World Boxing Organization

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The World Boxing Organization (WBO) is a sanctioning organization currently recognizing professional boxing world champions. Its offices are located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.



The WBO started after a group of Puerto Rican and Dominican businessmen broke out of the World Boxing Association's 1988 annual convention in Isla Margarita, Venezuela over disputes regarding what rules should be applied.

The WBO's first president was Ramon Pina Acevedo of the Dominican Republic. Soon after its beginning, the WBO was staging world championship bouts around the globe. Its first championship fight was for its vacant super middleweight title, between Thomas Hearns and James Kinchen; Hearns won by decision. In order to gain respectability, the WBO next elected former world light heavyweight champion José Torres of Ponce, Puerto Rico, as its president. Torres left in 1996, giving way to Puerto Rican lawyer Francisco Varcarcel as president. Varcarcel has been there since.

The WBO was made popular by boxers such as Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ronald "Winky" Wright, Naseem Hamed, Verno Phillips, Michael Carbajal, Johnny Tapia, Harry Simon, Jermain Taylor, Nigel Benn, Paul "Silky" Jones, Gerald McClellan, Joe Calzaghe, Steve Collins, Daniel Santos, Michael Moorer, Dariusz Michalczewski, Chris Eubank, Riddick Bowe, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko and Chris Byrd in the 1990s.

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