breakdown of boxing’s weight classes

Breakdown Of Boxing’s Weight-Classes

A boxer’s weight class is a predetermined weight range that is standardized for the sport. When determining a weight class’s lower limit, start with the max limit of the class under it and work your way down. Heavyweight refers to the highest weight class in pro boxing, which has no upper limit, whereas super heavyweight refers to the highest weight class in amateur fights. When a boxing bout is planned, it is often done so for a specific weight class, and the weight of either boxer must not exceed the allowed maximum. In addition, an amateur fighter’s weight must not be lower than the lower limit, although professional boxers are allowed to fight in weight classes that are higher than their own. A catchweight is a weight limit that deviates from the standard.

When it came to scheduling fights, weight classes were irrelevant in the past. The fight between the guys continued with no regard for the size disparity between them. This started to alter in the 1890s when the Marquess of Queensberry Rules were implemented, which standardized the way the sport was played everywhere. A little over 20 years later, owing to the National Sporting Club of London, eight classic weight divisions with precise boundaries were introduced. These weight classes included lightweight, heavyweight, middleweight, cruiserweight,  welterweight, flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight.

Since the heavyweight restriction used to be 160 lbs as far ago as the 1730s, the weight limits for several of the classes have varied over the years (or centuries). Historians will tell you that the limitation for the heavyweight division used to be 160 lbs. Boxing, on the other hand, has expanded quite a bit since the eighteenth century, and as a result, there are currently 17 different weight divisions in the sport. The fact that 3 of the 4 sanctioning bodies (WBC, WBA, and IBF) decided to standardize division labels in 2015 just added to the uncertainty that many casual fans already had. The WBO is the only sanctioning body that continues to handle things differently.

In total, there are seventeen weight divisions, ranging from heavyweight (more than 200 pounds) all the way down to minimumweight (less than 100 pounds) (105lbs). There are a whopping 68 boxing titles available for grabs because each boxing division has all four major belts to compete for. And there are currently over 50 distinct champions in the boxing world.

Different Boxing Weights Explained

Boxing is widely considered to be one of the sports that has been around the longest and is the most dangerous. Even though there have been professional fights going on for more than a century, the sport is more popular than ever right now. People will always enjoy watching two combatants go at it and punch each other in the face, even if it’s just for entertainment. That is something that may be appreciated by people from many walks of life.

You have arrived at the perfect destination if you have an interest in boxing but are curious in learning more about this thrilling sport. Having said that, due to the extensive selection of belts available, it is frequently unclear. In addition, there are multiple weight classes in boxing, each of which has its own set of titles that can be contested by competitors. But why is boxing conducted in this manner?

However, not all fighters are created equal from birth. It doesn’t matter how skilled they are, a fighter who is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, and weighs eight stone won’t be able to win against someone who is twice their size and weight. That has nothing to do with expertise; it’s merely the laws of physics. Boxing weight divisions were established for this same reason: to provide competitors with the opportunity to exhibit their skills against opponents who shared genetic characteristics with them. It results in significantly more entertaining battles as well as a greater number of fights for you to track.

Having an awareness of the essential distinctions that exist between the various weight classes in boxing makes it possible to take greater pleasure in watching the sport and to value the level of ability that is on exhibit. This guide to the various weight classes in boxing was compiled by our boxing specialists so that you can better understand the sport. Continue reading to find out what the differences are between these different classifications.

Why You Should Know the Different Boxing Weight Classes

After researching this topic, you should be able to differentiate between bantams and welters, and you will be able to use your knowledge to impress your friends. You’ll be prepared for the next time you’re watching boxing at a bar and someone asks, “what does it mean when somebody moves up a weight?”

The weight classes used in professional boxing may at first appear to be unclear; nevertheless, with the assistance of our specialists, you will be able to comprehend everything you need to know about the weight classes used in boxing. In a similar vein, when it comes time to place thrilling wagers at the sports betting sites that we have selected, you won’t be in the dark about what you’re putting your money on.


At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was no such thing as a standardized weight class. Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1823 stated that the maximum for a “lightweight” was Twelve stones (168 lbs), although Sportsman’s Slang published in the same year stated that the limit was 11 stones (154 pounds). Mismatches in terms of size were both hazardous for the boxer competing in the lower weight class and uninteresting for the fans watching the match. If standard weight classes were decided upon, only then could national and world titles become officially recognized. Crucial weight class specifications were made in 1909 by the National Sporting Club of London, and others were included in the Walker Law of 1920, which was the legislation that formed the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC).

