This is a list of current world boxing champions. Since at least John L. Sullivan, in the late 19th century, there have been world champions in professional boxing. The first of the current organizations to award a world title was the World Boxing Association (WBA), then known as the National Boxing Association (NBA), when it sanctioned its first title fight in 1921 between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier for the world heavyweight championship.

There are now four major sanctioning bodies in professional boxing. The official rules and regulations of the World Boxing Association (WBA),[1] World Boxing Council (WBC),[2] International Boxing Federation (IBF),[3] and World Boxing Organization (WBO)[4] all recognize each other in their rankings and title unification rules. Each of these organizations sanction and regulate championship bouts and award world titles. American boxing magazine The Ring began awarding world titles in 1922.

There are seventeen weight divisions. To compete in a division, a boxer's weight must not exceed the upper limit. Manny Pacquiao has won world championships in eight weight divisions, more than any other boxer, and is the only one in boxing history to achieve it. The Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, held all four major titles in the heavyweight division from 2011 to 2013; they were the first brothers to hold versions of the heavyweight championship at the same time.[5] Joe Louis holds the record of being the longest reigning world champion in boxing.[6]

Championships

When a champion, for reasons beyond his control such as an illness or injury, is unable to defend his title within the normal mandatory time, the sanctioning bodies may order an interim title bout and award the winner an interim championship. The WBA and WBC have often changed the status of their inactive champions to a "Champion in Recess" or "Champion Emeritus".

World Boxing Association

The World Boxing Association (WBA) was founded in 1921 as the National Boxing Association (NBA), a national regulating body of the United States. On August 23, 1962, the NBA became the WBA, which today has its head office in Panama.[7] According to WBA championship rules, when a champion also holds a title of one of the other three major sanctioning bodies in an equivalent weight division, that boxer is granted a special recognition of "Unified Champion", and is given more time between mandatory title defences. The WBA Championships Committee and President may also designate a champion as a "Super Champion" or "Undisputed Champion" in exceptional circumstances;[1] the standard WBA title is then vacated and contested between WBA-ranked contenders. When a WBA "Regular Champion" makes between five and ten successful defences, he may be granted the WBA "Super" title upon discretion of a vote of the WBA's board of governors.

World Boxing Council

The World Boxing Council (WBC) was founded in Mexico City, Mexico on February 14, 1963 in order to establish an international regulating body.[8] The WBC established many of today's safety measures in boxing, such as the standing eight count,[9] a limit of 12 rounds instead of 15, and additional weight divisions. More information about the WBC's other titles including "Silver", "Diamond", "Emeritus", "Franchise", "Honorary", and "Supreme Champion" can be read at the WBC article.

International Boxing Federation

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) originated in September 1976 as the United States Boxing Association (USBA) when American members of the WBA withdrew in order to legitimize boxing in the United States with "unbiased" ratings.[10] In April 1983, the organization established an international division that was known as the United States Boxing Association-International (USBA-I).[10] In May 1984, the New Jersey-based USBA-I was renamed and became the IBF.[10]

World Boxing Organization

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico (which is a self-governing commonwealth of the United States) in 1988. In its early years the WBO's titles were not widely recognized. By 2012 when the Japan Boxing Commission officially recognized the governing body, it had gained similar status to the other three major sanctioning bodies. Its motto is "dignity, democracy, honesty."[11] When a WBO champion has reached "preeminent status", the WBO's Executive Committee may designate him as a "Super Champion".[12] However, this is only an honorary title and not the same as the WBA's policy of having separate "Super" and "Regular" champions. A WBO "Super Champion" cannot win or lose that recognition in the ring; it is merely awarded by the WBO.

The Ring

The boxing magazine The Ring awards its own belts. The original title sequence began from the magazine's first publication in the 1920s until its titles were placed on hiatus in 1989, continuing as late as 1992 in some divisions. When The Ring started awarding titles again in 2001, it did not calculate retrospective lineages to fill in the gap years, instead nominating a new champion.[13]

In 2007, The Ring was acquired by the owners of fight promoter Golden Boy Promotions,[14] which has publicized The Ring's world championships when they are at stake in fights it promotes (such as Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr. in 2008).[15] Since 2012, to reduce the number of vacant titles, The Ring allows fights between a number one or two contender; or alternatively a number three, four, or five contender to fill a vacant title. This has prompted further doubts about its credibility.[16][17][18] Some boxing journalists have been extremely critical of the new championship policy and state that if this new policy is followed, the Ring title may lose the credibility it once held.[19][20][21]

Current champions

The current champions in each weight division are listed below. Each champion's professional boxing record is shown in the following format: wins–losses–draws (knockout wins).

