The World Boxing Council(WBC) is a major sanctioning body.
It was initially established by 11 countries: the United States, Argentina, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Philippines, Panama, Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil plus Puerto Rico, met in Mexico City on February 14, 1963, upon invitation of the then President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, to form an international boxing organization that would achieve the unity of all commissions of the world to control the expansion of boxing. The organization's current president is Jose Sulaiman.
The groups that historically had recognized several boxers as champions included the New York State Athletic Commission, the National Boxing Association, the European Boxing Union and the British Boxing Board of Control but these groups for the most part lacked the all-encompassing "international" status they boasted of.
The WBC's green championship belt portrays the flags of all of the 161 countries of the organization; the flags of the original 12 member-nations are displayed on the belt’s ovular, gold center-plate (surrounding a boxer raising his arm in victory). All WBC World title belts look identical regardless of weight class; however, there are minor variations on the design for secondary and regionally-themed titles within the same weight class. A WBC Title belt is a highly sought-after collector's item.
The WBC has nine regional governing bodies affiliated with it, such as the North American Boxing Federation (NABF), the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF), the European Boxing Union (EBU) and the African Boxing Council (ABC).
Although rivals, the WBC's relationship with other sanctioning bodies has improved over time and there have even been talks of unification with the WBA. Unification bouts between WBC and other organizations' champions are becoming more common in recent years. Throughout its history, the WBC has allowed some its organization's champions to fight unification fights with champions of other organizations, although there were times it stepped in to prevent such fights. For many years, it also prevented its champions from holding the WBO belt. When a WBO-recognized champion wished to fight for a WBC championship, he had to abandon his WBO title first, without any special considerations. This, however, is no longer the case.
In 1983, the WBC took the unprecedented step of reducing the distance of its world championship bouts, from 15 rounds to 12—a move other organizations soon followed (for boxers' safety).
Among those to have been recognized by the WBC as world champions were Wilfredo Benitez, Wilfredo Gómez, Julio César Chávez, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Salvador Sanchez, Hector Camacho, Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon, Roberto Duran, Juan Laporte, Edwin Rosario, Alexis Arguello, Nigel Benn, Lennox Lewis, Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao.