The Australian National Boxing Federation (ANBF) was formed in 1965, originally named the Australian Boxing Federation (ABF). The architect of the formation was leading trainer Jack Rennie.
Jack, along with other prominent industry participants of the day felt the need for a governing body to oversee the pay, conditions and global opportunities for Australian professional boxing which until then had been under the complete control of Stadiums Ltd.
The plan was to create a body to govern the game fairly in a similar manner to the British Boxing Board of Control did in Britain, a control board by agreement of the trade and not by government appointment.
It took many years for the ABF to increase its membership but over time interest in the ideals of the organisation grew. Members created state branches and set about introducing the ideals of the ABF within the sport, convincing professional boxers and industry participants to become members to improve the governance of the sport. Delegates from state branches would meet at annual conferences where problems were passionately debated and common solutions agreed.
In 1980, Jack Rennie, who was Vice President at the time attended the Oriental Boxing Federation (OBF) annual conference in Japan to seek affiliation of the ABF with that body and other worldwide bodies for Australia. At that time Australia had no membership or vote at Commonwealth or other world organisations meetings.
The following year, now President, Jack Rennie 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 if the ABF’s leading office bearers were not boxing trainers. The delegation also had talks with the World Boxing Council (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 Australian professional boxers to participate in these titles.
The membership also led to the appointment of Australian ring officials to gain experience outside of Australia at these title contests. Around this period the ABF altered its name to the Australian National Boxing Federation (ANBF) and later became a registered company.
One of the major victories for the ANBF was reaffirming its claim as the peak Australian sanctioning body after winning a court case legally declaring the ANBF as the recognised governing body and legal owner of the Australian Championships making the ANBF the official ratings body for Australian boxing.
Over recent years State Governments have introduced legislation to oversee and regulate the sport. Except for Queensland and Tasmania, the sport of professional boxing is now under government control to promote health and safety within the sport and uphold the integrity of professional boxing in Australia.
The ANBF remains the sanctioning body for Australian title contests, is considered the peak body for professional boxing in Australia and the official compiler of Australian ratings.