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Boxing Weight Classes Ultimate Guide (Plus FAQ)

boxing weight classes

In this post, we have a quick guide on boxing weight classes.

We tried to include it all in this one:

  • boxing weight classes for men and women
  • amateur boxing weight classes
  • comparing how weight classes differ across different boxing organizations
  • as well as how boxing weight classes compare to other combat sports.
  • plus we look at boxing glove weight and sizes for each weight class

Finally, we also go over the rules and regulations around boxing weigh-ins and how much weight a boxer usually cuts.

What Are the Weight Categories in Boxing Male? (Plus Traditional Eight Divisions)

The modern, current boxing weight classes for males are shown below.


Starting from the lightest, the professional boxing weight classes are:

  • Minimum weight/Strawweight (105 lbs)
  • Light Flyweight (108 lbs)
  • Flyweight (112 lbs)
  • Super Flyweight (115 lbs)
  • Bantamweight (118 lbs)
  • Super Bantamweight (122 lbs)
  • Featherweight (126 lbs)
  • Super Featherweight (130 lbs)
  • Lightweight (135 lbs)
  • Super Lightweight (140 lbs)
  • Welterweight (147 lbs)
  • Super Welterweight (154 lbs)
  • Middleweight (160 lbs)
  • Super Middleweight (168 lbs)
  • Light Heavyweight (175 lbs)
  • Cruiserweight (200 lbs)
  • Heavyweight (no upper weight limit)

If you’re wondering what the traditional 8 weight classes are for men’s professional boxing – they are:

  • Flyweight (up to 112 lbs/50.8 kg)
  • Bantamweight (112-118 lbs/ 50.8-53.5 kg)
  • Featherweight (118-126 lbs/53.5-57.1 kg)
  • Lightweight (126-135 lbs/57.1-61.2 kg)
  • Welterweight (135-147 lbs/61.2-66.6 kg)
  • Middleweight (147-160 lbs/66.6-72.6 kg)
  • Light Heavyweight (160-175 lbs/72.6-79.3 kg)
  • Heavyweight (175 lbs and above/79.3 kg and above)

While these traditional weight divisions are still very common and relevant, it is worth noting that modern boxing has further expanded its weight classes to accommodate more fighters, resulting in a total of 17 weight categories.

Amateur Weight Divisions for Men

Amateur boxing unsurprisingly has a unique set of weight divisions, distinct from those governing professional contests.

These classifications, devised to ensure greater safety and fairness, apply to competitions such as the Olympics and other amateur boxing tournaments.

The current amateur weight divisions for men are as follows:


  • Flyweight: Up to 115 lbs (52 kg)
  • Featherweight: 115-126 lbs (52-57 kg)
  • Lightweight: 126-139 lbs (57-63 kg)
  • Welterweight: 139-152 lbs (63-69 kg)
  • Middleweight: 152-165 lbs (69-75 kg)
  • Light Heavyweight: 165-179 lbs (75-81 kg)
  • Heavyweight: 179-201 lbs (81-91 kg)
  • Super Heavyweight: Any weight exceeding 201 lbs (91 kg)

Women’s Boxing Weight Divisions

Women’s professional boxing has gained tremendous popularity in recent years.

Keep in mind (unlike male weight divisions) there is no universally accepted set of weight classes. They generally follow similar divisions as men’s boxing with some adjustments.

  • Atomweight: 102 lbs (46 kg)
  • Strawweight: 105 lbs (47.6 kg)
  • Junior flyweight: 108 lbs (49 kg)
  • Flyweight: 112 lbs (50.8 kg)
  • Super flyweight: 115 lbs (52.2 kg)
  • Junior Bantamweight: 115 lbs (52.2 kg)
  • Bantamweight: 118 lbs (53.5 kg)
  • Junior Featherweight: 122 lbs (55.3 kg)
  • Featherweight: 126 lbs (57.2 kg)
  • Junior Lightweight: 130 lbs (59 kg)
  • Lightweight: 135 lbs (61.2 kg)
  • Junior Welterweight: 140 lbs (63.5 kg)
  • Welterweight: 147 lbs (66.7 kg)
  • Junior Middleweight: 154 lbs (69.9 kg)
  • Middleweight: 160 lbs (72.6 kg)
  • Super Middleweight: 168 lbs (76.2 kg)
  • Light Heavyweight: 175 lbs (79.4 kg)
  • Heavyweight: 175+ lbs (79.4+ kg)

As women’s boxing continues to gain recognition and support, governing bodies will likely need to establish unified weight classes to ensure fair competition and further advance the sport.

Amateur Weight Divisions for Women

Amateur boxing, as you could have guess, has a different structure when it comes to weight classes, especially for women.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has set specific weight divisions for amateur women’s boxing, which are, again, observed in major competitions like the Olympics.

Here are the current amateur weight divisions for women, as per AIBA:

  • Light flyweight: Up to 106 lbs (48 kg)
  • Flyweight: 112 lbs (51 kg)
  • Bantamweight: 119 lbs (54 kg)
  • Featherweight: 126 lbs (57 kg)
  • Lightweight: 132 lbs (60 kg)
  • Light welterweight: 141 lbs (64 kg)
  • Welterweight: 152 lbs (69 kg)
  • Middleweight: 165 lbs (75 kg)
  • Light heavyweight: 179 lbs (81 kg)
  • Heavyweight: 201 lbs (91 kg)
  • Super heavyweight: Any weight exceeding 201 lbs (91 kg)

Note: These weight classes are subject to change, as AIBA is in the process of continually updating the divisions periodically.

How Many Boxing Divisions Are There?

In professional men’s boxing, there are 17 acknowledged weight categories, starting from strawweight (105 lbs) to heavyweight (200+ lbs).

The Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) which supervises amateur boxing follows a different weight class configuration with a fewer number of divisions – 13 total:

46–48 kg (Minimumweight)
48–51 kg (Flyweight)
51–54 kg (Bantamweight)
54–57 kg (Featherweight)
57–60 kg (Lightweight)
60–63.5 kg (Light welterweight)
63.5–67 kg (Welterweight)
67–71 kg (Light middleweight)
71–75 kg (Middleweight)
75–80 kg (Light heavyweight)
80–86 kg (Cruiserweight)
86–92 kg (Heavyweight)
+92 kg (Super heavyweight)

Professional boxing has seen several adaptations and growth since its early days, with the inclusion of numerous weight categories beyond the initial eight.

This expansion aimed to standardize the competition across all participants by reducing dangerous mismatches and facilitating more competitive fights.

Each regulatory body all have slight differences in their official weight class limits, but the overall structure stays consistent. The below are the four acknowledged professional boxing organizations:

  • World Boxing Association (WBA)
  • World Boxing Council (WBC)
  • International Boxing Federation (IBF)
  • World Boxing Organization (WBO)

As for women’s pro boxing, again, there is no global consensus on weight classes for professionals.

However, in amateur boxing, the weight categories are more systematized, ensuring a safe and fair competition among female athletes. Both men’s and women’s Olympic boxing events adhere to a streamlined set of weight divisions to maintain consistency and reduce intricacy.

What’s the Weigh-In Process in Boxing?

Usually, the boxing weigh-in process occurs a day prior to the fight when both combatants step onto scales to have their weights checked by officials.

To meet the necessary weight, some fighters might resort to extreme tactics like shedding weight swiftly through water loss, typically regained before the actual fight (we strongly recommend against severe water cutting)

In some instances, fighters may even weigh in nude to make sure they meet the requisite weight limit.

Some boxing regulatory bodies, such as the International Boxing Federation (IBF), have rules to hinder excessive weight gain after weigh-ins.

  • For instance, fighters may have to do a second weigh-in on the fight day to verify they haven’t exceeded their weight class limit by more than 10 lbs.

In amateur boxing, competitors are, generally, subjected to stricter weigh-in rules and only get one opportunity to meet the required weight, usually within 24 hours before a match.

What’s the Significance of Rehydration Clauses?

Rehydration clauses are implemented in boxing to limit the disparities in fighters’ weights between the weigh-in and the commencement of the match as well as offering precautions against extreme weight cutting.

Basically, these provisions aim to stop boxers from gaining an unfair advantage by losing weight through dehydration and then regaining it before stepping into the ring.

These clauses restrict fighters from gaining too much weight, typically determined by a fixed threshold, in the period between the weigh-in and the actual fight.

Quick weight loss through dehydration can also pose long-term health hazards to a fighter and lead to weakening before the fight, negatively impacting their performance and potentially endangering them.

Even if a boxer manages to rehydrate and recover the lost weight healthily, their opponents or regulatory bodies might perceive the weight gain as an unfair advantage.

What Are the Boxing Ring Standards and Gear?

To uphold fairness and safety, the sport follows specific rules, ring standards, and demands certain equipment.

Some key standards when it comes to the ring and boxing gear are:

  • A professional boxing ring usually measures between 18 and 22 feet, bounded by four ropes.
  • It’s vital for boxers to wear appropriate gloves, weighing between 8 to 10 ounces depending on the weight class, to protect their hands and prevent injury to their opponents.
  • Protective mouth guards and suitable footwear are also required when entering the ring.
  • The fighters’ hand wraps provide essential wrist and knuckle support, helping to avoid hand fractures.
  • Both amateur and professional boxing matches are supervised by a referee inside the ring.
  • Finally, each boxer is usually outfitted in shorts and assigned cornermen, responsible for ensuring their fighter remains safe and properly equipped between rounds.

Quick Note: In amateur boxing, rounds are typically shorter, and boxers wear protective headgear to minimize injury risks (professional fights can range from 4 to 12 rounds, each lasting three minutes.)

History of Weight Divisions in Boxing

Weight divisions have been an integral part of boxing since the late 1800s.

These divisions were established to promote competitive fairness and safety by avoiding substantial mismatches between fighters of drastically different sizes.

Initially, there were only eight weight divisions:

  1. flyweight
  2. bantamweight
  3. featherweight
  4. lightweight
  5. welterweight
  6. middleweight
  7. junior middleweight
  8. heavyweight

Over time, more divisions were added, and now 17 weight classes are recognized by professional boxing organizations.

The introduction of the famous Marquess of Queensberry rules in the 1860s laid the groundwork for the formation of weight classes by regulating glove size, round length, and resting time between rounds.

Prior to this, fights were bare-knuckle, and there was little control over the size discrepancies between boxers.

In the early 20th century, the establishment of governing bodies such as the International Boxing Federation (IBF), the World Boxing Association (WBA), and the World Boxing Council (WBC) played a significant role in the development and recognition of weight divisions.

Over the years, the differentiation between amateur and professional boxing led to minor variations in weight class limits between the two.

Weight divisions continue to evolve (with the introduction of the Bridgerweight division in 2020 as an example) as boxing authorities strive to ensure fairness and safety for all contenders.

What Are the Core Boxing Techniques?

If you are new to training boxing or maybe just want to get a better idea of common boxing techniques to get a better understanding when watching boxing matches, we’ve included this brief section for you.

If you are learning boxing skills there are four main areas you should focus on:

  1. stance and footwork
  2. punching and striking
  3. head movement
  4. defense

1. The groundwork for all boxing techniques is establishing an appropriate stance. For orthodox fighters, this means having their left foot and hand forward, while southpaw fighters position their right foot and hand in front. This stance serves as the starting point for efficient footwork, allowing boxers to move seamlessly in and out of range, evade punches, and create offensive opportunities.