Heavyweight (200+ lb/90.7+ kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Anthony Joshua
Super champion
 United Kingdom
24–1 (22 KO)
December 7, 2019
Tyson Fury
 United Kingdom
30–0–1 (21 KO)
February 22, 2020
Anthony Joshua
 United Kingdom
24–1 (22 KO)
December 7, 2019
Anthony Joshua
 United Kingdom
24–1 (22 KO)
December 7, 2019
Tyson Fury
 United Kingdom
30–0–1 (21 KO)
February 22, 2020
Trevor Bryan
Regular champion
 United States
21–0 (15 KO)
January 29, 2021
Mahmoud Charr
Champion in recess
 Syria
31–4 (17 KO)
November 25, 2017
Dillian Whyte
Interim champion
 United Kingdom
28–2 (19 KO)
March 27, 2021

Cruiserweight (200 lb/90.7 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Arsen Goulamirian
Super champion
 France
26–0 (18 KO)
August 31, 2019
Ilunga Makabu
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
28–2 (25 KO)
January 31, 2020
Mairis Briedis
 Latvia
27–1 (19 KO)
September 26, 2020
Lawrence Okolie
 United Kingdom
16–0 (13 KO)
March 20, 2021
Mairis Briedis
 Latvia
27–1 (19 KO)
September 26, 2020
Ryad Merhy
Regular champion
 Belgium
29–1 (24 KO)
January 29, 2021

Light heavyweight (175 lb/79.4 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Dmitry Bivol
Super champion
 Russia
17–0 (11 KO)
October 10, 2019
Artur Beterbiev
 Russia
16–0 (16 KO)
October 18, 2019
Artur Beterbiev
 Russia
16–0 (16 KO)
November 11, 2017
Joe Smith Jr.
 United States
27-3 (21 KO)
April 10, 2021
vacant
Jean Pascal
Regular champion
 Canada
35–6–1–1 (20 KO)
August 3, 2019
Robin Krasniqi
Interim champion
 Germany
51–6 (19 KO)
October 10, 2020

Super middleweight (168 lb/76.2 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Canelo Álvarez
Super champion
 Mexico
56–1–2 (38 KO)
December 19, 2020
Canelo Álvarez
 Mexico
56–1–2 (38 KO)
December 19, 2020
Caleb Plant
 United States
21–0 (12 KO)
January 13, 2019
Canelo Álvarez
 Mexico
56–1–2 (38 KO)
May 8, 2021
Canelo Álvarez
 Mexico
56–1–2 (38 KO)
December 19, 2020
David Morrell
Regular champion
 Cuba
4–0 (3 KO)
January 19, 2021

Middleweight (160 lb/72.6 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Ryōta Murata
Super champion
 Japan
16–2 (13 KO)
January 7, 2021
Jermall Charlo
 United States
31–0 (22 KO)
June 26, 2019
Gennady Golovkin
 Kazakhstan
41–1–1 (36 KO)
October 5, 2019
Demetrius Andrade
 United States
30–0 (18 KO)
October 20, 2018
vacant
Erislandy Lara
Regular champion
 United States
28–3–3 (16 KO)
May 1, 2021
Chris Eubank Jr.
Interim champion
 United Kingdom
29–2 (22 KO)
December 7, 2019

Super welterweight/Junior middleweight (154 lb/69.9 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Jermell Charlo
Super champion
 United States
34–1 (18 KO)
September 26, 2020
Jermell Charlo
 United States
34–1 (18 KO)
December 21, 2019
Jermell Charlo
 United States
34–1 (18 KO)
September 26, 2020
Brian Castaño
 Argentina
17–0–1 (12 KO)
February 13, 2021
Jermell Charlo
 United States
34–1 (18 KO)
September 26, 2020
Erislandy Lara
Regular champion
 United States
28–3–3 (16 KO)
August 31, 2019

Welterweight (147 lb/66.7 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Yordenis Ugás
Super champion
 Cuba
26–4 (12 KO)
January 29, 2021
Errol Spence Jr.
 United States
27–0 (21 KO)
September 28, 2019
Errol Spence Jr.
 United States
27–0 (21 KO)
May 27, 2017
Terence Crawford
 United States
37–0 (28 KO)
June 9, 2018
vacant
Jamal James
Regular champion
 United States
27–1 (12 KO)
February 4, 2021
Manny Pacquiao
Champion in recess
 Philippines
62–7–2 (39 KO)
January 29, 2021