Following the schism that occurred in the 1960s between the WBC and the WBA, the weight classes were lowered, which resulted in the creation of a greater number of champions at the same time and made it simpler for boxers to compete in multiple weight classes. Although the cutoff weights are standardized throughout all of the professional sanctioning bodies, the names of the new divisions are not. This is in contrast to the situation with the professional governing bodies. Because of America’s (and, previously, Britain’s) longstanding preeminence in the sport, the weights are given in pounds rather than any other unit.

So What Are The Weight Classes In Boxing?

breakdown of boxing’s weight classes2


Weight Limit: Unlimited

Boxers who weighed in at more than 160 pounds were eligible to compete in the heavyweight division, which was established by Jack Broughton in 1738. Boxers, on the other hand, may potentially weigh as much as they wish and still compete in the heavyweight division given that there is no weight limit for the division.

The weight at which a boxer is assumed to be a heavyweight fighter would be adjusted a few times over the course of the subsequent years, specifically in 1920 by the New York Walker Law to 175+ pounds, 190+ pounds in 1979 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), and at last by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Association (WBA), together to the current weight of 200+ pounds. People that are far heavier than average on this scale are sometimes referred to as super heavyweights.

Cruiserweight Division

Weight Limit: 200 lbs

A title once used to define light heavyweights, cruiserweights got their name from the explanation of battleships that were of a lighter construction rather than of maximum size. The cruiserweight class was first introduced in 1979 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), which set the weight limit at 190 pounds in order to provide more possibilities for boxers who were too light to compete against full-fledged heavyweights. The junior boxing world is another name for this division.

Marvin Camel, who had just won the empty North American Boxing Federation (NABF) cruiserweight title by easily beating Bill Sharkey over twelve rounds at the Adams Fieldhouse in Missoula, Montana, the United States of America on 5 June 1979), was scheduled to fight David Cabrera, and Mate Parlov was scheduled to fight Tony Mundine. These fights were set up by the WBC in order to determine who would become the champion. Camel faced Parlov, who had previously defeated Mundine over the course of 12 rounds at the Sports Palace in Gorizia, Italy, on September 26, 1979. Camel had previously knocked out Cabrera in the third round in the Villa Real Convention Centre in McAllen, Texas, USA on August 30, 1979.

Light Heavyweight

Weight Limit: 175 lbs

The light heavyweight division, which was established in 1913, has produced a number of notable boxers over the years. Arthur Beterbiev is a fighter who focuses on power and now owns the titles of both the WBC and the IBF. He has never lost a bout and has always won via knockout or an early stoppage. Joe Smith Jr., who holds the title of the WBO, and Dimitry Bivol, who holds the title of the WBA, are the two other current champions in this weight class. In spite of this, these boxers may soon find themselves up against formidable competition as other competitors, like Gilberto Ramirez, continue to rise in regard and rating.

Super Middleweight

Weight Limit: 168 lbs

One of the newest latest divisions, also recognized as the junior light heavyweight class, did not appear for quite some time. This was likely because the extremely prestigious middleweight division had been established for such a long period of time prior to the introduction of the junior light heavyweight class. It was first implemented in its current form by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) in 1984 as a means of expanding the chances available to competitors. In all honesty, it was severely needed due to the fact that a 15-pound weight discrepancy was holding many excellent guys back.

Although the International Boxing Federation should be given credit for expanding it to a complete international image, ‘world’ titles at 168 pounds had been awarded in the United States previously, even if they were not well known. Don Fullmer defeated Joe Hopkins and won an announced version of the twelve stone title on April 3, 1967, at the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. The bout was meant to last for 12 rounds, but Fullmer stopped Hopkins in the 6 round. On the other hand, there is little evidence to suggest that Fullmer ever viewed his new belt as anything other than a stepping stone for a shot at the middleweight championship.

5 years later, on November 25, 1974, at the Ohio State Fairground in Columbus, Ohio, Billy Douglas, the dad of Buster, knocked out Danny Brewer in the 2nd round of another announced 12-stone title fight. However, Billy Douglas had no attention to the artificial title whatsoever and decided to move on immediately following the match. Buster Douglas was born 5 years later.

Ernie Singletary and Murray Sutherland were announced as the nominations for the newly formed IBF’s first-ever championship fight. This was done in contrast to the World Athletic Association, which only awarded Jerry Halstead the title of champion in 1982. In that year, the World Athletic Association was a small minority group.


