Chronological lightweight boxing champions

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This is a chronological list of world lightweight boxing champions, as recognized by the following organizations:

Prior to the rise of sanctioning bodies, champions were acknowledged by the public at large.

Click here for a List of lightweight boxing champions by organization.

Reign Began Reign Ended Champion Recognition
29 October 1886 9 June 18932 Jack McAuliffe Universal
After McAuliffe's retirement the title remained inactive until 1896 when the title was won by George "Kid" Lavigne in a 17 Round KO against Dick Burge. Levingne's victory, the first fought under the Marquess of Queensberry rules, was considered by boxing promoters of the time as the first officially recognized world Lightweight Champion.
1 June 1896 3 July 1899 George "Kid" Lavigne Universal
3 July 1899 12 May 1902 Frank Erne Universal
12 May 1902 9 June 19082 Joe Gans Universal
9 June 1908 22 May 1910 Oscar "Battling" Nelson Universal
22 February 1910 28 November 1912 Adolph "Ad" Wolgast Universal
28 November 1912 7 July 1914 Willie Ritchie Universal
7 July 1914 28 May 1917 Freddie Welsh Universal
28 May 1917 15 January 19252 Benny Leonard Universal
13 July 1925 7 December 1925 Jimmy Goodrich Universal
7 December 1925 3 July 1926 Rocky Kansas Universal
3 July 1926 17 July 1930 Sammy Mandel NBA
17 July 1930 14 November 1930 Al Singer Universal
14 November 1930 23 June 1933 Tony Canzoneri Universal
23 June 1933 ?? Apr 19351 Barney Ross Universal
10 May 1935 3 September 1936 Tony Canzoneri Universal
3 September 1936 17 July? 1938 Lou Ambers Universal
17 August? 1938 22 August 1939 Henry Armstrong Universal
22 August 1939 10 May 1940 Lou Ambers NBA
10 May 1940 19 December 1941 Lew Jenkins Universal
19 December 1941 13 November 19422 Sammy Angott Universal
Following Angott's retirement the title was disputed between Beau Jack, Bob Montgomery, and Juan Zurita as well as Agnott, who later came out of retirement. Ike Williams defeats over Zurita and Montgomery, in 1945 and 1947 respectively, would become recognized as the universal Lightweight Champion.
23 September 1943 21 May 1943 Beau Jack New York
21 May 1943 19 November 1943 Bob Montgomery New York
19 November 1943 3 March 1944 Beau Jack NBA
With Jack and Montgomery enlisting in the US Army, Juan Zurita defeated Sammy Angott, after 15 Rounds, for the NBA Lightweight championship.
8 March 1944 18 April 1945 Juan Zurita NBA
18 April 1945 25 May 1951 Ike Williams Universal
25 May 1951 1 April 1952 Jimmy Carter Universal
1 April 1952 15 October 1952 Lauro Salas Universal
15 October 1952 6 February 1954 Jimmy Carter Universal
5 March 1954 17 November 1954 Paddy DeMarco Universal
17 November 1954 29 June 1955 Jimmy Carter Universal
29 June 1955 24 August 1956 Wallace "Bud" Smith Universal
24 August 1956 21 April 1962 Joe Brown Universal
21 April 1962 10 April 1965 Carlos Ortiz Universal
10 April 1965 13 November 1965 Ismael Laguna Universal
13 November 1965 29 June 1968 Carlos Ortiz Universal
29 June 1968 18 February 1969 Carlos Teo Cruz Universal
18 February 1969 3 March 1970 Mando Ramos1 Universal
3 March 1970 26 September 1970 Ismael Laguna Universal
Laguna was stripped of the WBC championship on 15 September 1970. He was only the WBA champion afterward.
26 September 1970 26 June 1972 Ken Buchanan Universal
Buchanan won the WBA championship on 26 September 1970. He added the vacant WBC championship by defeating Rubén Navarro and was recognized as the universal world champion on 12 February 1971. Buchanan was stripped of the WBC championship on 25 June 1971 and maintained only the WBA championship afterwards.
26 June 1972 1 February 1979 Roberto Durán2 Universal
Duran won the WBA championship on 26 June 1972. He added the WBC championship by defeating Esteban De Jesús and was recognized as the universal world champion on 21 January 1978.
17 April 1979 20 June 1981 Jim Watt WBC
16 June 1979 2 May 1980 Ernesto España WBA
20 June 1981 15 February 1982 Alexis Argüello WBC
2 May 1980 12 April 1981 Hilmer Kenty WBA
12 April 1981 August 1981 Sean O'Grady WBA
12 September 1981 5 December 1981 Claude Noel WBA
5 December 1981 8 May 1982 Arturo Frias WBA
8 May 1982 1 June 1984 Ray Mancini WBA
1 May 1983 3 November 1984 Edwin Rosario WBC
1 June 1984 26 September 1986 Livingstone Bramble WBA
3 November 1984 10 August 1985 José Luis Ramírez WBC
10 August 1985 May 1987 Héctor Camacho WBC
26 September 1986 21 November 1987 Edwin Rosario WBC
19 July 1987 29 October 1988 José Luis Ramírez WBC
21 November 1987 May 1989 Julio César Chávez3 WBA/WBC
Chavez became WBA champion in 1987 by defeating Edwin Rosario. He partially unified the titles on 29 October 1988, by defeating José Luis Ramírez.
18 February 1989 1992 Pernell Whitaker4 WBC, WBA, IBF
Pernell Whitaker becomes the undisputed champion of the lightweight division by winning the IBF title in February 1989, and then defeating José Luis Ramírez for the vacant WBC title on 20 August 1989, and Juan Nazario for the WBA title on 11 August 1990.
18 February 1989 4 April 1990 Edwin Rosario WBA
4 April 1990 11 August 1990 Juan Nazario WBA
6 May 1989 22 September 1990 Mauricio Aceves WBO
22 September 1990 14 September 1991 Digaan Thobela WBO
14 September 1992 24 September 1993 Giovanni Parisi WBO
10 January 1993 19 February 1994 Freddie Pendleton IBF
19 February 1994 6 May 1995 Rafael Ruelas IBF
29 July 1994 15 December 1995 Oscar De La Hoya WBO
6 May 1995 1996 Oscar De La Hoya IBF/WBO
19 August 1995 2 August 1997 Philip Holiday IBF
13 April 1996 3 January 2004 Artur Grigorian WBO
2 August 1997 April 1999 Shane Mosley IBF
20 August 1999 22 November 2003 Paul Spadafora IBf
5 January 2002 17 May 2004 Leonard Dorin WBC
22 November 2003 13 May 2004 Javier Jauregui IBF
3 January 2004 7 August 2004 Acelino Freitas WBO
10 April 2004 17 July 2004 Lakva Sim WBC
13 May 2004 17 June 2005 Julio Díaz IBF
4 May 2004 7 May 2005 José Luis Castillo WBC
17 July 2004 current Juan Díaz WBA
7 August 2004 6 March 2006 Diego Corrales WBO
7 May 2005 current Diego Corrales WBC & WBO
17 June 2005 17 November 2005 Leavander Johnson IBF
17 November 2005 3 February 2007 Jesús Chávez IBF
29 April 2006 4 October 2006 2 Acelino Freitas WBO
3 February 2007 current Julio Díaz IBF

Footnotes[edit]

1 Disputed. See article on Pedro Carrasco.
2 Relinquished championship title.
3 Retired as champion, relinquishing title.
4 Championship recognition withdrawn by sanctioning organization due to champion's failure or refusal to defend title against the organization's #1 ranked contender.