Have you ever wondered why there are so many sanctioning bodies?
It is because they are very easy to start. All you need is money, desire, and a sense of humor.
BoxRec, boxing’s official record keeper, has derecognized the National Boxing Association. No, not the original NBA, but the second and third reincarnations of it.
The National Boxing Association (NBA) sanctioned fights from the 1920s until 1962 when it transformed into the World Boxing Association to avoid confusion with the National Basketball Association.
The late Irv Abramson, a 1999 inductee to the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, re-established the company in May 1984 in New York City as a non-profit, and went on to piggy-back off the old company. It was claimed that Abramson was a former President of the NBA, but that is not true according to the WBA.
Former world champions Roy Jones Jr., Roberto Duran, Hector “Macho” Camacho, and Edner Cherry all won NBA titles Although they were deemed NBA champions, it was a worthless belt. It was all about making money. Gee, that sounds familiar.
If you thought this sort of activity just recently started — think again.
The International Boxing Authority (IBA) was inspired by the NBA to make a championship belt — literally — out of thin air.
In May of 1994, Steve Benson and his business partner had a company named Whirlwind Entertainment and were getting ready to promote a June 6 boxing at Casino Magic in Mississippi between former heavyweight world titleholder Mike Weaver and Ladislao Mijangos.
Ironically, with less than two weeks before the fight, the NBA pulled out from the night after their demand for a $3,500 sanctioning fee was not met.
Naturally, Benson turned to another company he owned, Florida Boxing Authority, and rebranded it as the “International Boxing Authority.” Hence, the IBA heavyweight title was born. Weaver knocked out Mijangos in the second round and won a belt that was only a couple days old.
It is important to note that the IBA that we know of today is also not the same entity.
That leads to today. Last year, the NBA reinvented itself — again — this time under the guise of President Damon Gonzalez.
FightNights.com sent an inquiry to the WBA to find out whether they were aware of the reemergence of the NBA, considering that was their original name.
We were told by officials that they were unaware of the situation.
Promoters and matchmakers have also begun to catch on. When title fights are placed into BoxRec, they add them based on a list that is on the website. Since the NBA doesn’t really exist, promoters will click on the old NBA from 1962 and add that to the record. When a BoxRec editor sees this, they immediately delete it. Promoters and fighters were duped into believing that this new NBA was legitimate.
FightNights.com had an exclusive conversation with former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. and asked if he knew if the NBA was not a legitimate sanctioning body.
“No, I knew nothing about that,” Jones said. But when I was champ, I wanted ANY WORLD TITLE THAT WAS A WORLD TITLE IN MY WEIGHT. I wanted there to be NO DOUBTS as to who was the man. And there wasn’t.”