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An Overview Of Boxing Weight Divisions

Updated on December 22, 2009
Overview Of Boxing Weight Classes
Overview Of Boxing Weight Classes

The Overview

Boxing is an exciting but brutal sport. Two men stand in a ring, toe to toe, and fight until one of them either is lying on the canvas or the fight ends and three judges decide the winner. Bigger fighters have more weight behind the punch and therefore inflict more damage when they hit someone. Smaller fighters tend to not hit as hard but are faster and can move around the ring better than their heavier counterparts. To protect fighters and to make for evenly matched fights, boxers are divided in the weight classes.

Fighters tend to move up and down different weight classes depending on their age, training and possibility of bigger money. While the names of different weight classes change depending on the governing body of particular titles, according to the rules that govern the Summer Olympics, the following are the eleven different weight classes in boxing.

The Super Heavyweight
The Super Heavyweight
Mike Tyson: Former Heavyweight Champion Of The World
Mike Tyson: Former Heavyweight Champion Of The World
Muhammed Ali: Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight
Muhammed Ali: Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight

The Big Guys

Super Heavyweight

A super heavyweight boxer is someone who weighs in over 200 pounds. The class was first introduced in the 1984 games in Los Angeles to combat the growing concern smaller heavyweights could no longer compete with men who weighed well over two hundred pounds. Professional boxing made the same split but created a new class for smaller heavyweights called Cruiserweights.

Notable Super Heavyweights who won Olympic Gold are Tyrell Briggs, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko.

Heavyweight

The Heavyweight division is the most well known weight class in boxing. In the amateur ranks, a heavyweight is a fighter who weighs in between 178 and 200 pounds. In the professional rank, a heavyweight in any fighter who weighs over 200 pounds.

Notable heavyweights have been Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis.

Light Heavyweight

A light heavyweight boxer is any fighter that weighs between 165 and 178 pounds. Light Heavyweights many times when they turn professional attempt to fight as a heavyweight for the lure of more money for each fight. However, not until Michael Spinks successfully won both the light heavyweight and heavyweight championships did light heavyweights fare well.

Notable light heavyweights have been Muhammad Ali and Michael Spinks.

Middleweight: Sugar Ray Leonard
Middleweight: Sugar Ray Leonard
Welterweight: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Welterweight: Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The Average Joe

Middleweight

A Middleweight fighter is any boxer who weighs in between 152 and 165 pounds. While faster than a heavyweight, middleweights still are able to throw power punches and tend to be more exiting fights than their heavier counterparts.

Notable Middleweights have been Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.

Welterweight

A Welterweight boxer is any fighter who weighs in between 141 and 152 pounds. Welterweights are known for the speed and high punch numbers in a bout. Sugar Ray Robinson is considered the greatest Welterweight of all time.

Other notable welterweights are Zab Judah, Arturo Gatti and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Light Welterweight

A light welterweight fighter weighs in between 132 and 141 pounds. The light welterweight class is also known as the junior welterweight or super lightweight division. The first champion was Pinky Mitchell in 1926. Notable light welterweight fighters are Julio Ceser Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, and Manny Pacquiao.

 

Lightweight: Julio Cesar Chavez
Lightweight: Julio Cesar Chavez
Featherweight: Manny Pacquiao
Featherweight: Manny Pacquiao

The Little Guys

Lightweight

A Lightweight fighter weighs in between 125 and 132 pounds. It is common for lightweight fighters to also fight in the light welterweight division. Notable lightweight fighters have been Julio Ceser Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, and Manny Pacquiao.

Featherweight

A featherweight fighter weighs in between 119 and 125 pounds. Notable featherweights have been Érik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Manny Pacquiao, and Juan Manuel Márquez.

Bantamweight

A Bantamweight fighter weighs in between 112 and 119 pounds. Chappie Moran and Tommy Kelly were the first to fight a bantamweight title fight in 1889. Notable bantamweights are Naseem Hamed and Akhil Kumar.

Flyweight

Flyweight fighters weigh in between 106 and 112 pounds. The flyweight division was the last traditional boxing division to be established. Before the division was created all fighters below featherweight were considered bantamweight. Notable flyweights include Pascual Perez and Manny Pacquiao.

Light Flyweight

Light Flyweight boxers weigh in under 106 pounds. Notable flyweights include Michael Carbajal and Humberto Gonzalez.

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