The European Boxing Union (EBU), formerly known as the International Boxing Union (IBU), is a pan-European governing body that sanctions championship bouts in professional boxing. The EBU governs the most-prestigious[citation needed] continental title in Europe, the EBU European Championship, in addition to their EBU EU Championship for competitors from within the European Union and the EBU EE Championship for those outside the European Union. It is a federation affiliated with the World Boxing Council (WBC).

During most of the 20th century and, specially, during that era's first decades, the EBU recognized many world title fights as the IBU. It competed against the American-based National Boxing Association (NBA), which staged the more widely recognized world title fights.

History edit

International Boxing Union (1911–1942) edit

The International Boxing Union (IBU) was created June 1911 in Paris, France. It was the first attempt to create a unified international governing body for professional boxing. Signators of the Protocol for the IBU were the President of Fédération Française de Boxe et de Lutte for France, the President of Fédération Belge de Boxe for Belgium, and the President of Société Française de Propagation de la Boxe Anglaise who acted on behalf of some American boxing authorities. Switzerland joined the IBU in November 1913. Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Argentine, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom also joined. By 1922, the UK had withdrawn support, and the US was never fully committed.[1]

The IBU suspended operations with the outbreak of World War I, but resumed action on February 5, 1920.

Associazione Pugilistica Professionistica Europea (1942–1944) edit

Headquartered in Paris, the IBU was in the hands of the Nazis and Italian Fascists during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. On 5 June 1942, the Associazione Pugilistica Professionistica Europea (APPE) was formally established, replacing the IBU. Vittorio Mussolini, eldest son of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, was declared the APPE's first President. The first official meeting of the APPE's steering committee was held June 7, who recognized the following European champions: Enrico Urbinati (fly), Gino Bondavalli (bantam and feather), Ascenzo Botta (light), vacant - it was announced to Marcel Cerdan that he had lost his title (welter), Jupp Besselmann (middle), Luigi Musina (light-heavy), and Max Schmeling (heavy).

The lira was adopted as the official currency for bout and congress fees. The APPE also changed the division weights by adopting the kilogram: 51 kilos (fly), 54 (bantam), 58 (feather), 62 (light), 67 (junior middle—abolishing the term "welter"), 73 (middle), 80 (light-heavy), and 80-plus (heavy). Ultimately, all European bouts held under the APPE's aegis were matched at these weights until December 1944.

It was planned that after the Axis won World War II, the APPE would be transformed into the APPI (Associazione Pugilistica Professionistica Internazionale) and be headquartered in Rome. But by December 1, 1944, the IBU/APPE was extinct.

European Boxing Union (1946–present) edit

The British Boxing Board of Control and the newly formed French FFB tried to constitute a new European body—the European Boxing Association (EBA)--but other countries protested because the two veteran countries would have reintroduced the principle that the European Champion would be decided by a bout between British and French champions. Instead, in 1946, the European Boxing Union (EBU) was established.

In 1963, the president of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, invited the EBU, the British Boxing Board of Control, the New York State Athletic Commission, and the national sanctioning organizations of nine other countries to form the World Boxing Council. The EBU's personnel ultimately decided to recognize regional title bouts as a federation under the WBC.

During the 1990s, the EBU began to recognize women's boxing regional championship bouts, and welcomed former Yugoslavian country Bosnia and Herzegovina as a member country.

Currently, winning an EBU title is considered important, but not necessary, by many European boxers in order to go on and fight for a world title of the four most widely recognized world championship boxing organizations, the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO. Following the formation of the European Economic Union, the EBU issued subtitles for the Union countries (EBU-EU title) and "External" countries (EBU-EE title), below their main EBU title which would cover all 50 countries on the continent and 3/4 billion residents.

In light of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EBU announced that it would not certify any championship contests involving boxers from Russia and Belarus.[2]

Rules edit

The EBU follows certain rules, but most rules in EBU bouts obey the rules set by the independent boxing commission of the country where an EBU fight will be held at. Some of the EBU rules are that a fighter must not be younger than 20 years of age when fighting for an EBU championship, and that hotel accommodation for boxers, referees and European Boxing Union officials visiting a country for an EBU fight must be paid by the fight's promoter. The EBU does, however, pay for the air or train tickets of referees and officials that travel away from home for an EBU fight. Other rules are also imposed on EBU recognized events, but not many of the EBU rules interfere with the fighting rules to be followed during the fight itself.

The EBU recognizes world titles sanctioned by the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and IBO. A boxer holding a world title is rendered ineligible for EBU, including EU and EE, rankings.[3][4]

A male boxer must have competed in at least eight bouts to be eligible for rankings. For female boxers, it is four bouts. At least five of a boxer's last 10 bouts must have taken place in Europe and sanctioned by an EBU affiliate association, two of which in the last 24 months, to be eligible for rankings.[3]

A boxer challenging for a European title from another sanctioning body is disqualified from rankings for nine months. A boxer holding such a title will only be eligible for rankings after 12 months from the time of having relinquished it.[3]

EBU members edit

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • North Macedonia
  • Malta provisional member
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Republic of Srpska provisional member
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

Current champions edit

Male edit

Weight class: Champion: Reign began:
Heavyweight Oleksandr Zakhozhyi 13 April 2024
Cruiserweight Michał Cieślak 22 April 2023
Light-heavyweight vacant
Super-middleweight Kevin Lele Sadjo 18 December 2021
Middleweight Tyler Denny 18 November 2023
Super-welterweight vacant
Welterweight Jordy Weiss 31 October 2023
Super-lightweight Adam Azim 18 November 2023
Lightweight Gavin Gwynne 1 December 2023
Super-featherweight Juan Felix Gomez 5 May 2023
Featherweight Mauro Forte 5 May 2023
Super-bantamweight Liam Davies 19 November 2022
Bantamweight Thomas Essomba 20 May 2023
Flyweight Conner Butler 9 June 2023

Female edit

Weight class: Champion: Reign began:
Super-middleweight vacant
Middleweight vacant
Super-welterweight Priscilla Peterle 8 April 2022
Welterweight Dee Allen 3 November 2023
Super-lightweight Flora Pili 5 May 2023
Lightweight Rhiannon Dixon 30 September 2023
Super-featherweight vacant
Featherweight Sheila Martinez 24 February 2023
Super-bantamweight vacant
Bantamweight vacant
Super-flyweight Lauren Parker 2 December 2023
Flyweight Chloe Watson 1 December 2023
Light-flyweight vacant
Strawweight Isabel Rivero 15 December 2023

Other regional WBC federations edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Mee, Bob (1978) Boxing: Heroes & Champions, ISBN 978-1858339474, p. 10
  2. ^ "The EBU creates and promotes European professional boxing". March 2, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "EBU Ratings Standard". European Boxing Union. 12 June 2011. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  4. ^ See ineligible section on division rankings:
    "EBU Ratings". boxebu.com. Archived from the original on 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
    "EU Ratings". boxebu.com. Archived from the original on 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
    "EE Ratings". boxebu.com. Archived from the original on 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2018-04-17.

External links edit