The NABF … Then and Now
The North American Boxing Federation is an independent organization, sanctioning professional boxing championships for the countries of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. We are affiliated with the World Boxing Council.
The NABF was first organized in 1968 under the leadership of Jim Deskin of Nevada and Jose Sulaiman of Mexico assisted by Bob Turley of California. The first affiliates of the NABF were California, Mexico, and Nevada with Oregon and Washington following soon thereafter. Shortly Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Texas also became affiliated. Among the early leaders of the NABF (in addition to the three men previously mentioned) were Professor Ramon Velazquez, President of the WBC at this time, Bill Houston, chair of the California Commission during this period, and Jackie Fields, former world champion and Nevada Athletic Commission chairman at the time. Also prominent executives of the NABF during this era were Bobby Lee (Hawaii), Jimmy Rondeau (Washington), George Yerkovitch (Oregon) and Roy Tennyson (Executive Director of the California Commission).
Our first championship match was Leotis Martin’s 9th round knockout over Sonny Liston on June the 12th of 1969. Trailing on points, Martin delivered a devastating punch to win the title, but was forced to relinquish his championship a few months later due to a detached retina suffered in this brawl. This bout was televised from Las Vegas on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” with famous broadcaster Howard Cosell ringside. For those of you with internet access, highlights of this fight may be seen on You Tube.
Among notable former NABF champions are: Muhammad Ali, Juan Antonio Aguirre, Rob Allen, Alicia Ashley, Mike Ayala, Paulie Ayala, Marco Antonio Barrera, O’Neil Bell, Jesse Benavides, Isaac Bustos, Lucien Bute, Hector Camacho, Jesus Chavez, Melchor Cob Castro, Derrell Coley. Donald Curry, Chad Dawson, Nonito Donaire, Troy Dorsey, Joey Gamache, Andy Gannigan, Roberto Garcia, Matt Godfrey, Otis Grant, Eric Griffin, Robert Guerrero, George Foreman, Yuri Foreman, Vernon Forrest, Greg Haugen, Thomas Hearns, Adrian Hernandez, Juanito Hernandez, Joe Hipp, Rico Hoye, Mariana Juarez, Arthur Johnson. Stevie Johnston, Juan LaPorte, Jesse James Leija, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Josesito Lopez, Monica Lovato, Ray Mancini, Milton McCrory, Wayne McCullough, Mario Miranda, Erik Morales, Carina Moreno, Denny Moyer, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Zulina Munoz, Ruben Navarro, Herman Ngoudjo, Orlin Norris, Terry Norris, Ken Norton, Michael Nunn, Joey Olivo, Kelly Pavlik, Samuel Peter, Harold Petty, Dwight Pratchett, Jessica Rakoczy, Danny Romero, Rafael Ruelas, Jesus Salud, Ray Seales, Maureen Shea, Ronnie Shields, Marlon Starling, Ben Tackie, Antonio Tarver, Ana Maria Torres, Wilbert Uicab, Adan Vargas, Brian Viloria, Pernell Whittaker, Ronald “Winky” Wright, Daniel Zaragoza, and Ysais Zumodio.
In addition to those listed above, there are several women who have been NABF Female champions that have gone on to win world championships.
Current NABF Champions (as of May 10, 2013) are: (HW) Eric Molina, Raymondville, Texas, (CR) Denton Daley, Brampton, Ontario, (LH) Lucien Bute, Laval, Quebec, (SM) Marco Antonio Periban, Mexico City, DF, (MW) J’Leon Love, Dearborn Heights, Michigan, (SW) Willie Nelson, Cleveland, Ohio, (WW) title vacant as of this date, (SL) Paul Spadafora, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (LW) Ray Beltran, Phoenix, Arizona, (SF) title vacant as of this date, (FW) Ronny Rios, Santa Ana, California (SB) and (BW) titles vacant as of this date, (SFLY) Jose Salgado, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, (FLY) title vacant as of this date, (LFLY) Francisco Rodriguez, Jr., Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, (ST) title vacant as of this date.
Previous NABF Presidents are: Bill Houston, Jim Deskin, Jose Sulaiman, Jimmy Rondeau, Robert Shields, Bob Turley, Bob Busse, Jack Davis, Jean-Guy Prescott, Bobby Lee, Sam Macias, Dick Cole, Mario Latraverse, Claude Jackson,Rex Walke and Joe Dwyer.
The current NABF President is Duane Ford, with Ed Pearson, Mauricio Sulaiman, and Craig Hubble serving as Vice-Presidents.