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Boxing Weight Classes Explained

A boxer's weight range is their "weight class" in boxing. When determining a weight category's lower limit, start with the category's upper limit and work your way down. For example, heavyweight refers to the highest weight class in professional boxing, which has no upper limit, whereas super heavyweight refers to the highest weight class in amateur boxing. 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. An amateur boxer's weight must stay above the lower limit, although professional boxers can compete in weight classes higher than their own. A catchweight is a weight limit that deviates from the standard.

There are 17 weight classes in boxing, ranging from the little 105-pound dynamos to the heavyweight giants weighing in at 200 or 300 pounds. The number of weight classes has increased from the initial eight (flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, junior middleweight, and heavyweight) to the current 17 (flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, middleweight, junior middleweight, and heavyweight). This change was made to reduce the number of mismatches that occur between opponents of different sizes.

Boxers may compete in multiple bouts, each of which may be held in a different weight class. As people advance in their careers, they typically advance to higher-level positions as they age. A noteworthy accomplishment is being a "multiple champions" by taking first place in more than one weight division. Boxers compete at their "natural" weight in amateur bouts, which are significantly shorter and far more frequent than those in professional boxing.

It is said that one boxer is better than another "pound for pound" if it is believed that the former is superior, although they are of different weights. Comparisons of the abilities of athletes competing in different weight classes are a popular topic among boxing fans. This type of comparison has the same kind of speculative appeal as comparing athletes competing in different eras; in both scenarios, the athletes could never actually compete against one another in the ring.

In theory, this creates a safer environment for competitive boxing matches and offers a chance for fighters who would otherwise be too small or too large for one of the original divisions to become champions. In practice, this creates an opportunity for fighters who would otherwise be too small or too large for one of the original divisions.

In this section, we analyse each weight class in its current state, taking note of the historically dominant fighters regarded as the finest in their category by historians and the news-making fighters now competing in that weight class. But first, take some time to learn more about our boxing courses and our organisation.

Weigh-In Explained

A boxer over the weight limit may have to strip naked to make the weight limit if the excess is minimal. If the excess is significant, however, the boxer will have to try again later, typically after losing weight in the interim by dehydrating themselves through vigorous exercise in a steam room. If the boxer participates in a professional bout, the boxer will have to try again later. If the boxer has a significant amount of weight to lose, the effort that they put into trying to "make weight" may render them unfit for the actual battle. In situations like this, the bout could be called off with the overweight boxer still getting a sanction, or it might go on as a catchweight fight that doesn't count for the title.

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) employs a singular approach to the weigh-in process for championship bouts. The boxers are required to go through a weight check the morning of the fight and make the weight at the official weigh-in the day before the fight. During this second and final weigh-in, the participant in the fight may not exceed the weight limit by more than 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) higher than their starting weight. If a boxer does not show up for the morning weigh-in or cannot make weight, the fight can still place, but the IBF title will not be on the line. Even though there is no higher weight limit in the heavyweight division, the second weigh-in is still required for title fights at this weight class. However, a boxer can only be penalized for failing to submit to the weigh-in if caught doing so.

There is no second chance for an amateur boxer to try to make weight after the initial weigh-in; they must be successful the first time. Before the beginning of the competition, there is a "general weigh-in", and on the morning of each fighter's fight, there is a "daily weigh-in".  The competitor's weight must be within the weight class's upper and lower limitations at the general weigh-in. However, only the higher limit is strictly enforced at the daily weigh-in. If there is enough room in the tournament, a competitor who weighs in over the limit at the preliminary weigh-in could be permitted to compete in a different class instead. At big competitions like the Olympic boxing tournament, one boxer from each nation can compete in each weight division.

List Of Weight Classes

Straw-weight (Minimum Weight)

Weight Limit: 105 pounds

Top historical boxers: Historians almost unanimously agree that Ricardo Lopez of Mexico was the greatest minimum-weight fighter in history. His boxing career ended with a perfect record of 51-0-1, which includes a decade-long reign as champion and 22 successful title defences against tough competition. Ivan Calderon, the slick-moving leader of Cuba, and Chana Porpaoin, the leader of Thailand, are two more prominent figures.

