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|Founder||Jon W. Robinson|
|Founded at||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Purpose||Boxing sanctioning organization|
The World Boxing Union (WBU) is a boxing sanctioning body. The original WBU was founded in January 1995 by IBF European representative Jon W. Robinson. It sanctioned boxing with various promoters worldwide.
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The World Boxing Union, Inc. (WBU) is a professional boxing sanctioning body based in Atlanta, Georgia. After all boxing sanctioning contracts were fulfilled, the UK company became dormant and eventually was dissolved. The "WBU" brand was featured in the movie "The Fighter" starring Mark Wahlberg. The previous incarnation WBU company of WBU titles were recognized in Europe. The former UK WBU titles have been held by Ricky Hatton, George Foreman, Thomas Hearns, Baby Jake Matlala, James Toney, Johnny Nelson and Micky Ward (on whom the movie "The Fighter" is based).
The prior WBU had a 'golden' period between 1996–2004 when its title contests were often shown live on satellite and terrestrial television. After the death of the UK WBU founder, the organization became dormant, which causes all titles to be vacated. This for all practical reasons was the end of the UK version of the WBU.
In 2010, after realizing there were no legal remaining assets of the UK based WBU and after a period of years had passed of no activity of the original company nor an operating subsequent company of such brand , the United States-based WBU brand was formed, registered, licensed, and launched under the stewardship of Don "Moose" Lewis. However, there is no connection between the former United Kingdom company and the newer US entity. The USA based WBU states it aims continues the philosophy of its sister sanctioning bodies by providing opportunities in professional boxing for fighters often overlooked by the recognized organizations.
Around the same time, “WBU” (Chairman: Torsten Kunire), headquartered in Lower Saxony, was born.
The WBU had it first recognized World title under reorganization on 10 September 2011 when former “The Contender” television show participant Jimmy Lange defeated Raul Munoz by TKO in round 6 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2012 with new champions crowned and a world title even changing hands. Entering 2017, the WBU has already crowned a new world champion in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada as co-main event on a pay-per-view card of promoter Yvon Michel's GYM Promotions.
List of WBU heavyweight champions
|Name||Duration of reign||Defenses||Notes|
|George Foreman (USA)||March 29, 1995 – 1997||2||Foreman was recognized as champion after he was stripped of the IBF title|
|Corrie Sanders (RSA)||November 15, 1997 – May 20, 2000||3||Defeated Ross Purity|
|Hasim Rahman (USA)||May 20, 2000 – April 21, 2001||0||Relinquished the title in order to fight Lennox Lewis for the IBF, IBO and WBC titles|
|Johnny Nelson (GBR)||November 24, 2001 – December 4, 2001||0||Defeated Alexander Vasiliev. Relinquished the title in order to concentrate on defending his WBO Cruiserweight title|
|Georgi Kandelaki (GEO)||December 21, 2002 – January 2004||0||Defeated Alexander Vasiliev. Kandelaki either relinquished or was stripped of the title|
|Matt Skelton (GBR)||February 25, 2005 – January 26, 2009||0||Skelton relinquished the title|
Other WBU champions (selected)
Other past WBU champions include Eamonn Magee, Tony Oakey, Corrie Sanders, Enzo Maccarinelli, Lee McAllister, Angel Manfredy, George Scott, Hasim Rahman, Willie Limond, Michael Gomez, Kevin Lear, Anthony Farnell, Jimmy Lange, Derry Mathews, Choi Tseveenpurev, Jeremy Williams, Don Diego Poeder, Wayne Elcock Lawrence Murphy, Craig Docherty, Kevin Kelly, Tyson Cave, Micky Ward, and Marselles Brown
- "George Foreman vs. Axel Schulz". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "BoxRec - Corrie Sanders". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "Hasim Rahman vs. Corrie Sanders". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "BoxRec - Johnny Nelson". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "BoxRec - George Kandelaki". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "BoxRec - Matt Skelton". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2015-08-04.