Super lightweight/Junior welterweight (140 lb/63.5 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Josh Taylor
Super champion
 United Kingdom
17–0 (13 KO)
October 26, 2019
José Ramírez
 United States
26–0 (17 KO)
March 17, 2018
Josh Taylor
 United Kingdom
17–0 (13 KO)
May 18, 2019
José Ramírez
 United States
26–0 (17 KO)
July 27, 2019
Josh Taylor
 United Kingdom
17–0 (13 KO)
October 26, 2019
Mario Barrios
Regular champion
 United States
26–0 (17 KO)
September 28, 2019
Alberto Puello
Interim champion
 Dominican Republic
18–0 (10 KO)
July 27, 2019

Lightweight (135 lb/61.2 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Teófimo López
Super champion
 United States
16–0 (12 KO)
October 17, 2020
Devin Haney
 United States
25–0 (15 KO)
October 23, 2019
Teófimo López
 United States
16–0 (12 KO)
December 14, 2019
Teófimo López
 United States
16–0 (12 KO)
October 17, 2020
Teófimo López
 United States
16–0 (12 KO)
October 17, 2020
Gervonta Davis
Regular champion
 United States
24–0 (23 KO)
December 28, 2019
Rolando Romero
Interim champion
 United States
13–0 (11 KO)
August 15, 2020
Ryan García
Interim champion
 United States
21–0 (18 KO)
January 2, 2021

Super featherweight/Junior lightweight (130 lb/59 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Gervonta Davis
Super champion
 United States
24–0 (23 KO)
October 31, 2020
Oscar Valdez
 Mexico
29–0 (23 KO)
February 20, 2021
vacant Jamel Herring
 United States
23–2 (11 KO)
May 25, 2019
vacant
Roger Gutiérrez
Regular champion
 Venezuela
25–3–1 (20 KO)
January 2, 2021
Chris Colbert
Interim champion
 United States
15–0 (6 KO)
January 18, 2020

Featherweight (126 lb/57.2 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Léo Santa Cruz
Super champion
 Mexico
37–2–1 (19 KO)
January 28, 2017
Gary Russell Jr.
 United States
31–1 (18 KO)
March 28, 2015
vacant Emanuel Navarrete
 Mexico
33–1–0–1 (28 KO)
October 9, 2020
vacant
Xu Can
Regular champion
 China
18–2 (3 KO)
January 26, 2019
Eduardo Ramirez
Interim champion
 Mexico
25–2–3 (12 KO)
May 1, 2021

Super bantamweight/Junior featherweight (122 lb/55.3 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Murodjon Akhmadaliev
Super champion
 Uzbekistan
9–0 (7 KO)
January 30, 2020
Luis Nery
 Mexico
31–0 (24 KO)
September 26, 2020
Murodjon Akhmadaliev
 Uzbekistan
9-0 (7 KO)
January 30, 2020
Stephen Fulton
 United States
19–0 (8 KO)
January 23, 2021
vacant
Brandon Figueroa
Regular champion
 United States
21–0–1 (16 KO)
April 20, 2019
Ra'eese Aleem
Interim champion
 United States
18–0 (12 KO)
January 23, 2021

Bantamweight (118 lb/53.5 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Naoya Inoue
Super champion
 Japan
20–0 (17 KO)
November 7, 2019
Nordine Oubaali
 France
17–0 (12 KO)
January 19, 2019
Naoya Inoue
 Japan
20–0 (17 KO)
May 18, 2019
Johnriel Casimero
 Philippines
30–4 (21 KO)
November 30, 2019
Naoya Inoue
 Japan
20–0 (17 KO)
May 18, 2019
Guillermo Rigondeaux
Regular champion
 Cuba
20–1–0–1 (13 KO)
February 8, 2020
Reymart Gaballo
Interim champion
 Philippines
24–0 (20 KO)
December 19, 2020

Super flyweight/Junior bantamweight (115 lb/52.2 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Juan Francisco Estrada
Super champion
 Mexico
42–3 (28 KO)
March 13, 2021
vacant Jerwin Ancajas
 Philippines
33–1–2 (22 KO)
September 3, 2016
Kazuto Ioka
 Japan
26–2 (15 KO)
June 19, 2019
Juan Francisco Estrada
 Mexico
42–3 (28 KO)
April 26, 2019
Joshua Franco
Regular champion
 United States
17–1–2–1 (8 KO)
June 23, 2020