2. Punching and striking techniques in boxing revolve around four basic punches: the jab, hook, uppercut, and straight right (or straight left for southpaw fighters). Each punch serves a distinct function, whether it’s a swift jab to establish distance or a potent uppercut targeting an opponent’s chin. Combinations of these punches in varying sequences enable boxers to deliver strong offensive attacks. Practice, repetition, and consistency in each movement contribute to improved timing, speed, and power.

3. Finally, head movement and defense are essential elements of a boxer’s skill set. Through bobbing, weaving, and slipping, boxers can dodge incoming punches, conserving energy and preventing damage. Head movements can also be used in faints to help throw your opponent’s timing off or catch him off guard.

4. Defensive tactics like parrying punches with raised arms and gloves or using strategic footwork further protect a boxer from being hit. Development of these defensive skills can spell the difference between victory and defeat, as boxers who can avoid damage, counter punch effectively, and maintain a strong offense have a higher chance of success in the ring.

What’s the Role of WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO in Boxing?

As we mentioned earlier in this post, professional boxing’s landscape is governed by four major sanctioning bodies: the WBA (World Boxing Association), the WBC (World Boxing Council), the IBF (International Boxing Federation), and the WBO (World Boxing Organization).

These organizations:

  • oversee championship bouts
  • rank fighters within their respective weight classes
  • implement specific rules and regulations to maintain the integrity of the sport

For example, each organization issues title belts for their champions in every weight class.

Note: When a fighter holds the title from all four organizations, they are recognized as an undisputed champion.

A prominent example of an undisputed champion is Oleksandr Usyk, who held all four major cruiserweight belts between 2018 and 2019.

One key aspect that differentiates these organizations is their fighter ranking system.

Each organization has its criteria for assessing a boxer’s performance and ranking them accordingly. The overall ranking a boxer holds within these bodies can significantly influence their opportunities for title bouts and the trajectory of their boxing career.

These sanctioning bodies play an important role in enhancing safety protocols within boxing, regularly updating the rules of the sport to prioritize the well-being of the athletes. These organizations also work to penalize any forms of cheating, such as doping, to preserve the integrity of the sport.

Each body has its geographical strengths, as they were created in different parts of the world and hence have a strong presence in their regions. However, their recognition is international, and they collectively govern the global professional boxing scene.

Do Boxing Weight Classes Vary Across Different Boxing Organizations?

Again, the four primary professional boxing organizations – the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Council (WBC), the International Boxing Federation (IBF), and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) – each have their specific weight classes, though many overlap.

In total, professional boxing organizations recognize 17 weight classes.

In amateur boxing, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) governs weight classes and regulations. The AIBA follows a structure different from professional boxing, featuring fewer weight divisions (13 total for both men/women – see section above)

In men’s Olympic-style amateur boxing, there are eight weight classes, while for women, there are five divisions.

The difference in weight classes also extends to other combat sports such as mixed martial arts (MMA), kickboxing, and wrestling, each having their distinct weight divisions which we’ll go over in the next section. As fighters from different combat sports often participate in crossover bouts, understanding the weight classes of each discipline may be helpful.

Comparing Weight Classes Across Various Combat Sports

Yes, you may find some varying weight classes among different combat sports, but the principle behind these divisions remains universal across sports: to circumvent potentially harmful mismatches favoring larger competitors.

While the underpinnings are similar, the application of weight classes can differ significantly across sports. For instance, MMA offers fewer weight classes compared to boxing, resulting in larger leaps between divisions. Kickboxing follows a similar trajectory, although its divisions might differ.

Conversely, wrestling may employ an entirely different set of weight classes, with the number of divisions fluctuating based on the competition’s level.

Weight Classes in UFC (MMA)

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a leading entity in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) universe, (in case, you cover your ears whenever you hear anything about mixed martial arts) currently hosts 12 weight classes: four for women and eight for men.


The UFC’s weight divisions are:

Men’s Divisions:

  1. Strawweight: up to 115 pounds (52.2 kg)
  2. Flyweight: 115 to 125 pounds (52.2 to 56.7 kg)
  3. Bantamweight: 125 to 135 pounds (56.7 to 61.2 kg)
  4. Featherweight: 135 to 145 pounds (61.2 to 65.8 kg)
  5. Lightweight: 145 to 155 pounds (65.8 to 70.3 kg)
  6. Welterweight: 155 to 170 pounds (70.3 to 77.1 kg)
  7. Middleweight: 170 to 185 pounds (77.1 to 83.9 kg)
  8. Light Heavyweight: 185 to 205 pounds (83.9 to 93 kg)
  9. Heavyweight: 205 to 265 pounds (93 to 120.2 kg)

Women’s Divisions:

  1. Strawweight: up to 115 pounds (52.2 kg)
  2. Flyweight: 115 to 125 pounds (52.2 to 56.7 kg)
  3. Bantamweight: 125 to 135 pounds (56.7 to 61.2 kg)
  4. Featherweight: 135 to 145 pounds (61.2 to 65.8 kg)

*While these divisions are unique to UFC, other MMA organizations might employ slightly different weight classes or nomenclature.

Weight Classes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), competitors are also segmented into weight classes to facilitate fair competition and mitigate injury risk.

Various weight classes are commonly employed in BJJ tournaments, although these may exhibit slight variations depending on the overseeing organization or event of which there are many.

The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is one of the most notable organizations, and its weight classes are widely accepted and often used in smaller organized bjj events.