Top fighters today: Former Muay Thai boxer became Muay Thai boxer Knockout CP, one of today's top fighters. It's safe to say that Freshmart is currently the best straw-weight marauder on the face of the globe and has the funniest boxing nickname. Freshmart the Freshmartini (his given name is Thammanoon Niyomtrong). Outside of the borders of the United States, Wanheng Menayothin and Byron Rojas are also leading challengers in a division that is among the most popular.

Junior Flyweight

Weight Limit: 108 pounds

Top historical boxers: Jung-Koo Chang was a hard-hitting South Korean dynamo who ruled the 1980s with an iron fist. Michael Carbajal's superb technical skill and thunderous power punching against Chiquita Gonzalez in 1993 probably garnered newfound division respect among mainstream boxing fans. Both of these fighters are considered to be among the top historical boxers. Both are regarded as all-time greats in boxing and are adored to the same degree.

Top fighters today: Unbeaten Japanese boxers Ken Shiro and Kosei Tanaka appear to be on the cusp of establishing themselves as household stars in their native land. They are among the top fighters competing today. In the meantime, Pedro Guevara of Mexico continues to be an interesting choice in a weight class typically associated with fighters from countries other than the United States.

Girl Boxer


Weight Limit: 112 pounds

Top historical boxers: Jimmy Wilde, a boxer from Great Britain, is widely regarded as one of the sport's most accomplished competitors. At the time of his retirement in 1923, he was one of the sport's most revered boxers, and he still maintains the record for the longest victory streak in boxing, with 103 victories in a row. A striking example of this is Mexico's Pancho Villa, who passed away at the young age of 23 yet established himself as one of the most accomplished fighters in the sport's history in just three years of professional competition.

Top fighters today: Although many of the top stars in the flyweight division have increased in weight in the past year or two, Japanese fighters Kazuto Ioka and Daigo Higa, along with Filipino bottle rocket Donnie Nietes, still provide plenty of action-packed excitement for fans of the flyweight division.

Junior Bantamweight

Weight Limit: 115 pounds

Top historical combatants: During the decade of the 1980s, the junior bantamweight division was rife with exciting matches, the best of which came from Thailand. The powerfully muscled Khaosai Galaxy successfully defended his belt 19 times during that period, while the tough-guy Gilberto Roman demonstrated the division in a complementing fashion, helping to make the era one of the best in the annals of the 115-pound weight class.

Top fighters of today: The competition at junior bantamweight is just as impressive as it was in the past. Roman Gonzalez, a longstanding kingpin of the tiny fighter division, was dethroned as the top fighter in the division by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. The uncompromising Juan Francisco Estrada and the "Little Monster" Naoya Inoue round out a field of four competitors on par with others in their sport.


Weight Limit: 118 pounds

Top historical combatants: Eder Jofre, a Brazilian bantamweight who fought approximately 80 times and only lost twice, is typically considered the best fighter in history at 118 pounds. He suffered only two defeats in his career. He finished his career with fifty knockouts thanks to the remarkable power he showed throughout his career. In the meantime, his contemporaries regarded George Dixon as the greatest boxer of the 19th century. Dixon was the first African-American athlete ever to win a world championship in the sport.

Top fighters right now: Up-and-coming stars Ryan Burnett and Luis Nery are working hard to secure a piece of the title pie for themselves before the impending invasion of Rungvisai, Inoue, and Estrada makes their jobs more difficult than they've ever been. Juan Carlos Payano and Rau'shee Warren, both of whom have previously held the title, remain formidable competitors in their respective divisions.

Junior Featherweight (Super Bantamweight)

Weight Limit: 122 pounds

Top historical combatants: During the golden age of the 122-pound weight class, which spanned the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mexican rivals Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales established themselves as two of the sport's top contenders of all time. Nevertheless, Wilfredo Gomez, a heavy-handed, ultra-competitive, technically gifted boxer who ruled the roost 20 years earlier, was most likely the best junior featherweight ever. He was a legend in his own time.

