Boxing is one of the world’s favorite sports. In fact, the popularity of this past time has spread all over the US, Europe, Africa and even in Asia.
In this article, we will talk about a key component for both professional 0and amateur matches – what the different weight categories are in boxing.
Which boxing weight class am I in?
Anyone who wants to take up boxing lessons as a form of exercise or planning to take on the sport at a competitive level must know their weight class.
A weight class is a measurement weight range for all boxers. In a competition, separating boxers through weight division will assure everyone gets a fair fight.
There are two types of boxers in the world of competitive boxing, professionals and amateurs.
Amateurs in this context does not mean “bad”, it just means that they do not compete for sponsors or prize money. Boxers who fight at the Olympics and other tournaments representing their country are considered amateur and have a different weight categorization compared to professional fighters.
It should be noted that professional boxers are paid to fight through sponsors and boxing promoters while amateur boxers might only receive allowances and compensation from their respective government.
History of Boxing Weight Category
When boxing was in its infancy in the eighteenth century, there was no boxing weight categories. This resulted in a lot of size mismatches and one-sided fight.
This was very dangerous to a boxer with smaller size and it was not satisfying to the viewing audience.
To address this issue, the National Sporting Club of London in 1909 required all national titles to have standard weight classes in order to be recognized.
This was also stated in the Walker Law of 1920, which established the New York State Athletic Commission.
In professional boxing, sanctioning bodies spent the 1960’s on narrowing those weight categories and creating more weight classes. They meant to make it easier for fighters to transfer from one weight category to another.
Amateur Boxing Weight Categories
AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association) is the world governing body of amateur boxing.
The association is in charge of the boxing competitions in the Olympics, Boxing World championships, and all continental games.
Below are the different weight categories of boxing in the amateur rank set by AIBA for men, women, and junior (15-16 yrs. old) divisions.
It is the lightest weight category in the amateur system.
It is only applicable in the junior division, and the boxer should weigh not more than 46 kilograms or 101.4 pounds during the weigh-in.
The boxers on the men’s side should weigh no more than 49 kilograms or 108 pounds, and the women’s and junior’s side should be lighter than 48 kilograms or 105.8 pounds during the weigh-in.
The boxers on the men’s side should weigh no more than 52 kilograms or 114.6 pounds, while the women’s side should not weigh more than 51 kilograms or 112.4 pounds.
In the junior division, the weight should not be more than 50 kilograms or 110.2 pounds when measured during the weigh-in.
This one is only applicable only to the junior division. The weight limit is 52 kilograms or 114.6 pounds during the time of the weigh-in.
For the men’s side, the boxer’s weight limit is 56 kilograms or 123.5 pounds during the weigh-in.
In the women and the junior division, the weight limit is 54 kilograms or 110.0 pounds.
This weight class is only applicable to the women and junior divisions. The weight limit is 57 kilograms or 125.7 pounds.
The men, women, and junior divisions in this category has a weight limit of 60 kilograms or 132.3 pounds.
The men’s side of this category has a weight limit of 64 kilograms or 141.1 pounds.
In the junior division, the weight limit is set at 63 kilograms or 138.9 pounds. There is no women’s division in this weight category.
Boxers in the men’s side in this category should weigh no more than 69 kilograms or 152.1 pounds.
On the women’s side, the weight limit is 64 kilograms or 141.1 pounds while in the junior division the weight limit is set at 66 kilograms or 145.5 pounds.
This weight category is only for the women’s and junior division.
The women’s weight limit is set at 69 kilograms or 152.1 pounds while in the junior division it is set at 70 kilograms or 154.3 pounds.
The men‘s and women’s division has the same weight limit in this category and is set at 75 kilograms or 165.3 pounds, while the junior division is at 74 kilograms or 163.1 pounds.
The men’s and women’s division is set at 81 kilograms or 178.6 pounds, while the junior division is at 80 kilograms or 176.4 pounds.
The men’s division is set at 91 kilograms or 200.6 pounds while for women and junior division the weight is unlimited or above the light heavyweight limit.
The heaviest weight category in the amateur ranks and is only applicable in the men’s division.
The weight limit is unlimited or above the heavyweight limit.
Getting the weight measurement (weigh-in) of the boxers in the amateur rank is usually done on a specific day before the competition starts.
A boxer will have to make the weight limit or they will disqualified from the competition.
Another weigh-in will be done during the “morning” before the boxer’s fight.
Professional Boxing Weight Category
The weight category of the professional boxers differs from that of the amateur rank. It should be noted that the major professional boxing organizations (WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF) call some weight categories by different names.
Below you will find the weight categories of professional boxers and their weight limits.
- Light Minimum Weight/Atom Weight. The weight limit in this category is set at 102 pounds or 46.27 kilograms.
- Minimum weight/ Mini Flyweight/ Straw Weight. Boxers in this category should not weigh more than 105 pounds or 47.63 kilograms during the weigh-in.
- Light Flyweight/ Junior Flyweight. The boxer’s weight limit in this category is set at 108 pounds or 48.99 kilograms.
- Flyweight. The weight limit in this category is set at 112 pounds or 50.8 kilograms.
- Super Flyweight/ Junior Bantamweight. Boxers in this category should not weigh more than 115 pounds or 52.16 kilograms during the weigh-in.