Here are the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu weight classes as provided by the IBJJF:

Adult Male Gi Divisions:

  • Rooster – under 57.5 kg (under 127 lbs);
  • Light feather – above 57.5 kg and under 64 kg (127 – 141.6 lbs);
  • Feather – above 64 kg and under 70 kg (141.6 – 154.6 lbs);
  • Light – above 70 kg and under 76 kg (154.6 – 168 lbs);
  • Middle – above 76 kg and under 82.3 kg (168 – 181.6 lbs);
  • Medium heavy – above 82.3 kg and under 88.3 kg (181.6 – 195 lbs);
  • Heavy – above 88.3 kg and under 94.3 kg (195 – 208 lbs);
  • Super heavy – above 94.3 kg and under 100.5 kg (208 – 222 lbs);
  • Ultra heavy – above 100.5 kg, no upper limit (222 lbs and up);
  • Open class – open to all weight classes

Adult Male No Gi Divisions:

  • Rooster – under 55.6 kg (under 122.6 lbs);
  • Light feather – above 55.6 kg and under 61.7 kg (122.6 – 136 lbs);
  • Feather – above 61.7 kg and under 67.5 kg (136 – 149 lbs);
  • Light – above 67.5 kg and under 73.5 kg (149 – 162.6 lbs);
  • Middle – above 73.5 kg and under 79.6 kg (162.6 – 175.6 lbs);
  • Medium heavy – above 79.6 kg and under 85.5 kg (175.6 – 188.6 lbs);
  • Heavy – above 85.5 kg and under 91.6 kg (188.6 – 202 lbs);
  • Super heavy – above 91.6 kg and under 97.5 kg (202 – 215 lbs);
  • Ultra heavy – above 97.5 kg, no upper limit (215 lbs and up);
  • Open class – open to all weight classes

These weight limitations include the competitor donning a gi, typically adding around 3-4 pounds to their actual body weight as well as No gi (where practitioner’s compete without the gi and usually in tight fitting, tight clothing – in the form of a rash guard and shorts).

Weight Classes in Wrestling

Different governing bodies may establish slightly diverse weight class divisions in wrestling, but there are generally accepted classes that are widespread across most events.


Here are the most prevalent weight classes in wrestling:

Men’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman:
57 kg (125.7 lbs)
61 kg (134.5 lbs)
65 kg (143.3 lbs)
70 kg (154.3 lbs)
74 kg (163.1 lbs)
79 kg (174.2 lbs)
86 kg (189.6 lbs)
92 kg (202.8 lbs)
97 kg (213.8 lbs)
125 kg (275.6 lbs)

Women’s Freestyle:
48 kg (105.8 lbs)
53 kg (116.8 lbs)
55 kg (121.3 lbs)
58 kg (127.9 lbs)
60 kg (132.3 lbs)
63 kg (138.9 lbs)
69 kg (152 lbs)
75 kg (165.3 lbs)


High School and College (NCAA) Weight Classes (Wrestling)

High school and collegiate wrestling in the United States utilize slightly different weight classes, with high school competitions beginning with a minimum weight class of 106 pounds.

Men’s collegiate wrestling weight classes span from 125 pounds to 285 pounds. There may be further adjustments for specific states, tournaments, or organizations.

As wrestlers frequently compete across multiple styles and levels—like freestyle, Greco-Roman, and collegiate—being familiar with the corresponding weight classes is crucial.

Further Breakdown of Boxing Weight Divisions

Glamour Weight Divisions in Boxing

The term, Glamour weight divisions in boxing refers to the divisions between lightweight (135 pounds) and middleweight (160 pounds), which includes welterweight (147 pounds) and junior welterweight (140 pounds).

This range has showcased boxing legends such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran, among others.

Boxers in these divisions have become fan favorites because their style often combines power and speed, resulting in exciting, fast-paced bouts.

Simply put, high-profile fights in glamour divisions are often guaranteed to draw in big audience numbers and bring in lucrative pay-per-view revenues. This makes these divisions extremely enticing for aspiring professional boxers, who are drawn to the potential financial rewards and career opportunities within these weight classes.

Tweener Weight Divisions

Tweener weight divisions refer to divisions situated between the traditional classes and generally lack the widespread popularity and attention of their surround weight classes. They basically exist to provide opportunities to fighters who are too large for one class and yet too small for another.

These weight classes include some of the “in-between” or “junior” versions of the primary divisions, such as junior flyweight (108 pounds), super bantamweight (122 pounds), and super middleweight (168 pounds).

Catchweight Division

Usually introduced for specific matches or tournaments, catchweight bouts involve fighters who agree on a certain weight limit, outside of their standard weight class.

This type of bout makes it possible for athletes from different weight classes to compete against each other, as long as they meet the agreed-upon weight limit. It’s important to note that catchweight bouts are mostly found in professional boxing and rarely in amateur competitions.

One advantage of catchweight bouts is that they can create intriguing match-ups between fighters who may not otherwise be able to face each other due to differences in their weight classes. This can lead to high-profile fights and potential for greater earnings, as the unique match-ups draw attention from boxing fans. However, critics argue that catchweight fights can lead to uneven matches, as one fighter might have to undergo drastic weight loss or gain to meet the required weight limit, which could affect their performance.

High-profile catchweight bouts have taken place throughout boxing history, including the 2009 match-up between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto at a catchweight of 145 pounds. The bout actually saw Pacquiao securing a victory and a world title in a then-record seventh weight class.

Professional Boxing Weight Divisions Summarized

Again, professional boxing has 17 recognized weight classes designed to ensure competitive fairness, showcasing fighters with similar size and weight in each match up.

