In the world of boxing, two major organizations regulate professional boxing. The World Boxing Association is a sanctioning body for amateur boxers in North America, while the World Boxing Council regulates professional boxing worldwide. In addition to regulating professional bouts, both bodies also award titles to their respective champions, with the help of various independent organizations who have boxing fun and lucrative. For more information, click here.
The WBA was founded by former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey on December 1, 1919, as an organization dedicated to promoting “clean” boxing. It has since grown into one of the most powerful governing bodies in the United States, with over 200 members from all 50 states and territories. Its current president is Mauricio Sulaiman, who succeeded his father, Julio César Sulaimán, after dying in January 2017.
On November 15, 1963, the WBA became affiliated with the International Boxing Federation, which allowed it to promote its championship fights around the globe. This affiliation lasted until July 31, 1967, when the IBF withdrew its support due to financial problems at the time. Since then, the WBA has been responsible for organizing title defenses for its own champions.
The WBC was formed in 1960 by José Sulpizio Sr., a Cuban-born promoter based out of Miami, Florida. He wanted to create a new international boxing federation that would be more inclusive than existing ones, such as the AIBA or the IFBB. His first step towards this goal came in 1959 when he organized the inaugural edition of the Pan American Games held in Havana, Cuba, where he crowned himself as the winner. After winning the tournament, he decided to hold the Intercontinental Championship Tournament later that year.
How do They Differ?
Number of Members: There are currently four different weight classes sanctioned by the WBA but only three divisions under the WBC’s jurisdiction.
Title Holders: Both organizations have separate championships for each division. However, they differ slightly in how these titles are awarded. For example, the WBA recognizes eight belts, whereas the WBC recognizes six.
Weight Classes: Each organization sanctions five weight classes ranging from flyweight up to super middleweight.
Minimum Age Requirements: Under the WBA rules, fighters must turn 18 years old before being eligible to fight professionally. On the other hand, the minimum age requirement set forth by the WBC is 16 years old.
Promotional Rights: While the WBA allows promoters to use any name they want so long as it does not conflict with the organization’s trademarked names, the WBC requires them to use specific terms like “World Champion.”
Matchmaking: Unlike the WBA, the WBC does not allow its member promotions to match opponents against each other without approval. Instead, they must submit proposed matches to the council for review. If approved, the promotion will receive a percentage of the purse generated by the bout.
Television Coverage: Although the WBA offers live coverage of some events via pay-per-view television services, the WBC does none of this. All televised bouts are shown exclusively on cable networks.
World Championships: The WBA holds annual world championships every September, while the WBC hosts theirs once every two years. These tournaments consist of several elimination rounds followed by single-elimination finals. In addition, there is also a secondary tournament known as the Super Welterweight Elimination Tournament, which takes place annually during the summer months.
Rankings: The WBA uses its official rankings system to determine the order of contenders within each weight class. Their ranking formula includes points earned throughout an athlete’s career along with his/her current record.
Prizefighting Rules: The WBA follows Marquess Rule, which states that if one fighter throws a punch after the bell rings, the referee can stop the action and award the round to the opponent. The WBC instead follows the New York State Athletic Commission rule, which says that all punches were thrown inside the ring count unless otherwise stated.
How is Media Involved in Promoting the Two Events?
Media plays a vital role in promoting both the WBA and the WBC. As mentioned earlier, the WBA has exclusive rights to broadcast fights on pay per view television services. This means that fans who purchase PPV subscriptions get access to those shows. Meanwhile, the WBC broadcasts most of its events on free TV channels including ESPN Deportes Network, Fox Sports Latin America, and Sky Sport Italia.
The media also helps promote boxing events outside North America. Many countries around the globe follow the sport closely because of the popularity of American boxers such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, and Miguel Cotto. When these athletes compete abroad, local newspapers often cover their activities. They do this either by publishing articles about the event or by providing interviews with the participants.
Although the WBA and WBC have similar rules regarding how fighters should be ranked, they differ greatly when it comes to promotional methods. For example, the WBA promotes itself through pay-per-view telecasts, whereas the WBC relies heavily on free TV programming. Both organizations offer championship belts, but only the WBA gives out titles at regular intervals. Finally, although the WBA and WBO share many similarities, they still maintain enough differences to make them unique entities.