Flyweight (112 lb/50.8 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Artem Dalakian
 Ukraine
20–0 (14 KO)
February 24, 2018
Julio Cesar Martinez
 Mexico
17–1–0–1 (13 KO)
December 20, 2019
Sunny Edwards
 United Kingdom
16–0 (4 KO)
April 30, 2021
Junto Nakatani
 Japan
21–0 (16 KO)
November 6, 2020
vacant
Luis Concepción
Interim champion
 Panama
39–8 (28 KO)
February 7, 2020
McWilliams Arroyo
Interim champion
 Puerto Rico
21–4 (16 KO)
February 27, 2021

Light/Junior flyweight (108 lb/49 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Hiroto Kyoguchi
Super champion
 Japan
15–0 (10 KO)
December 31, 2018
Kenshiro Teraji
 Japan
18–0 (10 KO)
May 20, 2017
Felix Alvarado
 Nicaragua
36–2 (31 KO)
October 29, 2018
Elwin Soto
 Mexico
19–1 (13 KO)
June 21, 2019
Hiroto Kyoguchi
 Japan
15–0 (10 KO)
December 31, 2018
Carlos Cañizales
Regular champion
 Venezuela
22–0–1 (17 KO)
March 18, 2018
Daniel Matellon
Interim champion
 Cuba
11–0–2 (6 KO)
February 7, 2020

Minimumweight/Mini flyweight/strawweight (105 lb/47.6 kg)

WBA WBC IBF WBO The Ring
Thammanoon Niyomtrong
Super champion
 Thailand
21–0 (7 KO)
June 29, 2016
Panya Pradabsri
 Thailand
35–1 (22 KO)
November 27, 2020
Rene Mark Cuarto
 Philippines
19–2–2 (11 KO)
February 27, 2021
Wilfredo Méndez
 Puerto Rico
16–1 (6 KO)
August 24, 2019
vacant
Vic Saludar
Regular champion
 Philippines
21–4 (11 KO)
February 20, 2021

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Rules of World Boxing Association" (PDF). World Boxing Association. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  2. ^ "World Boxing Council Rules and Regulations" (PDF). World Boxing Council. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "IBF/USBA Rules Governing Championship Contests" (PDF). International Boxing Federation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 14, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  4. ^ "World Boxing Organization Regulations of World Championship Contests". World Boxing Organization. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
  5. ^ Lewis, Ron (October 13, 2008). "Vitali Klitschko impressive in comeback victory". The Times. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  6. ^ Longest reigning boxing world champion
  7. ^ "World Boxing Association History". World Boxing Association. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  8. ^ "World Boxing Council". World Boxing Council. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  9. ^ "Rules that have changed the History of Boxing". World Boxing Council. Archived from the original on September 25, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "History of the IBF". International Boxing Federation. December 4, 2000. Archived from the original on December 4, 2000. Retrieved June 6, 2006.
  11. ^ "WBO logo". World Boxing Organization. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  12. ^ "WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests" (PDF). World Boxing Organization. Section 14.
  13. ^ "Boxing News : The Disputed Light Heavyweight Champion of the World". October 15, 2004. Archived from the original on October 15, 2004. Retrieved May 25, 2018.web|url=http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/w0804-lineal.html%7Ctitle=What the CBZ Means When it Refers to "Lineal Championships"|last=DeLisa|first=Mike|date=August 2004|work=The CBZ Journal|publisher=cyberboxingzone|access-date=August 12, 2013))
  14. ^ "Golden Boy Enterprises' Subsidiary, Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, Acquires The Ring Magazine, KO, World Boxing and Pro Wrestling Illustrated". Golden Boy Promotions. September 12, 2007. Archived from the original on November 19, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008.
  15. ^ Kimball, George (April 27, 2008). "Calzaghe claim far from undisputed". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
  16. ^ "Chat with Dan Rafael". Espn.go.com. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  17. ^ The Horrible New Ring Magazine Championship Policy - Queensberry Rules Archived May 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Ring Magazine's pretend rankings upgrade 'championship' policy". Theboxingtribune.com. May 4, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  19. ^ "Chat: Chat with Dan Rafael - SportsNation". Espn.com.
  20. ^ [1] Archived May 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Ring Magazine's pretend rankings upgrade 'championship' policy". Theboxingtribune.com.