These divisions are governed by major sanctioning bodies such as the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Council (WBC), the International Boxing Federation (IBF), and the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

Starting from the lightest, the professional boxing weight classes are:

  • Minimum weight/Strawweight (105 lbs)
  • Light Flyweight (108 lbs)
  • Flyweight (112 lbs)
  • Super Flyweight (115 lbs)
  • Bantamweight (118 lbs)
  • Super Bantamweight (122 lbs)
  • Featherweight (126 lbs)
  • Super Featherweight (130 lbs)
  • Lightweight (135 lbs)
  • Super Lightweight (140 lbs)
  • Welterweight (147 lbs)
  • Super Welterweight (154 lbs)
  • Middleweight (160 lbs)
  • Super Middleweight (168 lbs)
  • Light Heavyweight (175 lbs)
  • Cruiserweight (200 lbs)
  • Heavyweight (no upper weight limit)

Strawweight

In the world of professional boxing, the Strawweight division caters to fighters weighing up to 105 pounds (47.6 kg). This category, also known as the Minimum weight class, features small yet powerful boxers demonstrating impressive agility and skill. Although not as prominent as some of the higher weight classes, Strawweight fighters still manage to put on electrifying performances for boxing enthusiasts.

The great Ricardo Lopez is an example of an outstanding Strawweight fighter in history. With an undefeated record of 51-0-1, Lopez enjoyed a 10-year reign as a champion, successfully defending his title 22 times against formidable contenders.

Today’s leading fighters in this weight class include Knockout CP Freshmart (Thammanoon Niyomtrong), Wanheng Menayothin, and Byron Rojas. These current Strawweight competitors are dedicated to showcasing their talent and proving that despite their size, they possess the skill and heart to be elite fighters.

Related: If you’re a big fan of boxing legends and the greatest boxers of all time – check out our post here


Junior/Light Flyweight

Professional Junior Flyweight boxers weigh up to 108 pounds (49 kg) while showcasing their skills in the ring.

Jung-Koo Chang dominated the 1980s as a legendary Junior Flyweight fighter, and later, Michael Carbajal’s technical prowess and knockout ability earned the division newfound respect.

In today’s era, Ken Shiro, Kosei Tanaka, and Pedro Guevara are shining examples of the talent found within this weight class. The Junior Flyweight division is brimming with fighters who focus on speed, quickness, and outmaneuvering their opponents to secure victory.


Flyweight

Flyweight is a weight class in boxing where fighters can weigh no more than 112 pounds (51 kg).

The division has produced many great boxers throughout history, including legends such as Jimmy Wilde and Pancho Villa.

With increased media attention and fan interest, modern flyweight champions like Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez have helped the weight class gain more recognition and respect in the boxing community. Today, the flyweight ranks are filled with exciting and talented fighters, ensuring thrilling fights and memorable moments in the division.

Side note: an interesting fact about the flyweight division is that it also acts as a springboard for many fighters to move up and find success in other divisions. As these boxers gain experience and fill out their bodies, they often transition to higher weight classes, such as super flyweight or bantamweight.

Examples of fighters who have successfully navigated this transition include Nonito Donaire, Leo Santa Cruz, and Naoya Inoue, who have all made a name for themselves at various weights within the sport.


Junior Bantamweight (Super Flyweight)

Junior bantamweight (also known as super flyweight) is a boxing weight class with a limit of 115 pounds (52 kg). The division is sandwiched between flyweight and bantamweight.

Hall of Famers like Khaosai Galaxy and Gilberto Roman are notable examples of the historic talent in this weight class.

Looking at the present landscape of the junior bantamweight division, fighters such as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, and Naoya Inoue have emerged as the cream of the crop.


Bantamweight

The bantamweight division is a prominent class in boxing, characterized by a weight limit of 118 pounds (53.5 kg).

This class has a rich history that boasts legendary fighters such as Eder Jofre, Ruben Olivares, and Carlos Zarate, who have left their indelible mark on the boxing world.

In recent years, the bantamweight division has witnessed a resurgence in interest and competitiveness, thanks to the emergence of fighters like Guillermo Rigondeaux, Naoya Inoue, and Luis Nery, who have brought excitement and intrigue to the division.


Junior Featherweight (also known as Super Bantamweight)

The junior featherweight division, also known as the super bantamweight class, features fighters with a weight limit of 122 pounds (55 kg).

Some of the greatest junior featherweight fighters in history include Wilfredo Gomez, Erik Morales, and Marco Antonio Barrera, who have left an indelible impact on the boxing world with their sensational performances and storied rivalries.

The modern junior featherweight division is home to some of the most talented fighters in professional boxing, such as Guillermo Rigondeaux, Carl Frampton, and Leo Santa Cruz.


Featherweight

The Featherweight division is marked by a weight limit of 126 pounds (57 kg) for professional boxing. Throughout history, this class has seen a plethora of great fighters demonstrate exceptional agility, focus, and commitment.

Some examples include Willie Pep, arguably one of the best defensive fighters of all time, and Salvador Sanchez, whose impressive knockouts made spectators take notice

Currently, prominent contenders in the featherweight division include Leo Santa Cruz, who was recognized as a Lineal Featherweight Champion, and Carl Frampton, an exceptional fighter with a significant reach advantage over most opponents.

Featherweights tend to rely on their speed, agility, and technical skills to outbox their opponents. An advantage of competing within this weight class is that the fighters usually possess a significant degree of athleticism, making their bouts highly entertaining and competitive.

Side note: In amateur boxing, including Olympic competitions, featherweight has a slightly different weight limit, set at 126 pounds (57 kg).


Junior Lightweight (also known as Super Featherweight)

The Junior Lightweight division, also referred to as the Super Featherweight class, caps at a weight limit of 130 pounds (59 kg) for professional boxers.

