At the annual convention of the United
States Boxing Association (USBA), held at Resort International Hotel
Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during April of 1983, the delegates
assembled felt the organization had grown considerably and while we had
crowned a number of national champions, the opportunity for advancement
worldwide was severely limited. Those limitations may well have been the
results of internal conflict in the world sanctioning bodies. However,
with so many youngsters about to enter the professional boxing field,
there should be some place for them to showcase their talents with the
ultimate goal being a chance to fight for a world title and to someday
become a champion. Thus, did the delegates assembled vote to establish
an international division and to declare itself the United States Boxing
goals of the newly formed USBA-I were to initially recognize as world
champions those boxers who had already distinguished themselves as
champions and might desire to box under our banner. We felt they had
earned the right to be considered and any deprivation of that right
would not be in our nor their best interests.
we sought to provide an opportunity for new promoters to enter the
promotional area which in effect caused the doors to open for more
boxers, trainers, managers, as well as those who would derive an
ancillary benefit from the events held in various arenas around the
world. In short, the USBA-I began opening doors worldwide that
heretofore were closed to a great many in the boxing industry.
boxing writers and a number of columnists began to refer to us as
"alphabet soup" but the members felt that our beginning could
easily be equated to expansion, something that has been going on in
other sports for quite some time. Isn't it strange that when baseball,
football or basketball expand to meet its franchise needs it is referred
to as a necessity due to growing pains? When boxing does likewise, the
critics appear eager to rip us apart and to belittle our efforts to open
the doors of progress.
ratings of the USBA-I carried Marvelous Marvin Hagler as its
middleweight champion, a position he also enjoyed in the other two world
sanctioning bodies. Marvin was preparing to box Wilford Scypion for his
title in Providence, RI when a dispute arose as to whether the bout
would be for 12 rounds or 15. When it was decided by the other two
sanctioning bodies that the bout would be 12 rounds, the champion balked
and their sanction was withdrawn. The USBA-I was asked to sanction the
bout and did so, permitting the show to go on and the champion to retain
During July of 1983, we
held an Executive Committee Meeting in Reno, Nevada, to plan for a
founding convention to be held during November in Newark, NJ. At the
Reno meeting, several invited people, who has not had a chance to
participate in international boxing events, became members of the USBA-I,
pledged to support our goals and principles and accepted positions in
the organization that would aide in the formation of this international
convention was held in November, 1983 at the Quality Inn in Newark, NJ
and was well attended by delegates and well-wishers worldwide. The goals
and policies were reaffirmed, three boxing events were scheduled for
November and December in Asia, and various productive appointments were
made by the President. The spirit that prevailed was that the USBA-I was
here to offer advancement possibilities to all who wanted them and to
see that those who were shut out in the past now had tremendous hope for
During December of
1983, Larry Holmes, everyone's recognized champion of the heavyweights,
decided he wanted to box under our banner. We accepted Mr. Holmes with
open arms and by having a person of his stature with us gave a measure
of credibility, causing other champions to look our way. There was and
still is a feeling that we represent fair play and will work closely
with the boxer, promoter, trainer and manager to accomplish that
At the annual convention
held in Reno, NV during May of 1984, the delegates voted to change the
name from USBA-I to the International Boxing Federation (IBF). To carry
on the business of the IBF/USBA, the opening of an office was approved.
The office is currently staffed on a full-time basis and serves as an
informational center for boxing activity. See contact information here.
IBF is a voluntary association organized by representatives of various
athletic commissions and other interested persons for the purpose of
obtaining greater efficiency and uniformity in the supervision of
professional boxing and to encourage and assist professional boxing.
This organization promulgates rules, suggest standards for boxing
guidance, establishes champions and prepares monthly ratings of the
outstanding contenders. This information is shared with the press, the
public and all full and associated members of the IBF.
of the finer moments in this organization has been something we have
struggled for in the last 10 years--the IBF retirement and trust plan.
