The United States Boxing Association (USBA) was created in 1977. In October of 1982, USBA president Bob Lee ran for the presidency of the WBA at their annual convention, but lost to Gilberto Mendoza Sr. In April of 1983, the members of the USBA voted to expand the organization and create an international division. The new organization was called the International Boxing Federation and Bob Lee was named the president.
The IBF awarded their heavyweight title to Larry Holmes, who was viewed as the true World Heavyweight Champion. Holmes had recently vacated the WBC title after a dispute with the organization. The fact that the only sanctioning body belt Holmes had at the time was the IBF’s greatly helped the new organization’s credibility. He held the title from 1983 to 1985 and made three successful defenses.
The IBF is one of four major sanctioning bodies recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame, along with the WBA, WBC, and WBO.