The 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Doha will be the 18th edition of the major global event. Held every four years up until 1986, the competition has taken place every two years since Moscow played host in 1989.
The very first edition was held in Havana, Cuba in 1974, when the home fans cheered their hero Teofilo Stevenson to his first gold medal. Since then, many of the biggest names in world boxing have won titles including the most successful fighter of all time, Cuba’s Felix Savon, who won an unprecedented six titles between 1986 and 1997 and remained unbeaten in international competition during the period.
Triple Olympic Champion Stevenson was also a three-time AIBA World Champion during the era when the event was held in four-yearly cycles. Crowned at the historic first event in 1974, he defended his title in 1978 and repeated the achievement in 1986, having lost his quarter-final bout to the Italian legend Francesco Damiani in 1982.
Another top Cuban athlete, Juan Hernandez, is a four-time AIBA World Champion who claimed his first gold medal in Sydney in 1991 and went on to dominate the welterweight class throughout the 1990s.
Four other Cuban greats, Odlanier Solis, Adolfo Horta, Mario Kindelan and Mario Balado, have won three or more AIBA World Boxing Championship titles, underlining the country’s early dominance at the competition.
Bulgaria’s strongest boxer of recent decades, Serafim Todorov, won three titles in a row between 1991 and 1995, while the Romanian Francisc Vastag bagged himself three golds in 1989, 1991 and 1995.
In 2005, the double Olympic Champion Zou Shiming became the first ever Chinese boxer to win a World Championship title, and went on to repeat that feat in 2007 and 2011.
Hungary’s Olympic Champion Istvan Kovacs won AIBA World Championship gold twice, the first in Sydney in 1991 and the second in Budapest in 1997. Another Olympic gold medalist, Kazakhstan’s Serik Sapiyev, was also a double AIBA champion who totalled four medals between 2005 and 2011.
More recently, Italy’s hard-punching Domenico Valentino has been a medalist at every world championships since 2005, including gold in Milan in 2009, and he will be hoping for a repeat performance in Doha this year.
The Top 10 boxers in the history of the AIBA World Boxing Championships
|Boxer||Boxing in the AIBA World Championship||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Total|
|1. Felix Savon, CUB||1986-1999||6||1||0||7|
|2. Juan Hernandez, CUB||1991-1999||4||0||1||5|
|3. Serafim Todorov, BUL||1989-1995||3||1||0||4|
|4. Zou Shiming, CHN||2003-2011||3||1||0||4|
|5. Francisc Vastag, ROM||1989-1995||3||0||1||3|
|6. Teofilo Stevenson, CUB||1974-1986||3||0||0||3|
|7. Mario Kindelan, CUB||1999-2003||3||0||0||3|
|8. Odlanier Solis, CUB||2001-2005||3||0||0||3|
|9. Adolfo Horta, CUB||1978-1986||3||0||0||3|
|10. Roberto Balado, CUB||1989-1993||3||0||0||3|