Weight Limit: 160 lbs.

Boxing’s middleweight division is among the most fragmented weight classes thanks to the fact that all four belts are now held by different competitors. Jermell Charlo, who now has the WBC title, will be discussed in greater detail later on, but Ryota Murata, Demetrius Andrade, and  Gennady Golovkin, currently hold the WBA, IBF, and WBO crowns, respectively. Due to the fact that the middleweight division has been in existence since 1884, it can be said that this is a weight division with a significant amount of history. As a result, a significant number of bettors follow fights in this division.

Junior Middleweight Division

Weight Limit: 154 lbs

Also because the difference in weight between welterweight and middleweight was too significant, the 147- to 154-pound weight class was not added to the professional ranks until 1962 according to the World Boxing Association (WBA). This weight class had been recognized by amateur boxers since 1951.  Boxers who compete in this weight class are sometimes referred to as super light middleweights or welterweights.

However, before the WBA could get a vacant title fight between Joey Giambra and Denny Moyer started, the Austrian Boxing Commission supported America’s  Emile Griffith and Ted Wright, the global welterweight champion who was having problems making 147 pounds, as being for their version of the championship. This bout was for their variant of the championship. In the end, the Austrians decided to go it alone despite the fact that they had wanted to receive backing from both the European Boxing Union (EBU) and the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC). However, they were unable to do so.


Weight Limit: 147 lbs

This boxing weight class is among the most entertaining to watch, despite the fact that even the boxing specialists among us aren’t entirely clear on what a “welter” is. Terrence Crawford had a lot of success in the lightweight class, where he was a champion, and continued to have success all the way up until he won the WBO welterweight title. Errol Spence Jr. is the other notable boxer competing in this weight class in the professional boxing circuit. The American fighter has fought twenty-seven times during the course of his career and comes into this battle with both the WBC and IBF crowns.

Junior Welterweight

Weight Limit: 140 lbs

This division, which is competed for by men weighing 135 to 140 pounds and who are sometimes referred to as light welterweights or super lightweights, came into prominence for the very first time in 1922 when Pinky Mitchell was declared world champion on November 15 as the consequence of a ‘poll’ taken by a weekly boxing journal in Minneapolis known as the Boxing Blade. Mitchell was in the lead with 100,800 votes compared to Harvey Thorpe’s 60,400 votes after there had been 20 names entered into the hat and 766,000 votes cast, a large number of which came from countries other than the United States.

After that, on the 16th of November 1922, it was officially confirmed that the publishing company would be awarding Mitchell a diamond-studded belt emblematic of the junior welterweight championship of the world. He would be asked to defend this title every 6 months vs a selected opponent in the name of the National Boxing Association. Following that, on the 17th of November 1922, Mitchell became the first boxer to win this title (NBA).


Weight Limit: 135 lbs

Even though matches in this boxing weight class have been entertaining since industrialization, the top competitors in this division ensure that it remains just as interesting as when it first began. Recently, the Australian champion George Kambosos Jr. caused a commotion in the division by capturing the championships held by the WBO, IBF, and WBA. The fighter has amassed an astounding twenty wins throughout his career with no losses to his name.

There is also Devin Haney, who is only 23 years old but already possesses the WBC title. Already, he has competed in twenty-seven bouts during the course of his career, which is greater than the majority of pros who are significantly older than he is. Moreover, he has successfully retained his title 4 times.

Junior Lightweight

Weight Limit: 130 lbs

If you exclude the light heavyweights from consideration, the 130-pound weight class, which is often referred to as the ultra featherweight division, was the first of the ‘junior’ divisions to crown a champion.

It was alleged in The Ring magazine in June of 1980 on page 73 that Fritz Schmidt, battling Benny Kid Berger, and Kid Nelson, all of whom were unknown fighters, had declared to be champions at 130 pounds in 1914. This cannot be confirmed, and it appears to be a work of fiction at this point. There is an extremely high level of probability that the fights that have been assigned to them in England did not take place. This info was apparently provided to the publication by Joe Nudelman, who competed in the same weight class as Nelson while he was the reigning lightweight champion.


Weight Limit: 126 lbs

It is difficult to identify a dominant boxer in this weight class because there are a number of elite competitors competing at the same time. Emanuel Navarrete, who currently holds the WBO belt and is ranked as the top boxer by a prominent American boxing newspaper called “The Ring,” is arguably the most formidable opponent. Despite this, Gary Russell Jr. (WBC) and Leo Santa Cruz (WBA) do not even make it into the top 10 of The Ring’s rankings, which ultimately demonstrates how difficult this weight class is. Kiko Martinez has been around the block, and the veteran has suffered a few defeats along the way, yet he still manages to hold the IBF belt.

