World Boxing Council

The World Boxing Council is an international boxing organization. It was initially established by 11 countries: the United States, Puerto Rico, Argentina, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Philippines, Panama, Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. Representatives met in Mexico City on February 14, 1963, upon invitation of Adolfo Lopez Mateos, then President of Mexico, to form an international organization to unify all commissions of the world to control the expansion of boxing. Today it has 161 member countries. The groups that historically had recognized several boxers as champions included the New York State Athletic Commission, the National Boxing Association of the United States, the European Boxing Union and the British Boxing Board of Control, but for the most part, these groups lacked the all-encompassing "international" status they claimed. The International Boxing Hall of Fame recognizes the WBC as one of four major organizations that sanction world championship boxing bouts; the others are the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). The WBC's green championship belt portrays the flags of all of the 161 member countries of the organization. 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. 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 of 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. In 1983, following the death of Duk Koo Kim from injuries sustained in a 14-round fight against Ray Mancini, the WBC took the unprecedented step of reducing the distance of its world championship bouts, from 15 rounds to 12Чa move other organizations soon followed (for boxers' safety). Among those to have been recognized by the WBC as world champions were the undefeated Rocky Marciano (49-0), Roy Jones, Jr., Wilfred Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Salvador Sanchez, Hector Camacho, Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon, Rodrigo Valdez, Roberto Duran, Juan Laporte, Felix Trinidad, Edwin Rosario, Bernard Hopkins, Alexis Arguello, Nigel Benn, Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko, Erik Morales, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. The WBC bolstered the legitimacy of women's boxing by recognizing fighters such as Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker as contenders for World Female titles in 16 weight divisions. The first WBC World Female Champion (on May 30, 2005) was the super-bantamweight Jackie Nava from Mexico. With her former-champion father at ringside, Laila Ali won the super-middleweight title on June 11, 2005. In September 2009, the WBC created its new "Diamond Championship" belt. This belt was created as an honorary championship exclusively to award the winner of a historic fight between two high-profile boxers.[1] The inaugural Diamond Belt was awarded on November 14, 2009 to Manny Pacquiao, who won his seventh world title (in seven different divisions) via a 12th round technical knockout (TKO) over Miguel Angel Cotto in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.