- Bantamweight. This weight category limits all boxers at 118 pounds or 53.52 kilograms.
- Super bantamweight/ Junior Featherweight. The weight limit in this category is set at 122 pounds or 55.34 kilograms.
- Featherweight. Boxers in this weight category should not weigh more than 129 pounds or 57.15 kilograms.
- Super Featherweight/ Junior Lightweight. This category’s weight limit is at 130 pounds or 58.99 kilograms.
- Lightweight. The boxer’s weight limit in this category is set at 135 pounds or 61.23 kilograms.
- SuperLightweight/ Junior Welterweight/ Light Welterweight. Boxer’s in this weight category should weigh not more than 140 pounds or 63.5 kilograms during the weigh-in.
- Welterweight. Boxers in the welterweight division should weigh not more than 147 pounds or 66.68 kilograms during the weigh-in.
- Super Welterweight/Junior Middleweight/Light Middleweight. This boxing weight category has a weight limit of 154 pounds or 69.85 kilograms.
- Middleweight. Middleweight boxers should weigh not more than 160 pounds or 72.57 kilograms during the weigh-in.
- Super Middleweight. This professional boxing weight category has a weight limit 168 pounds or 76.2 kilograms.
- Light Heavyweight. All boxers in this category should weigh not more than 175 pounds or 79.38 kilograms during the weigh-in.
- Cruiserweight/Junior Heavyweight. The boxers in this category have a weight limit of 200 pounds or 90.72 kilograms.
- Heavyweight. ”The battle of the big boys”, as the boxing circle fondly called this weight class. It is the heaviest weight category in the professional rank and has an unlimited weight limit or more than the weight limit of the cruiserweight/Junior Heavyweight weight class.
In a professional boxing match, the measurement of the boxer’s weight will be done the day before the match itself.
Any boxer who weighs more than the weight class weight limit will be given the chance to shed his excess weight through exercise and dehydration.
Failing to do so will result in the cancellation of the fight, a sanction to the boxer, or a non-title fight if it is for the championship.
Boxers Conquering Different Weight Categories
Boxers who start at an early age usually belong to the light or small weight category.
Once the body develops and becomes heavy with age, the boxer then transfers to another weight category that is heavier.
Not all boxers become successful in winning championships from moving through different weight classes.
Here is a list of popular boxers who conquer different weight categories during their career:
Manny Pacquiao is the only eight-division world champion in the world.
“Pacman” is above all boxers in this type of career achievement and is the Guinness world record holder in winning titles in different weight divisions.
He held championships in the flyweight, Super Featherweight, Lightweight, featherweight, Super Bantamweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight, and Super Welterweight division.
Oscar De la Hoya
The “Golden Boy” of professional boxing was a six-division world champion during his colorful career.
He held championships in the Lightweight, Light Welterweight, Super Featherweight, Light Middleweight, Welterweight, and Middleweight divisions before calling it quits in 2008.
Sugar “Ray” Leonard
He was a five-division world champion.
The occasional actor and motivational speaker was a Welterweight, Light Middleweight, Middleweight, Super Middleweight, and Light Heavyweight champion of the world.
He was a five-division world champion winning the Welterweight, Light Middleweight, Middleweight, Super Middleweight, and Light Heavyweight championships.
Roberto Duran is a Panamanian boxer who won championships in four divisions throughout his career.
He has championships in Lightweight, Welterweight, Light Middleweight, and Middleweight weight classes.
Known in boxing as “Sweet Pea”, Pernell Whitaker is an American boxer who was a four division title holder.
He won championships in Lightweight, Light welterweight, Welterweight, and Light Middleweight throughout his career.
The Venezuelan boxer was a four-division world champion in his career.
He held championship belts in minimum weight, light flyweight, flyweight, and super flyweight weight category.
Roy Jones Jr.
Nicknamed “Captain Hook” for his devastating left hooks, Roy Jones Jr. was a four-division world champion during his career.
He won championships in Light Heavyweight, Middleweight, Super Middleweight, and Heavyweight weight category.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The self-confessed “best boxer of all time” was a five-division world champion.
He held championship belts in Super Featherweight, Light Welterweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, and Light Middleweight weight category.
Known in the boxing world as “El Terrible”, the Mexican held championships in four different weight classes.
He won in Super Bantamweight, Featherweight, Super Featherweight, and Super Lightweight category.
Juan Manuel Marquez
Another Mexican to have four championships in four different weight classes.
He held the featherweight, Super Featherweight, Lightweight, and Junior Welterweight during his colorful career.
One of three Mexican boxers who hold championships in four weight category.
He was a champion in light flyweight, super flyweight, junior featherweight, and featherweight division.
The lists above are some of the professional boxers who had success moving in different weight categories.
Not all boxers can have the same success, as moving up in weight will definitely affect the effectiveness of the punching power of the boxer.
As stated above, boxing is one of the most favorite past times in the world.
A person who wants to learn the sport must know what the different weight categories in boxing are.
Always remember that amateur and professional boxing has a different set of weight categories and also differ in their process of weigh-in during a boxing tournament.
All boxing aficionados have praised the greatness of boxers who won multiple championships in the different division throughout the boxing history. Only time will tell about these boxers will be included in the Hall of Fame.