The Australian National Boxing Federation (ANBF) was formed in 1965, firstly as the Australian Boxing Federation (ABF) but years later adding National to it’s title. The architect of the formation was leading trainer Jack Rennie. Jack, along with other prominent boxing people of the day felt the need for a governing body to oversee the conditions, pay and world opportunities for Australian professional boxing which until then had been under the complete control of Stadiums Ltd.
The plan was to have a body to govern the game fairly in a similar manner as the British Boxing Board of Control did in Britain, who was also a control board by agreement of the trade and not by government appointment.
The early years were slow going and the stumbling block constantly was convincing the boxing participants to join up. Even those did join often disagreed when decisions of the Federation did not suit their particular needs at the time. The ABF at the time was light on funds and of course had no mandatory control over its members. Nevertheless, many workers set about introducing the ideals of the ABF to the States and forming State Branches. When this was done the States would meet at followed annual conferences where problems were argued out and common solutions agreed.
In 1980, Jack Rennie, who was Vice President at the time paid attended the Oceana Pacific Federation annual conference in Japan in order to seek affiliation of the ANBF with that body and other world wide Bodies for Australia, who at that time had no membership or vote at Commonwealth or other world Organizations. The following year, now President, Jack led a delegation of five to an annual then Oriental Boxing Federation (OBF) conference that was to be followed by the annual conference of the World Boxing Council (WBC). This proved the opener to the world for Australia. The OBF changed its name to Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF), adding Pacific to its title to include Australia and other Pacific nations.
The British Board, including the Commonwealth Championships Committee, also held a meeting with the delegation in Seoul, South Korea and offered membership to the Commonwealth Championships Committee provided that the ABF’s leading office bearers were not Boxing Trainers. The delegation also had talks with the WBC and after discussion was also afforded membership. On return, steps were taken and Jack Rennie and Len Swettenham stepped down and suitable office bearers were elected. This led to full membership of the OPBF, WBC and Commonwealth Championships Committee with a right to nominate our Boxers to participate in these particular titles and led to the appointment of our Ring Officials to gain experience outside of Australia at these title contests. The ABF around this period altered its name to include the word National and later it became a registered Company.
One of the major victories for the ANBF was winning a court case in which it was legally declared that the ANBF was the recognized Governing Body and as such was the legal owners of the Australian Championships and as such was the official ratings body for Australian boxing. As time progressed other world organizations were formed and another Australian boxing group was formed. This created conflict for some years to the extent that the NSW State Government appointed an advisory committee to investigate and recommend or otherwise the introduction of a government body to oversee and legislate the control of boxing in NSW. Eventually this was passed through parliament and the NSW Boxing Authority was formed. There were many kinks to be ironed out but finally a knowledgeable working body was finalized in NSW, and boxing in NSW was under Government control. The ANBF remained the sanctioning body for Australian Title contests and the compiler of official Australian ratings.
It was not long before other States followed suit and today all States, with the exception of Queensland and Tasmania are under Government control. As of June 2011 the State government control bodies are in NSW the Combat Sports Authority, in Victoria the Victorian Boxing and Combat Sport Board, in South Australia the xxxx, and in Western Australia the xxxxx.
The ANBF continues to sanction Australian title contests and to publish monthly issues of Australian professional ratings. The ANBF continues to be one of the prime bodies of boxing knowledge in Australia and to support boxing in Australia.