBC title.
IBF-1983 (International Boxing Federation)
This boxing belt was inaugurated by USBA (United States Boxing Association). It was created in 1983 after Bob lee failed attempt to become the president of WBA.
It has 17 divisions. Anthony Joshua holds the current title.
WBO-1988 (World Boxing Organization)
Created in 1988 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this is the 4th boxing governing body. In the early days, it was not recognized much.
In 2012 when the Japan Boxing Commission recognized WBO governing body, it got the same status as the other governing bodies.
The Ring Magazine-1989
The boxing Magazine ”The Ring” awards its own belt. It begins in 1989 but didn’t get the status and hype like the other 4 divisions.
However, The four governing bodies don’t work with each other on regular basis. They all make money from sanction fees, merchandise sales, and promotions, which allow the fight to take place.