Welterweight is a weight class in combat sports. Originally the term "welterweight" was used only in boxing, but other combat sports like Muay Thai, taekwondo, and mixed martial arts also use it for their own weight division system to classify the opponents. In most sports that use it, welterweight is heavier than lightweight but lighter than middleweight.

Etymology

The first known instance of the term is from 1831, meaning "heavyweight horseman," later "boxer or wrestler of a certain weight" by 1896. This sense comes from earlier "welter" "heavyweight horseman or boxer" from 1804, possibly from "welt", meaning "to beat severely", from c. 15th century.[1]

Boxing

Professional boxing

A professional welterweight boxer's weight is greater than 140 pounds, and no more than 147 pounds (about 63–67 kg).[2]

Current world champions

Main article: List of world welterweight boxing champions

Current champions

Sanctioning body Reign began Champion Record Defenses
WBA July 29, 2023 Terence Crawford 40–0 (31 KO) 0
WBC July 29, 2023 Terence Crawford 40–0 (31 KO) 0
IBF November 9, 2023 Jaron Ennis 31–0–0–1 (28 KO) 0
WBO June 9, 2018 Terence Crawford 40–0 (31 KO) 7

Current world rankings

The Ring

As of July 29, 2023.[3]

Keys:

 C  Current The Ring world champion
Rank Name Record Title(s)
C Terence Crawford 40–0 (31 KO) WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA
1 Errol Spence Jr. 28–1 (22 KO)
2 Jaron Ennis 31–0–1 (28 KO)
3 Vergil Ortiz Jr. 19–0 (19 KO)
4 Eimantas Stanionis 14–0–1 (9 KO)
5 Alexis Rocha 23–1 (15 KO)
6 Cody Crowley 22–0 (9 KO)
7 David Avanesyan 29–4–1 (17 KO)
8 Shakhram Giyasov 14–0 (9 KO)
9 Roiman Villa 26–1 (24 KO)
10 Rashidi Ellis 24–1 (15 KO)
BoxRec

As of 29 July 2023.[4]

Rank Name Record Points Title(s)
1 Terence Crawford 40–0 (31 KO) 513.6 WBO, WBC, IBF, WBA
2 Errol Spence Jr. 28–1 (22 KO) 442.3
3 Keith Thurman 30–1 (22 KO) 155.7
4 Yordenis Ugas 27–5 (12 KO) 139.4
5 Kell Brook 40–3 (28 KO) 100.4
6 Mikey Garcia 40–2 (30 KO) 82.77
7 Vergil Ortiz Jr. 19–0 (19 KO) 79.61
8 Cody Crowley 21–0 (9 KO) 71.90
9 David Avanesyan 29–4–1 (17 KO) 70.84
10 Jaron Ennis 30–0–0–1 (27 KO) 46.31

Longest reigning world welterweight champions

Below is a list of longest reigning welterweight 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. Félix Trinidad 6 years, 8 months, 14 days IBF 15 15 [5]
2. Errol Spence Jr. 6 years, 2 months and 3 days IBF, WBC 6 5 [6]
3. Terence Crawford 5 years, 7 months, 1 week and 6 days WBO 7 7 [7]
4. Antonio Margarito 5 years, 3 months, 28 days WBO 7 7 [8]
5. Ike Quartey 4 years, 7 months, 30 days WBA 7 7 [9]
6. José Nápoles 4 years, 6 months, 2 days WBA, WBC 10 8 [10]
7. Sugar Ray Robinson 4 years, 1 month, 26 days NYSAC, NBA 5 5 [11]
8. Floyd Mayweather Jr. 4 years, 1 month, 18 days WBC 5 4 [12]
9. Pernell Whitaker 4 years, 1 month, 6 days WBC 8 7 [13]
10. Pipino Cuevas 4 years and 16 days WBA 11 10 [14]

Top 10 most title defenses

Below is a list of most title defenses of welterweight champions in boxing measured by the individual's reign with the most title defenses. Career total title defenses as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.

Name Title reign Title recognition Successful defenses Beaten opponents Fights
1. Henry Armstrong 2 years, 4 months, 3 days NYSAC, NBA, Ring 19 15 [15]
2. Félix Trinidad 6 years, 8 months, 14 days IBF 15 15 [5]
3. Pipino Cuevas 4 years and 16 days WBA 11 10 [14]
4. José Nápoles 4 years, 6 months, 2 days WBA, WBC, Ring 10 8 [10]
5. Jack Britton 3 years, 7 months, 13 days World 9 8 [16][17]
6. Pernell Whitaker 4 years, 1 month, 6 days WBC 8 7 [13]
7. Simon Brown 3 years, 7 months, 6 days IBF 8 8 [18]
8. Kid Gavilán 3 years, 5 months, 2 days NYSAC, NBA, Ring 7 6 [18]
9. Donald Curry 3 years, 7 months, 14 days WBA 7 7 [19]
10. Ike Quartey 4 years, 7 months, 30 days WBA 7 7 [9]

Amateur boxing

Olympic champions

Main article: List of Olympic medalists in welterweight boxing

The current Olympic male welterweight division is set at 64–69 kg (141–152 lb).[2]

Kickboxing

The weight division system is different in each organisation, so the kickboxing weight divisions of some international organizations vary:

Bare-knuckle boxing

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

Wrestling

Olympic wrestling

Prior to 1996, the weight limit for welterweight was 74 kg/163 lb in Olympic wrestling.[24] Since that time, amateur wrestling has named its weight classes by upper weight limit in kilograms.