The best boxers working today: The junior featherweight class has been dominated for the past three years by the unbeaten Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux, the lineal champion. Everyone else has been on the outside looking in. The cunning southpaw is lightning-quick, a powerhouse, and a master of his profession. However, other well-known fighters have yet to stop themselves from trying to steal his dominance due to his ability to win effortlessly against any opposition. Jessie Magdaleno and Rey Vargas are relatively new names, but they can potentially turn the tide shortly.


Weight Limit: 126 pounds

Top historical combatants: Willie Pep is regarded as the finest featherweight of all time and the greatest defensive boxer in history. He competed in the sport from 1927 until his retirement in 1965. Even against historically significant war machines like Sandy Saddler, whom Pep defeated in 1949 when Pep was clearly past his prime, his fancy footwork and unbelievable dodging skills made him a nightmare for offensive-minded opponents. His fancy footwork and unbelievable dodging skills made him a nightmare for offensive-minded opponents.

Top fighters of today: Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton, who have faced each other in a two-fight series, lead a stacked featherweight landscape full of vicious characters. These two fighters have split against each other. Gary Russell Jr.'s incredible quickness, great physical specimen, and the well-travelled Abner Mares help this division with many exciting stylistic clashes that fans can look forward to enjoying for the next few years.

Junior Lightweight (Super Featherweight)

Weight Limit: 130 pounds

Top historical fighters: The most recent historically great junior lightweight was Floyd Mayweather Jr. He was most aggressive at 130 pounds, where his natural athletic skill against similar-sized opponents was just too much to handle. But with fellow greats Alexis Arguello, Julio Cesar Chavez and Flash Elorde being so exceptional at what they did, it’s hard to pinpoint any one fighter being particularly better than another.

Top fighters today: Most experts consider titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko to be pound-for-pound elite. The perfectly balanced southpaw technician blends precise timing with expert footwork to overwhelm most everyone he has fought to date. But older stalwart Orlando Salido, a ferocious combination puncher, still looms large as a threat to Lomachenko by his decision win over Loma in 2014.


Weight Limit: 135 pounds

Top historical fighters: The lightweight division has never seen a fighter of Roberto Duran's calibre come out of Panama. He was untouchable. At 135 pounds, he possessed the ideal combination of viciousness and talent, making him almost impossible to defeat. Benny Leonard, a boxing maestro of the highest order, and Joe Gans, a pioneering technical savant, exemplify historically fantastic lightweights.

Top fighters today: Mikey Garcia has reaffirmed his hold on the lightweight mantle after a brief interruption caused by promotional problems. Garcia has done this by continuing to demonstrate precise technical proficiency and artistic movement. It puts Garcia among the top fighters in the world today. In the meantime, the athletically gifted Jorge Linares is riding a wave of resurgent excellence to stake his claim to being one of the top lightweights in the world at this time. Linares is making his claim while riding a wave of resurgent excellence.

Junior Welterweight (Super Lightweight)

Weight Limit: 140 pounds

Top historical fighters: Aaron Pryor was a formidable boxer-puncher who ran roughshod over the junior welterweight competition in the early 1980s. He was included in our list of the top historical fighters. However, because he was so talented and feared, he could not secure fights against other greats of the same weight class during that era, such as Sugar Ray Leonard. Julio Cesar Chavez, regarded as one of the greatest junior lightweights, was an equally deadly opponent when he competed in the junior welterweight division.

The best boxers working today: Terence Crawford, the current Lineal Champion, is a well-oiled fighting machine. He can fight just as dangerously from the orthodox posture as he does from the southpaw stance, and he has a propensity for delivering concussive results. Mikey Garcia and Sergey Lipinets are two more notable competitors in the junior welterweight division.