This is a big one and has been home to numerous accomplished fighters, such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., who showcased incredible knockout power and technical prowess during his time. Another noteworthy contender includes Alexis Arguello, a legendary Nicaraguan fighter acclaimed for his aggressive style and powerful punches.

Side Note: Olympic and other amateur boxing competitions have different weight limits for this class as well, mainly due to the distinctions between professional and amateur regulations.


Lightweight

Lightweight boxing encompasses fighters weighing up to 135 pounds (61 kg). This weight class has been home to numerous legendary fighters and is known for technical skill and blazing hand speed.

Historically, boxers like Benny Leonard and Roberto Durán have dominated the lightweight division.

Today, elite fighters such as Vasyl Lomachenko, Devin Haney, and Teófimo López continue to showcase the immense talent and exciting competition within the division.

It is worth noting that lightweight fighters can often possess solid knockout power despite their size. It’s not rare to see lightweight fighters have that dynamite in their hands.


Junior Welterweight (also known as Super Lightweight)

The junior welterweight, or super lightweight, division consists of fighters who weigh up to 140 pounds (63.5 kg). (This weight class serves as a bridge between the lightweight and welterweight divisions)

Notable historical junior welterweights include Aaron Pryor, considered one of the greatest puncher-boxers in the division’s history.

Present-day junior welterweights like Josh Taylor, José Ramírez, and Regis Prograis exhibit the breadth and depth of talent found in this weight class.

Success in the junior welterweight division often depends on a fighter’s ability to maintain their speed and skill while adapting to the increased power found in the welterweight category.


Welterweight

With a weight limit of 147 pounds (67 kg) the welterweight division has a rich history and has produced some of the most talented and well-known boxers in history such as Sugar Ray Leonard

In recent times, champions like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have showcased their skills in this highly competitive division (among other weight divisions of course).

In the current landscape of boxing, the welterweight division remains strong and bursting with talent. Fighters like Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford, and Keith Thurman continue to captivate fans and display the perseverance and skill associated with this weight class.


Junior Middleweight (also known as Super Welterweight or Light Middleweight)

In this weight class, boxers can weigh up to 154 pounds (70 kg).

Historically, legends like Tommy Hearns, Mike McCallum, and Terry Norris have left their mark in this division through their powerful performances and dominant victories.

Fighters in this class often achieve success by adopting a balanced combination of speed, agility, and strength.

Presently, notable champions representing the junior middleweight class include Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo, and Jarrett Hurd.


Middleweight

The upper weight limit for middleweight is 160 pounds (72.5 kg), and it has been home to legends like Marvin Hagler, Bernard Hopkins, and more recently, Canelo Alvarez.

Boxers in the middleweight division are known for their combination of power and agility, and often display exceptional technical skill.

Middleweight fighters are strong enough to deliver devastating knockouts, yet light enough to move quickly and gracefully around the ring.

Today’s middleweight landscape is dominated by contenders like Gennady Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders, and Jermall Charlo.


Super Middleweight

The Super Middleweight division in boxing boasts a weight limit of 168 pounds (76 kg), attracting fighters who possess a unique combination of power, speed, and technical ability.

One of the most iconic super middleweights is Roy Jones Jr., who held multiple championships and is considered by many as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in history.

Recent years have brought forth several incredible super middleweight fighters, including Canelo Álvarez, Callum Smith, and Billy Joe Saunders.


Light Heavyweight

The Light Heavyweight division in boxing features a weight limit of 175 pounds (79 kg).

Michael Spinks, who championed the division in the 1980s, stands out as one of the most dominant light heavyweights, while the likes of Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins also graced the division with their exceptional talents.

In recent times, the light heavyweight division has seen several prominent fighters vying for supremacy, such as Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, and Joe Smith Jr.

An important aspect to consider in the light heavyweight division is the prevalence of fighters moving between weight classes. Light heavyweights have the option to either move up to the ultra-competitive cruiserweight division to face even tougher opposition or instead drop down to the super middleweight division for a different set of challenges.


Cruiserweight

The Cruiserweight division is a weight class in professional boxing with an upper limit of 200 pounds (91 kg). This division was created to bridge the gap between the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight

Historically, the Cruiserweight division has been somewhat overlooked compared to other weight classes, but it has produced a number of skilled and exciting fighters over the years.

One of the best examples of a dominant cruiserweight champion in recent times is Oleksandr Usyk. The Ukrainian southpaw won the undisputed cruiserweight championship in 2018 by defeating Murat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series final, becoming the first fighter in history to hold all four major belts in the cruiserweight division.


Heavyweight

The heavyweight division holds a special place in boxing history, as it has consistently generated the sport’s most iconic and larger-than-life figures.

With no upper weight limit, heavyweight boxers often possess incredible strength and raw power. Legends such as Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, and Mike Tyson have left an indelible impact on the sport and solidified the heavyweight division as a fan favorite.

The biggest advantage heavyweight fighters have is their sheer size and power, which often results in explosive and crowd-pleasing knockouts.

In recent years, the heavyweight division has been dominated with contenders like Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, and Deontay Wilder.

Boxing weight classes and safety

The establishment of weight classes in boxing is a necessary measure to protect the health and safety of fighters. By grouping fighters into divisions based on their body weights, the sport minimizes the risk of injuries caused by unfair match-ups. As a result, fighters of similar stature and mass are pitted against one another, reducing the chance of a mismatch resulting in a harmful outcome.

In addition to safeguarding athletes’ health, weight classes also ensure fair competition and maintain the integrity of boxing as a sport. By enforcing strict adherence to weight limits and monitoring factors such as weight-in and rehydration, boxing organizations can create a level playing field on which fighters can showcase their skills and athleticism. Ultimately, weight classes play a pivotal role in promoting safety, fairness, and excitement within the world of boxing.