The most profitable betting chances can be found in boxing’s more competitive divisions, especially the featherweight class. Be careful to brush up on your betting skills before going to any of the sports betting sites that we have listed and putting in any wagers.

Junior Featherweight Division

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Weight Limit: 122 lbs

The International Sporting Club, which was situated in New York City, made the suggestion on January 24, 1920, that the 122-pound weight class should be one of the 13 weight classes that were used in New York City. This category is also recognized as the super bantamweight division. But despite the fact that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) approved of it on September 1, 1920, it was never used as a championship weight. The likely reason for this is that Johnny Kilbane was still claiming the 122-pound featherweight title at the time.


Weight Limit: 118 lbs

Even though battles in the bantamweight class have been going on since the 1800s, Naoya Inoue is without a doubt the best boxer in this weight class at the moment. The Japanese boxer has never lost a fight in his professional career and now holds titles from both the IBF and the WBA. This includes successfully defending his belts 4 and 3 times, respectfully, and boasting an incredible nineteen knockout victories in his career.

Super Flyweight

Weight Limit: 115 lbs

The only weight class other than super flyweight in which 1 of the 4 recognized titles remains unclaimed is super flyweight. Juna Francisco Estrada, Jerwin Ancajas, and Kazuto Ioka currently hold the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles respectively. Juna Francisco Estrada currently has the WBC title. There will be a four-way showdown between Estrada and three other highly skilled Super Flyweight boxers to determine who will be the next WBC champion. Estrada was the former holder of the WBC championship, but this competition will choose the new champion.


Weight Limit: 112 lbs

Although it was the last of the original weight classes to be established, the flyweight category did not have a champion crowned until 1916. Notable winners include Masahiko “Fighting” Harada,  Roman Gonzalez, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Yuri Arbachakov, and Julio Cesar Martinez.

Light Flyweight

Weight Limit: 108 pounds

Hiroto Kyoguchi is the boxer that The Ring considers to be the greatest in the light flyweight class. The division has had a number of excellent boxers over the years. It is easy to understand why this is the case given that the Japanese boxer has never been defeated in his professional career and currently holds the WBA belt. His primary adversaries are Masamichi Yabuki, Felix Alvarado, and Jonathan Gonzalez, who have titles from the WBO and IBF respectively (WBC). These other boxers have been defeated in at least one of their matches, while Kyoguchi has not. In addition to this, Kyoguchi has accomplished this feat while successfully protecting his title 3 times.


Weight Limit:105 lbs

The youngest category in boxing is also the division with the lowest weight limit. Ricardo Lopez, Wanheng Menayothin, Yutaka Niida, and Knockout CP Freshmart are among the notable champions who have competed.


What Do The Weights Mean In Boxing?

Boxing gloves are not described in terms of their dimensions, but rather their weight in ounces. Twelve, fourteen, and sixteen ounces are the common weights for boxing gloves. The weight of each glove, measured in ounces, provides an indication of the amount of protection that is still present between your hand and the player you are playing (or the punching bag).

What Are The 8 Divisions In Boxing?

In the past, there were eight different divisions in boxing. In boxing, weight classes are designated as follows: heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, lightweight,  featherweight, and  flyweight.

What Are The Weight Categories In Boxing?

Boxing features 17 separate weight classes, each of which is intended to create a level playing field for the sport’s many competitors. The fight class begins at 105 pounds and continues to increase in weight until it reaches more than 200 pounds for the heavyweight division. Boxers of all shapes and sizes are able to participate thanks to the varying weight classes.

Can Lightweight Fight Heavyweight In A Boxing Match?

That is not impossible. I’ve gone head to head with heavyweights who were just starting out in the sport, and I easily prevailed over them owing to the vast gap in our skill levels. When a lightweight fighter who is one of the best p4p boxers in the world faces up against the least competent heavyweight, I would guess that the differential is comparable to what you would see in that matchup. However, the danger is not eliminated.

Why Are There So Many Weight Classes In Boxing?

The central arguments have to do with fairness and safety — two of the sport’s core values. Those values led to the adoption of the original eight weight classes. Later, boxing added nine more classes to foster a more competitive environment.


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