Associazione Pugilistica Professionistica Europea

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The Associazione Pugilistica Professionistica Europea evolved from the former International Boxing Union. With the outbreak of World War I, the IBU had suspended operations, but resumed action on February 5, 1920--this time headquartered in Paris.

On 3 June 1942, FIBA, the world body for amateur boxers, met in Rome. According to the 1940 "Extraordinary Congress," Germany was to have been the host of the 1942 first world championship tournament for amateurs. But the war interfered with that plan. So Italy was appointed the site of the 1943 European championships. (In the spring of 1942 Breslau hosted a version of the European championships that were not generally recognized.)

By early 1942 the IBU was in the hands of the German Nazis and Italian Fascists. On 5 June 1942, the Associazione Pugilistica Professionistica Europea (APPE) was formally established, replacing the IBU. The lira was adopted as the official currency for bout and congress fees. Vittorio Mussolini, eldest son of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, was declared the APPE's first President. The first official meeting of the APPE's steering committee was held June 7, who recognized the following European champions: Urbinati (fly), Bondavalli (bantam and feather), Botta (light), vacant (welter), Besselmann (middle), Musina (light-heavy), and Max Schmeling (heavy).

The APPE also changed the division weights, adopting the kilogram, and abolishing the "hated" pounds: 51 kilos (fly), 54 (bantam), 58 (feather), 62 (light), 67 (junior middle--abolishing the term "welter"), 73 (middle), 80 (light-heavy), and 80-plus (heavy). Ultimately, all European bouts held under the APPE's aegis were matched at these weights until December 1944.

It was planned that after the Axis won World War II, the APPE would be transformed into the APPI, with Rome as its seat. But by December 1, 1944, the IBU/APPE was extinct. The British Boxing Board of Control and the newly-formed French FFB tried to constitute a new European body--the European Boxing Association (EBA)--but other countries protested, because the two veteran countries would have reintroduced the principle that the European Champion would be decided by a bout between British and French champions. Instead, in 1946, from the ashes of the APPE, the European Boxing Union (EBU) came into being.

Information courtesy of Mr. Gherardo Bonini.