Boxing Divisions and Weight Classes – Last Words

I hope this post has broken boxing weight classes down in some simple quick to grab sections and offered some further info on boxing weight cutting and other combat sports’ weight classes.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next one – Zack

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Boxing Weight Classes

What Are the Traditional 8 Boxing Weight Classes?

Before the expansion to the current 17 weight classes in professional boxing, there were eight traditional weight divisions. These iconic divisions have produced some of the most legendary fights and champions in boxing history. The traditional eight boxing weight classes are as follows:

  1. Heavyweight: No upper weight limit.
  2. Light Heavyweight: 175 pounds (79 kg).
  3. Middleweight: 160 pounds (72.5 kg).
  4. Welterweight: 147 pounds (67 kg).
  5. Lightweight: 135 pounds (61 kg).
  6. Featherweight: 126 pounds (57 kg).
  7. Bantamweight: 118 pounds (53.5 kg).
  8. Flyweight: 112 pounds (51 kg).

Each of these weight classes has produced iconic fights and legendary champions, contributing to the rich history of boxing. It is important to note that these traditional weight divisions still exist today, but they have been joined by additional divisions to accommodate fighters of varying sizes, ensuring more fair and competitive matches.


What Are Catchweights?

In boxing, catchweights are non-standard weight limits that are agreed upon by both boxers during the negotiation phase before their bout. While most fights follow the predefined limits of the seventeen boxing weight classes, certain circumstances may require a catchweight to be set.

This could happen in cases where two fighters from different weight classes are matched up, or if a title is not on the line.


How do weight classes differ between men’s and women’s boxing?

In men’s professional boxing, there are 17 weight classes, while in women’s professional boxing, there is currently no standardized classification system, with different organizations recognizing different weight classes.

In amateur boxing, men’s Olympic-style competitions have eight weight classes, while women’s competitions have five weight classes.


Can a boxer compete in multiple weight classes?

Yes, boxers can compete in multiple weight classes throughout their careers. However, they must still make the required weight limit for each respective class during official weigh-ins.


How does the weigh-in process work?

The weigh-in process typically takes place the day before a fight.

Both fighters step onto scales to have their weights verified by officials to ensure neither fighter exceeds the pre-agreed weight limit for their weight class or catchweight.

If a fighter fails to make the required weight, they may be granted extra time to lose weight or face penalties, such as fines, forfeiture of titles, or bout cancellation.

In some cases, if agreed upon, bouts are changed to catchweight non-title fights if a fighter cannot make the required weight.


What Happens if a Boxer Doesn’t Make Weight?

When a boxer doesn’t make weight during the official weigh-in, several potential consequences can follow.

First, the fighter may be given a short window of time, often around two hours, to lose the excess weight and attempt the weigh-in again. If the deadline passes and the boxer still fails to make weight, the bout could either proceed as a non-title fight, cathweight fight, or be canceled.

Whichever decision is made, the overweight fighter is typically penalized in some way, such as a reduction in the fight purse or even a fine. If the bout turns into a non-title fight, the overweight boxer becomes ineligible to win the title should they emerge victorious in the match.

However, it’s important to note that these consequences may vary depending on the specific boxing organization overseeing the bout, as rules are not universally standardized across the sport.


How Much Weight Does a Boxer Usually Cut for a Fight?

On average, it is common for professional boxers to cut between 10 to 20 pounds leading up to a fight.

This weight cutting process usually involves reducing water weight through a combination of dieting, dehydration, and increased exercise leading up to the weigh-in. After the weigh-in, boxers typically rehydrate and consume nutrient-dense foods to regain some of the lost weight.


Why Are There So Many Boxing Weight Classes?

One primary reason for the numerous divisions is to provide a safer and fairer competitive environment for boxers.

By grouping fighters according to their body weight, the chance of having dangerous mismatches between opponents of different sizes is significantly reduced.

As boxing has evolved over the years, more classes were added to further accommodate those athletes who found themselves on the borderline between existing divisions.

Another advantage of having multiple weight classes is that it helps create a more diversified range of boxing styles and techniques.

As size and strength do play a considerable role in determining a boxer’s approach, several specific strategies have emerged within each division that are tailored to different physical attributes.


Do They Use Different Size Gloves in Each Weight Class?

Boxing gloves come in various sizes and weights, and they indeed differ among weight classes in both professional and amateur boxing.

In professional boxing, fighters usually wear either 8-ounce or 10-ounce gloves, depending on their weight class.

Typically, fighters in lower weight classes, up to and including welterweight (147 pounds), wear 8-ounce gloves. Competitors in higher weight classes starting from super welterweight (154 pounds) wear 10-ounce gloves.

In amateur boxing (governed by the International Boxing Association (AIBA)) gloves are categorized differently and are specifically designed for increased safety and protection.

Amateur fighters in weight classes up to light heavyweight (179 pounds) use 12-ounce gloves, while those in the heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions use 14-ounce gloves.

Besides the weight of gloves, another difference between professional and amateur boxing is the use of protective headgear. Amateur boxers wear headgear during their fights, whereas professional fighters do not.


Can a Boxer Fight in a Heavier Weight Class?

Yes, a boxer can fight in a heavier weight class, but doing so, of course, comes with certain risks and considerations.

It’s not a common occurrence, but moving up in weight has the potential for some fighters to compete more effectively and achieve greater success. The main reason a boxer would choose to fight in a heavier weight class is to challenge themselves against different opponents or to reach for multiple championships in different divisions or if they are struggling to continue to make weight in a smaller division.

