Featherweight is a weight class in the combat sports of boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Boxing

Professional boxing

History

A featherweight boxer weighs in at a limit of 126 pounds (57 kg). In the early days of the division, this limit fluctuated. The British have generally always recognized the limit at 126 pounds, but in America the weight limit was at first 114 pounds. An early champion, George Dixon, moved the limit to 120 and then 122 pounds. Finally, in 1920 the United States fixed the limit at 126 pounds.[1]

The 1860 fight between Nobby Clark and Jim Elliott is sometimes called the first featherweight championship. However, the division only gained wide acceptance in 1889 after the Ike Weir–Frank Murphy fight (one of the most famous fights of all time).

Since the end of the 2000s and early 2010s the featherweight division is one of the most active in boxing with fighters such as Orlando Salido, Chris John, Juan Manuel López, Celestino Caballero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Elio Rojas, Israel Vazquez, Cristobal Cruz, Rafael Márquez, Rocky Juarez, Steven Luevano, Naseem Hamed, Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao.

Current world champions

Main article: List of world featherweight boxing champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA Vacant 0
WBC Jul 9, 2022 Rey Vargas 36–1 (22 KO) 0
IBF December 10, 2022 Luis Alberto Lopez 29–2 (16 KO) 2
WBO December 9, 2023 Rafael Espinoza 24–0 (20 KO) 0

Current The Ring world rankings

As of October 14, 2023.[2]

Keys:

 C  Current The Ring world champion
Rank Name Record Title(s)
C vacant
1 Leigh Wood 28–3 (17 KO) WBA
2 Luis Alberto Lopez 29–2 (16 KO) IBF
3 Rey Vargas 36–1 (22 KO) WBC
4 Brandon Figueroa 24–1–1 (18 KO)
5 Rafael Espinoza 24–0 (20 KO) WBO
6 Robeisy Ramírez 13–2 (8 KO)
7 Mauricio Lara 26–3–1 (19 KO)
8 Josh Warrington 31–3–1 (8 KO)
9 Reiya Abe 25–3–1 (10 KO)
10 Ruben Villa 21–1 (7 KO)

Longest reigning world featherweight champions

Below is a list of longest reigning featherweight champions in boxing measured by the individual's longest reign. Career total time as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.

Name Title reign Title recognition Successful defenses Beaten opponents Fights
1. Johnny Kilbane 11 years, 3 months, 24 days World/NYSAC 4 2 [3][4]
2. Chris John 10 years, 1 month, 5 days WBA 18 16 [5]
3. Abe Attell 8 years, 5 months, 19 days World 22 14 [6]
4. Eusebio Pedroza 7 years, 1 month, 23 days WBA 19 18 [7]
5. Gary Russell, Jr. 6 years, 9 month, 25 days WBC 5 5 [8]
6. Sandy Saddler 6 years, 4 months, 13 days World 4 3 [9][10]
7. Léo Santa Cruz 5 years, 10 months, 13 days WBA (Super) 5 5 [11]
8. Naseem Hamed 4 years, 11 months, 20 days WBO 15 15 [12]
9. George Dixon 4 years, 5 months World 4 4 [13][14]
10. Antonio Esparragoza 4 years, 27 days WBA 7 7 [15]
11. Davey Moore 4 years, 3 days World 5 4 [16]

Amateur boxing

In amateur boxing, the weight limit is 54 to 57 kilograms (119 to 126 lb) for women and 52 to 57 kilograms (115 to 126 lb) for men. To make room for the introduction of women's boxing to the Olympics in 2012, the men's featherweight class was dropped down one kilogram and became bantamweight. Following further adjustments, the 2020 Olympics will again feature men's featherweight and, for the first time, women's featherweight.[17]

Olympic champions

Men’s

Pan American Champions

Notable featherweights

Kickboxing

In kickboxing, a featherweight fighter generally weighs between 55 and 59 kg (121 and 130 lb). However, some governing bodies have slightly different classes. For example, the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) featherweight division (professional and amateur) is between 122.1–127 lb (55.4–57.6 kg).

In Glory promotion, a featherweight division is up to 65 kg (143 lb).[18]

In Bellator Kickboxing promotion, a featherweight division is up to 66 kg (146 lb).

In ONE Championship, the featherweight division limit is 70.3 kg (155 lb).

Bare-knuckle boxing

The limit for featherweight generally differs among promotions in bare-knuckle boxing:

Lethwei

International Lethwei Federation Japan has a featherweight division with an upper limit of 65 kg (143 lb). In International Lethwei Federation Japan, Thar A Thae Ta Pwint is the Featherweight Champion.

In World Lethwei Championship, the featherweight division has an upper limit of 57 kg (126 lb).

Mixed Martial Arts

Main article: Featherweight (MMA)

In MMA, within the UFC company and most other MMA companies the featherweight range is from 136 to 145 lb (62 to 66 kg).

Current champions

These tables were last updated in February 2023.

Men:

Organization Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
UFC December 14, 2019 Australia Alexander Volkanovski 25–2 (12KO 3SUB) 4
Bellator MMA April 15, 2022 Brazil Patrício Pitbull 33–5 (11KO 12SUB) 1
ONE Championship August 26, 2022 China Tang Kai 15–2 (12KO 0SUB) 0
ACA July 22, 2022 Russia Alikhan Suleymanov 15–2 (1KO 10SUB) 0
Cage Warriors November 4, 2022 England Paul Hughes 9–1 (3KO 3SUB) 0
M-1 Global Vacant
AMC Fight Nights October 14, 2022 Russia Gleb Khabibulin 7–1–2 (4KO 3SUB) 0
Brave Combat Federation October 22, 2022 Russia Roman Bogatov 13–1 (1KO 5SUB) 0
Titan FC August 06, 2021 Jordan Ali al-Qaisi 12–5 (2KO 4SUB) 0
Legacy Fighting Alliance Vacant
Road FC December 18, 2022 South Korea Hae Jin Park 10–2 (1KO 4SUB) 0
KSW December 18, 2021 France Salahdine Parnasse 17–1–1 (2KO 6SUB) 1

Women:

Organization Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
Bellator MMA January 25, 2020 Brazil Cris Cyborg 29–2 (1) (20KO 1SUB) 4
UFC December 29, 2018 Brazil Amanda Nunes 21–5 (13KO 3SUB) 2
Invicta FC Vacant

See also

References

  1. ^ Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London, England: Carlton Books. p. 172. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.
  2. ^ "The Ring ratings: featherweight". Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Professional boxing record: Johnny Kilbane". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Johnny Kilbane, p. 172" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Professional boxing record: Chris John". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Professional boxing record: Abe Attell". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Eusebio Pedrosa, p. 668" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Professional boxing record: Gary Allen Russell Jr". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Professional boxing record: Sandy Saddler". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Sandy Saddler, p. 720" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Professional boxing record: Léo Santa Cruz". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Professional boxing record: Naseem Hamed". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Professional boxing record: George Dixon". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  14. ^ "George Dixon, p. 118" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Professional boxing record: Antonio Esparragoza". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Professional boxing record: Davey Moore". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  17. ^ "2 Gone and 2 Changed – Info on NEW Men's Olympic Weight Classes - Irish Boxing". 10 September 2018.
  18. ^ OFFICIAL GLORY RANKING Archived 2014-01-18 at the Wayback Machine