Boxer Gloves Up


Weight Limit: 147 pounds

Top historical fighters: Names like Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, and Sugar Ray Leonard are among the most historically significant welterweights. Although recent history has provided us with impressive fighters like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, the most powerful fighters in boxing history have been welterweights. In particular, Robinson is often regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, regardless of weight category. He was nimble, in good health, and could knock out his opponents with either hand.

Top fighters of today: Errol Spence and Keith Thurman are considered the best welterweights in the world. Spence is a vicious body puncher with outstanding reflexes and a dash of vindictiveness. Thurman is a boxer-puncher with incredible knockout power in his right hand and gliding footwork. Other notable fighters in the welterweight division include Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and an increasingly rusty Manny Pacquiao.

Junior Middleweight (Super Welterweight Or Light Middleweight)

Weight Limit: 154 pounds

Top historical fighters: Contemporaries who never battled each other to settle the score, both Thomas Hearns and Mike McCallum, are candidates for the best junior middleweight belt ever, but they have never fought. Top Historical Fighters The time that Hearns spent at the weight was relatively short but truly remarkable. So said, his boxing prowess and hitting strength at the weight made it nearly impossible for anyone to defeat him. McCallum was an exception in a certain sense because he was exceptional in almost every game element. In addition, he was an all-around great player.

Top fighters of today: Southpaw Cuban Erislandy is currently one of the best fighters in the world. Many fight fans are beginning to speculate that former stablemate Jermell Charlo may have surpassed Lara as the toughest opponent in the division due to his recent power surge. Lara has long been considered the best of the bunch. However, Charlo's recent power surge has many fans wondering if Charlo has surpassed Lara. On the other hand, Jarrett Hurd is ridiculously enormous for the category, and he has been chopping down his competitors like they are trees. The weapon of choice here is the Hurd.


Weight Limit: 160 pounds

Top historical boxers: Carlos Monzon and Marvin Hagler had fantastic title reigns as middleweight champions. However, this historically deep weight class also includes the likes of an older but still fantastic Sugar Ray Robinson and a young and ethereally exceptional Roy Jones Jr., as some of the best fighters to ever compete in the middleweight division. When you add Bernard Hopkins's technical accuracy and lengthy title reign to the mix, you have one of the most impressive collections of divisional talent in the annals of boxing history.

Top fighters of today: Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fought to a draw in September, leaving many people uncertain as to who is the finest middleweight in the world at present. Top Fighters Today: Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, Billy Joe Saunders and Daniel Jacobs are performing at their best in their respective fights. It appears that the middleweight category will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future, and any of those four fighters have a legitimate shot at winning the championship.

Super Middleweight

Weight Limit: 168 pounds

Top historical competitors: Two of the most impressive examples of super middleweight brilliance have emerged in recent history. Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward retired at the pinnacle of their sport, having never been defeated. Calzaghe was a boxer with a distinctive rhythm and cadence who had lightning-fast hands and delivered blistering punches. Boxing's purest form is called "pure fundamentals", and Ward epitomised that ideal. His form was flawless, rivalling that of any competitor in history, and he possessed deceiving power in both hands.

Top fighters of today: Unbeaten Mexican boxer among the best active competitors today, Gilberto Ramirez is a man who is constantly on the move. In the coming years, he and James DeGale, George Groves, and Chris Eubank Jr. should contribute to producing engaging and high-calibre boxing exhibitions. However, while Ramirez typically brings the most offensive firepower to the table, the other three competitors are typically more adept at picking their locations.

Light Heavyweight

Weight Limit: 175 pounds

Top historical competitors: Ezzard Charles fought a who's who of sturdy competition at 175 pounds throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s to make his claim as the best of a generation. As a result, Ezzard Charles is considered one of the top historical fighters. And what a generation they turned out to be. Archie Moore, Charles Burley, and Joey Maxim were some of Charles' rivals in this battle. In the meantime, the great Michael Spinks of the 1980s proved to be the best of a tough lot and finally became the first light heavyweight to earn the heavyweight crown in 1985. Michael Spinks won the title in 1985.

