SI Vault
March 16, 1981
In the summer of its 42nd year the National Boxing Association, a loosely knit collection of pompous amateurs, elected to balloon itself into the World Boxing Assocation. The year was 1962. Despite the change in logo from NBA to WBA, it remained the same old clique of feuding U.S. boxing commissioners—good ol' boys whose loyalties, after those accorded themselves, were to the red, white and blue, and the rest of the world could just tag along or move to Saturn.
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March 16, 1981

How The Wbc And Wba Rose To Power

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"The athletic commission, or any other duly authorized body legally organized to regulate...boxing in any country, territorial or political subdivision, province or city...shall be eligible for membership...and shall be entitled to one vote."

They discovered another key in a seemingly innocent regulation specifying that only delegates actually present at a convention are eligible to vote. The Latins began importing "delegates" from such countries as Panama (four registered commissions), Venezuela (six), Nicaragua (four) and El Salvador (four).

That many of the WBA's delegates since 1974 have been shipped in prepaid, or have been outright phonies, never seems to have had an impact on the credentials committee. At the 1979 convention in Miami Beach, as an example, there were three delegates from the Virgin Islands, and all voted for Sanchez.

If the credentials committee had bothered to check, it would have discovered that there has never been an official boxing commission in the Virgin Islands. Boxing there comes under the control of the Department of Conservation and Cultural Affairs. Fighters aren't licensed, they're merely taxed.

Raul Ruiz promotes fights in the Virgin Islands. "There's no law, no rules," he says. "No one even asks for record. At fights there's no inspectors and no commissioners because there's no commission."

While the WBA's grasp of political science is excellent, it does fall, short in geography. On the chart of accredited members, one of the three Virgin Islands commissions is listed as representing Sint Maarten, which is in the Netherlands Antilles.

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