There are advantages and disadvantages to fighting in a heavier weight class. One advantage is that a boxer may maintain more of their strength and power by not having to cut weight to compete in a lower weight class. This can also lead to improved endurance and stamina, as the boxer won’t need to deplete the body through rapid weight loss.

On the other hand, fighting in a heavier weight class can pose significant risks. The main concern is the size and strength disparity between the contender and their opponents, leading to potentially dangerous mismatches. Safety should be the top priority for both fighters and promoters when considering such matches.


What is a flyweight?

Flyweight is a boxing weight class designed for fighters who have a comparatively smaller physique and lower weight. This category caters to boxers who weigh 112 pounds (51 kg) or less. A flyweight bout exhibits the tactical prowess, speed, and agility of these fighters, who rely on their quick reflexes and high stamina to overcome their adversaries. Keep in mind that flyweight may not showcase the knockout power typically associated with higher weight classes. Famous flyweight fighters include Pancho Villa, Jimmy Wilde, and more recently, Daigo Higa and Kazuto Ioka.


How many pounds is featherweight?

The featherweight division in boxing comprises fighters weighing up to 126 pounds (57 kg).

Featherweight fighters are known for their agility, quickness, and impressive hand speed, allowing them to gracefully execute rapid combinations and evade incoming strikes. Just like the flyweight division, featherweight may not have the same knockout intensity often seen in heavier weight classes, but the athletes in this category exhibit exceptional technical skills, footwork, and tactical acumen.

Notable featherweight champions from history include Willie Pep, who is celebrated for his sublime defensive prowess, and Salvador Sanchez, regarded for his impressive power and precision. Currently, fighters making their mark in this division include Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton, both of whom have showcased skill and determination in their respective careers.


Middleweight Boxing Weight

The middleweight boxing division is one that consistently attracts great fighters and compelling rivalries. The weight limit for this division is set at 160 pounds (72.5 kg), which means fighters in this category possess a balance of power, speed, and endurance.

Historically, the division has been home to some of the most iconic fighters in boxing history, such as Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler, and Carlos Monzon.

In recent years, the middleweight division has continued to produce exceptional talent, with fighters like Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, and Daniel Jacobs occupying the spotlight.


Welterweight Boxing Weight

The welterweight boxing division is a highly competitive weight class, with a weight limit of 147 pounds (67 kg). As with all weight classes, welterweight fighters aim to balance speed and power, but they typically possess greater speed, agility, and technical skill than their heavier counterparts.

Famous fighters such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, and Manny Pacquiao have carved their names into welterweight history with memorable bouts and championship reigns. Today, the division is home to emerging talents, including Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford, and Shawn Porter, who have all showcased exceptional prowess in the ring.


Lightweight Boxing Weight

The Lightweight Boxing Weight class is designed for boxers weighing between 130 and 135 pounds (59 to 61 kg).

This weight class has produced many remarkable fighters throughout history, showcasing both power and speed in their matches. One of the most famous lightweight boxers is Roberto Duran, who is considered one of the best lightweights ever due to his exceptional skills and ferocity in the ring. Lightweight boxers often focus on speed, agility, and technique to overcome their opponents.


Light Heavyweight Boxing Weight

The Light Heavyweight Boxing Weight class is for fighters weighing between 169 and 175 pounds (76 to 79 kg). This division also has a long history of producing boxers with impressive power and boxing ability, resulting in fan-favorite fights with jaw-dropping knockouts and stunning displays of skill.

Historically, light heavyweight champions like Michael Spinks, Bob Foster, and Archie Moore have left lasting legacies in this division with their remarkable careers.

In recent years, the light heavyweight class has continued its tradition of producing exceptional fighters who captivate fans with their explosive power and skill. Fighters like Sergey Kovalev, Dmitry Bivol, and Artur Beterbiev currently lead the light heavyweight rankings.


Understanding Heavyweight Boxing Weight

Heavyweight boxing is the most renowned weight class in the sport, consisting of fighters who typically weigh over 200 pounds (91 kg).

Historically, some of the most iconic names in boxing history, such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, and Mike Tyson, have hailed from the heavyweight division. Again, with no upper weight limit, heavyweights often have significant power, leading to explosive fights that can end with a single knockout punch.

One notable aspect of heavyweight boxing is the size difference between fighters. There can be significant disparities, such as when a 220-pound boxer faces off against a 260-pound opponent.

Although heavyweight fights can be highly entertaining, the lack of an upper weight limit has also generated concerns about fairness and safety. In recent years, there have been discussions about dividing the heavyweight class into two separate divisions to address these concerns. This would create a new division called “super heavyweight,” encompassing the heaviest fighters, while retaining the current heavyweight class for slightly lighter contenders.


Here Are Some More Questions About Heavyweight Boxing

Q: How heavy can a heavyweight boxer be? A: There is no upper weight limit for the heavyweight division, so technically, a heavyweight boxer can weigh as much as they want. However, fighters must balance size and strength with speed, endurance, and overall health to ensure optimal performance and minimize the risk of injury.

Q: Who are the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time? A: There is ongoing debate about the greatest heavyweight boxers, but notable names include Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Mike Tyson, Rocky Marciano, and George Foreman. Each of these fighters brought unique styles, skills, and charisma to the ring, furthering the historical significance and cultural impact of heavyweight boxing.

Q: How can a fighter move up to the heavyweight division? A: Fighters looking to transition to a heavyweight career must increase their weight through a combination of intense training, muscle building, and proper nutrition. However, increasing size alone is not sufficient; they must also maintain their speed, endurance, and technical abilities to compete effectively in the heavyweight class. Additionally, they should tailor their fighting style to their new size and strengths to ensure a successful transition.