Top fighters of today: Lethal punching southpaws are among today's top fighters. Although Adonis Stevenson has been the lineal champion at 175 pounds for a significant amount of time, the fact that he chooses to fight only lame-duck opponents after lengthy layoffs is unsettling. The real favourite among the fans is Sergey Kovalev, a smart power puncher who is also vicious. He throws his punches with a vicious aim and is skilled at leading his opponents into his strong hands. In addition, the inclusion of rapidly emerging stars Artur Beterbiev and Dimitri Bivol should make 175 much more exciting than it already was.


Weight Limit: 200 pounds

Top historical competitors: The fact that Evander Holyfield is generally considered the best cruiserweight ever is one of boxing's lesser-known facts to a mainstream sports audience. Yet, this is one of the historical fighters that is considered to be the best cruiserweight ever. In the 1980s, Holyfield established his dominance over the division and brought it together in a way that had never been accomplished before. Holyfield's accomplishment was only equalled in the 2000s by David Haye, another outstanding cruiserweight of that decade, who captured all of the main title belts in the category.

Top fighters of today: The cruiserweight category is known for producing some of the most exciting fights. However, it can be difficult for American fans to track fights on television because the sport has become more of an international phenomenon. Therefore, it would appear that Oleksandr Usyk of the Ukraine and Murat Gassiev of Russia are the greatest cruiserweights competing today. Other prominent competitors include Denis Lebedev and Krzysztof Glowacki, both veterans.


Weight Limit: Unlimited

Boxer Punching Bag

Top historical competitors: Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali are considered the best heavyweights of all time. Many people believe Louis is the best offensive fighter ever, and he still maintains the record for successfully defending his titles 25 times. On the other hand, Ali had lightning-fast hands and outstanding reflexes, which helped him win the heavyweight title three times during what is often considered the best time period for the division. Other historically great heavyweights include Jack Johnson, the first black person to win the heavyweight title; Jack Dempsey, a boxer whose popularity in the early 20th century rivalled that of baseball's Babe Ruth; and Rocky Marciano, the only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated and stay retired that way. Other historically great heavyweights include Joe Louis, the only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated and stay retired that way.

Top fighters of today: Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are widely regarded as the two best heavyweights competing in the world. Top Fighters Today Joshua is a large, strong, and fundamentally sound heavyweight who compares well to Lennox Lewis, a previous all-time great who lays claim to a portion of the heavyweight championship. Each of these fighters claims a share of the heavyweight championship. Wilder, on the other hand, is a physical anomaly with incredible hitting power in both hands. Cuba's Luis Ortiz and New Zealand's Joseph Parker are both hot commodities in a class that is becoming increasingly interesting. In addition, the former lineal champion Tyson Fury is still working toward making a comeback.

Are boxing weight classes limited by height or reach?

Weight — not height or reach — determines boxing weight classifications. Weight divisions provide fair competition depending on the fighter's weight. However, taller or longer boxers may be better at landing strikes from a distance. Boxers are still classified by weight.

Can boxers switch weight classes several times?

Boxers can change weight classes many times. Fighters who have won titles in their current weight class often try out other weight classes. To fight in a new weight class, boxers must carefully assess, train, and modify their strength, speed, and endurance.

Can boxers fight in multiple weight classes?

Boxers cannot fight in various weight divisions. Boxers must pick a weight class. Boxers can move up or down weight classes throughout their careers if they meet the weight restrictions. Multiple weight classes would give an unfair advantage and destabilise divisions.

What happens if a boxer misses a weight class?

The boxing organization's rules determine what happens if a boxer doesn't make weight. Fines or fight cancellations may result. The overweight boxer may lose a percentage of their price or be ineligible to win the title if their opponent makes weight. Boxers must follow weight limits to preserve the sport.

Can boxers switch weight classes?

Fighters often change weight to challenge for new titles. However, switching weight classes requires careful planning. Boxers may need to adapt their training, nutrition, and conditioning to reach the new weight class.

Frequenly Asked Questions about boxing weight classes

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