I came across a quite impressive list of boxing organizations (link to a French Wikipedia page without its English version). Why do so many organizations exist? WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF, IBC, IBO, etc.
(Choose a 3 or 4 letter acronym having a B and you have a good chance of finding one of their names).

It seems they all run in parallel, with their own title holders, but we can also see boxers being able to get belts from different organizations, like for example Jermain Taylor unifying (think it's the right term) the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF titles.

So, how are all those organizations related? Does a boxer have to choose an organization in the list before fighting? How does all of this work?


This article states it simply:

Why do we have to have all these boxing organizations? The WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, IBO, XYZ, etc? How do we know who is the real world champion. The reason we have all these unnecessary titles is because of two things. Money and control. The sanctioning fees and fighting for a title is not cheap for a fighter. So if they can control the fighter, the organization can dictate on who you fight next.

Boxing politics and the agendas of the big boxing promoters are also major factors. The leaders of each boxing organization has a vested interest in keeping control of its titles (and associated money flows), and will work with boxing promoters to keep control of each title.

In essence, each of the boxing organizations keeps rankings for different weight classes. Boxers may choose to compete for one of more titles of the same weight class across multiple organizations.

The article also notes:

So who is really at fault here? Is it the politics of boxing? Is it the greedy and sleazy promoters? How about the many boxing organizations with meaningless titles? Or is it the fighters who refuse to fight the best? The answer is all the above.

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The way an organization works is that they have a ranking system, so to make this a bit easier for you to understand we will talk about just 1 organization for now. Let's consider the W.B.C, they have a world champion and they have a rankings list. If you're in the top 15 you can challenge the world champion for a fight and the way you move up the list is by fighting other fighters who are listed above you in the rankings. If you get to the number 1 spot you can get yourself put in a mandatory position to fight the W.B.C world champion which means he has to fight you or vacate the belt, but all boxer's can be in the rankings of all the other organizations and many do as this gives them a better chance of getting a world title fight. The main 3 organizations in boxing are the W.B.C, W.B.O, and the I.B.F and 1 fighter can hold all 3 belts and can either fight a challenger for all his belts or just one. Every time you fight for a world title you have to pay the organization to be eligible for that title if you win your fight. Then it gets more complicated because you also have the I.B.O and W.S.B but the main 3 don't recognize them so lets say I'm the W.B.C, W.B.O, and I.B.F champion and your the I.B.O champion. We can't have a unification fight. Now the question I want to know is how does a new organization get recognized by the main 3 organizations? that is something I'm trying to find out and how do the likes of the I.B.O get recognized by the boxing world (i.e the fighters)?

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