We want to make sure that these fighters take care of themselves and put
something away when they are no longer able to challenge another fighter
in the ring. This plan demands that anyone fighting for an IBF title
must put aside 2% of his earnings, which is invested by a financial
planner; the fighter is unable to touch this money until he is 35 or 40
having paid into the plan for five years. The money accumulates in the
fighter's own portfolio with the investment company looking over his
assets. Thus far, we have had good success with the plan.
addition, in 1986, we stared the Special Assistance to Retired Boxers (SARB)
fund because were were tired of seeing some of the older fighters
complete their careers and then fall upon hard times without anyone
helping them. At the annual convention, we sell clothing and merchandise
with a portion of the proceeds going to the SARB fund. We've been
helpful to some people who've been in need, and that makes us very
proud. Unfortunately, we don't have the big dollars to fund this project
the way we'd like to; but it's a step in the right direction.
major concern of this organization has been the consistency necessary to
bring about competent, fair decisions in a boxing match. While we cannot
expect every official to see the same thing at ringside, we can
certainly try to have them come more in line with each other. Toward
that end, we have held off-year seminars in Europe, Asia and South
America, as well as the U.S. At each annual convention, we also hold a
seminar and distribute certificates indicating that the participant has
been involved in at least 10 hours of officiating training. We've found
that this type of open dialogue helps to make these officials more
consistent, and brings about better decisions which is something sorely
needed in our industry.
At the 1995
convention, we started a scholarship fund to help deserving high school
graduates along their way financially to college. We recognize that
education is the key to better understanding and better communication
worldwide, and we are committed to helping students who display a thirst
for some knowledge through the educational process.
farm system of boxing is the club shows and the amateurs. We desperately
try to impress upon the local promoters to see that their amateur bouts
continue and then on to the professional ranks. We need more club boxing
so that we might spawn good professionals in the pay for fight ranks.
We're finding that the venues for such boxing are decreasing but in
certain areas, they're holding their own. When we are able to provide
donations to those people who're trying to make club fighting and
amateur fighting a reality, we do.
an effort to give small promoters and fledgling fighters more of an
opportunity to participate, we have established US regional titles. The
country has been divided into several regions and we permit boxing in
each region and cross-regional competition. This has given some of these
fighters an incentive to win a belt and then move up the ladder toward
getting another belt of higher stature. In an effort to be as global as
we'd like to be, we've initiated the IABU (InterAmerica Boxing Union),
which covers the Central and South Americas, and gives boxers there an
opportunity to fight for a title and be recognized on a world
We've further moved to
broaden our base by creating the IBF Pan Pacific titles operating out of
Australia and the IBF Asian titles operating out of Nara City, Japan.
Those two ancillary bodies are desperately trying to ferret out new and
upcoming fighters with the ability to move up through the ranks to
challenge for a title. As indicated previously, one of our strong points
is that we offer opportunity to the disadvantaged and deprived.
1998, we celebrated our 15th year in existence. It's been a good ride
for this long period of time and when we look back at the
accomplishments for the fighters, promoters, managers and trainers, we
feel a sense of fulfillment. We are troubled, however, by the intrusion
of the government in our business and unfortunately they listen to
unbusinesslike people who really do not understand the industry,
overall. Many people try to equate boxing with other sports and it
cannot be done so easily because it's a very difficult business to
understand and administer. The federal government, unfortunately, is
trying to micro-manage small businesses and that's in direct conflict
with the tenets which made this country great.
you for your interest you've shown in the IBF and do take the
opportunity to join us as we continue moving forward in the name of
The United States Boxing Association (USBA)
was organized in Washington, DC, in September 1976, immediately
following the annual convention of the World Boxing Association in that
During the WBA meeting in
question, many US members of that organization became so repulsed with
the repugnant manner in which the business of the WBA was being
conducted that they decided the time was at hand to withdraw from the
WBA adn form a new boxing organization composed of legitimate boxing
commissioners, legally appointed by governmental authority in their own
respective states and territories of the United States of America.
an organizational meeting was held in Washington, DC, with 24 US
commissions represented. Another meeting was held in Indianapolis, IN,
in April 1977, to consider a Constitution and By-Laws and the overall
structure of this new association.
December 2, 1977, the first annual convention of the USBA was held in
Chicago, IL. Officers were elected, the Constitution and By-Laws
adopted, committees appointed and the USBA became a reality.
principle goal of the USBA has always been to give every talented and
aspiring professional boxer in America an opportunity to make a name for
himself in his chosen profession and to place every deserving American
boxer in his proper perspective at home and throughout the world.
USBA, through its unbiased system of rating boxers and the conduct of
its championships, is making a contribution to the longevity, health and
welfare of professional boxing in America. USBA champions, upon
acquiring the USBA title, immediately gain world class celebrity
distinction throughout the world of boxing.
progress has been made, yet we acknowledge that our task has just begun.
Therefore, we invite our entire membership, the press and news media and
every boxing enthusiast in America to join with the officers and general
membership of the USBA in our labor and dedication for the betterment of
professional boxing in America.
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