The World Boxing Association (WBA), officially born as the National Boxing Association (NBA) in 1921, came at a difficult time for boxing and contributed to its rescue and transformation for the benefit of the discipline.
The years prior to the establishment of the pioneer organization were marked by different events that had boxing against the wall and the activity was compromised. The World War I (1914-1918) and the “Spanish Flu” were two events that slowed boxing down and prevented it from having the same activity of previous years.
In a paper by Joe Koizumi published on May 2nd, 2020, the researcher talked about how the pandemic that lasted from 1918 to 1920 affected the world of boxing. The Japanese detailed how 500 million people were infected and about 50 million died.
A description of the pandemic with regard to boxing was published in the pages of The New York Times on October 13th, 1918: “Boxing in the East is now at a standstill, because of the epidemic of Spanish influenza. Promoters in Philadelphia, Boston, and New Jersey, in compliance with requests issued by their different Health Departments, have agreed to close up shop. How long the sport will be idle remains to be seen, but it is positive that no matches of any importance will be undertaken while the epidemic continues.”
All this speaks of the situation that existed in those times prior to the birth of the WBA, but the arrival of the pioneer boxing organization was a new beginning and a way to reinvent boxing, to recognize the world championships in a positive way and to initiate a new era whose foundations remain today in the midst of the centennial year of the first body to sanction boxing.