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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?

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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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