Professional wrestling

In the U.S. and Canada there was a 145 lb limit in the early 20th century at least until the early 1920s.[24]

In Mexico, the lucha libre commission's definition of the welterweight weight class is between 70 kg (150 lb) and 78 kg (172 lb).

In the United Kingdom the 1947 Admiral-Lord Mountevans rules set out seven weight divisions with maximum weight limits and called for champions to be crowned of each limit. This included Welterweight 11st 11 lb (165 lb or ~75 kg)[25][26] An earlier system of weight classes with different levels and more divisions - including Welterweight - existed under the 1930 All-In rules.[27]

Catch wrestling

From the 1870s to the 1910s, the weight limit was 10st 8 lb (148 lb) for Lancashire catch-as-catch-can wrestling under the rules of Sporting Chronicle (Manchester, England).[24]

Mixed martial arts

Main article: Welterweight (MMA)

The welterweight limit, as defined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission[28] and the Association of Boxing Commissions[29] is 155 to 170 lb (70.3 to 77.1 kg).

Current champions

This table is not always up to date. Last updated March 18, 2023.

Organization Reign began Champion Record Defenses
UFC August 20, 2022 England Leon Edwards 21–3 (7KO 3SUB) 2
Bellator MMA June 11, 2021 Ukraine Yaroslav Amosov 26–0 (9KO 10SUB) 0
ONE Championship October 25, 2019 Kyrgyzstan Kiamrian Abbasov 23–5 (8KO 4SUB) 1
Fight Nights Global April 6, 2019 Russia Dmitry Bikrev 13–3 (9KO 1SUB) 3
KSW October 6, 2018 Croatia Roberto Soldić 20–3 (17KO 1SUB) 2
Titan FC March 15, 2019 United States Michael Graves 9–1 (4KO 2SUB) 1
ACA April 26, 2019 Russia Albert Tumenov 22–4 (14KO) 1
Legacy Fighting Alliance August 21, 2020 United States Jaleel Willis 13–2 (5KO) 0
Cage Warriors August 21, 2020 Australia Tyler Cummmings 20–3 (7KO 3SUB)

12

Other sports

Other sports to include a welterweight division include the following,

References

  1. ^ "welterweight | Origin and meaning of welterweight by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com.
  2. ^ a b "Classes & Divisions". Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  3. ^ "The Ring ratings: welterweight". Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  4. ^ "BoxRec ratings: welterweight, active". Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Felix Trinidad". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  6. ^ "Professional boxing record: Errol Spence Jr". Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Professional boxing record: Terence Crawford". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Professional boxing record: Felix Trinidad". Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Ike Quartey". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: José Nápoles". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Argus-Leader from Sioux Falls, South Dakota on February 15, 1951 · Page 11". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  12. ^ "Professional boxing record: Floyd Mayweather Jr". Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Pernell Whitaker". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Pipino Cuevas". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  15. ^ "Professional boxing record: Felix Trinidad". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  16. ^ "Professional boxing record: Jack Britton". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  17. ^ "Jack Britton, p. 80" (PDF). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  18. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Kid Gavilán". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  19. ^ "Professional boxing record: Donald Curry". Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  20. ^ "IKF WEIGHT CLASSES". IKFKickboxing.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  21. ^ "INTERNATIONAL SPORT KARATE & KICKBOXING ASSOCIATION" (PDF). ISKAWorldHQ.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  22. ^ "WKA USA - Official Rulebook". WKAUSA.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  23. ^ "Fighters Rankings". gloryworldseries.com. Archived from the original on 21 October 2015.
  24. ^ a b c Weight Divisions in Professional Wrestling Wrestling-Titles.com Retrieved March 31 2023
  25. ^ "The History of British Wrestling: Part One". Bleacher Report. 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  26. ^ THE WRESTLING FURNACE PICTURE GALLERY: Classic British Professional Wrestling: THE WEIGHT DIVISIONS in British Professional Wrestling
  27. ^ Blue Blood on the Mat - Atholl Oakeley, S Paul, 1971 - Appendix:Rules of All In Professional Wrestling
  28. ^ "Nevada Revised Statutes: CHAPTER 467 - UNARMED COMBAT". www leg state nv us. Retrieved 2007-02-20.
  29. ^ "UNIFIED RULES OF MMA". ABCBoxing.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2012-07-15.