Boxing has 17 weight divisions in total. The classes range from 105 pounds to 200 to 300-pound champions. The weight classes were essentially established to limit the instances of mismatches between boxing opponents of different sizes. Over several years, the number of weight classes has evolved from eight to seventeen divisions. Initially, the weight classes were featherweight, flyweight, lightweight, middleweight, bantamweight, welterweight, heavyweight, and junior middleweight.
Having the 17 divisions, in theory, is essential in creating a safer and more fair environment for competitive boxing matches. It also offers a chance for aspiring professional boxers to compete. Currently, players can sign under reputable brand management firms like probellum linktr.ee and start the journey of becoming future boxing champions.
With the previous divisions, several boxers would either have been a little too mall or too big to compete or become champions. If you are developing an interest in boxing and have no idea what some of these divisions entail, then keep reading.
This is one of the most glamorous divisions in professional boxing and was created in 1738 by Jack Broughton. The fighters in this division weighed in at 72.57+ kg/ 160+ lb. Because the division didn’t have a weight limit, fighters weighing anything more than the limit were theoretically free to fight as heavyweights. The stipulated weight for a fighter in the heavyweight division would continue to be modified in subsequent years.
In 1992, the New York Walker Law changed it to 175+ lb. Later in 1979, the WBC adjusted it to 190+ lb. Finally, the WBA, WBC, and IBF collectively set the weight at 200 lb+, which remains to date. On September 7, 1892, legendary John L. Sullivan became the inaugural heavyweight champion after defeating Jim Corbett.
Years later, in 1962, Floyd Patterson won the WBA heavyweight championship. Over the years, some of the most notable heavyweight champions have been John L. Sullivan, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Mike Tyson, Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury.
- Super middleweight
In the ’60s, there was a growing interest in establishing a division between the light heavyweight and middleweight, which are 2 of the eight original divisions. The origin of this division can be traced back to “junior light heavyweight.” This title was briefly recognized by some states, whose limit was 75.75 kg / 167 lb. In April 1967, Don Fullmer challenged Jon Hopkin to the junior lightweight championship, which was vacant. With this TKO win, Fullmer became the inaugural champion.
The super middleweight championship title was reinstated several other times afterward. The most notable events were in 1974 after Billy Douglas’ victory and 1982’s Jerry Halstead victory. IBF was the first of four major sanctioning bodies in boxing to introduce the super middleweight belt in 1984. The WBA followed suit in 1987, and the WBC did the same in 1988.
The longest reign under this title is jointly held by German and British boxers Sven Ottke and Joe Calzaghe. Both had 21 title defenses. Other notable super middleweight champion boxers are Chris Eubank, Andre Ward, Roy Jones Jr, and Nigel Benn.
The world lightweight division goes back to 1738 when it was introduced by Jack Broughton, famously known as the father of English boxing. The lightweight division was reserved for any boxer weighing under 160 lb / 72.57 kg. In 1889 the ABA modified this to ten stones. Finally, in 1909, the NSC established the weight limit at 135 lb / 61.23 kg. The first know lightweight champion was Englishman John Monaghan, who won in 1850.
In 1982 WBA declared Carlos Ortiz as champion after he beat Joe Brown in the inaugural lightweight fight. The IBF crowned their world lightweight champion in 1984, with the WBO following suit in 1989. Panamanian boxing champion Robert Duran is the longest-reigning champion in this division, having had 12 title defenses.
Some of the most notable lightweight winners include Benny Leonard, Hector Camacho, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Oscar De La Hoya.
- Cruiserweight/ Junior heavyweight
This division was first established in 1979 by the WBC. The weight limit is 190 lb / 86.16 kg to accommodate smaller heavyweights that cannot compete against the growing size of other fighters in the heavyweight division. The first-ever cruiserweight world championship was fought between Mate Parlov and Marvin Camel. The first bout ended in a draw, but after a rematch, Camel emerged victorious, getting the WBC cruiserweight championship belt.
In 2003, the WBC, in conjunction with the other three sanctioning bodies, decided to set the limit for this division at 200 lb / 90.71 kg. The longest cruiserweight title is held by Marco Huck and Johnny Nelson, both boasting 13 title defenses. Notable cruiserweight champions include O’Neil Bell, Oleksandr Usyk, Evander Holyfield, and Carlos de Leon.
These are just four of the seventeen title divisions in professional boxing. Because of the increase in divisions, you can now follow your aspirations of becoming a boxing champion more easily. To improve your chances of becoming successful in this field, ensure that you have the right team on your side from the beginning.