Minimumweight

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Minimumweight (also referred to as strawweight or mini flyweight) is a weight class division in combat sports. The most notable of which is in professional boxing where boxers may weigh no more than 105 pounds (48 kg). This is a relatively new weight category for professionals, first inaugurated by the major boxing sanctioning bodies between 1987 and 1990.

Ricardo López holds the record for most consecutive title defenses at this division, with 21 defenses of the WBC title.

In MMA, strawweight is considered 115lbs (52kg) and below and is typically contested by women. It is never referred to as "minimumweight" in MMA.

History[edit]

The minimumweight division was originally introduced in 1968 for the Summer Olympic Games under the name light flyweight. However the division was not recognized by any the four most widely-regarded sanctioning bodies until the International Boxing Federation (IBF) in June 1987 when Kyung-Yun Lee knocked out Masaharu Kawakami to become the inaugural champion.

The division was then later recognized by the World Boxing Council (WBC) in October 1987, the World Boxing Association (WBA) in January 1988, and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) in August 1989. While Ring magazine did not begin ranking minimumweights until 1997 under the name strawweights and has yet to name a champion in their rankings.

Historically the weight class has been dominated by Latin Americans and Asians with only a limited amount of success coming from other nationalities.

Late 1980s (1987-1989)

In the early years of the division, fighters such as Napa Kiatwanchai found success defending the WBC belt. Including early wins over a young up-and-coming Hiroki Ioka who later found success at light flyweight, flyweight, and super flyweight.

Other notable champions of this period included Nico Thomas, Jum-Hwan Choi and Leo Gamez.

1990s

Most of the 1990s were dominated by Ricardo López. López holds a number of records in the division, including the most title defenses with 21, and is the first and (so far) only minimumweight to hold two different major titles simultaneously (WBC and WBO).

Other successful fighters of this period include:

The division also saw its first champions not from Latin America or Asia when Scotland's Paul Weir won the vacant WBO title over Fernando Martinez in May 1993. This was followed by South Africa's Zolani Petelo who won the IBF title in December 1997.

Other notable fighters of this period included, Hi-Yong Choi, Hideyuki Ohashi, Alex Sánchez, Wandee Chor Chareon, Rocky Lin, Ala Villamor, Kermin Guardia, Noel Arambulet, Songkram Porpaoin, and Osvaldo Guerrero.[1]

2000s

2000-2003

In the early part of the decade, José Antonio Aguirre and Iván Calderón were the most decorated champions.

2004-2006

Muhammad Rachman, Yutaka Niida, and Eagle Kyowa became champions. José Antonio Aguirre began to decline but Iván Calderón continued to defend his WBO title until August 2007 when he moved up to light flyweight.

2007-2009

In the later part of the decade, Oleydong Sithsamerchai, Donnie Nietes, Raúl García, and Román González were champions.

2010s

In the early part of the decade many of the fighters from the end of the 2000s continued to find success. However new faces have included Denver Cuello and Kazuto Ioka (nephew of 1980s champion Hiroki Ioka).

Amateur boxing[edit]

Since 1968, the Summer Olympic Games has featured the 48 kilogram division under the name light flyweight (not to be confused with the 108 pound division in professional boxing).

Olympic Champions[edit]

European Champions[edit]

Pan American Champions[edit]

Notable minimumweights[edit]

Men:

Women:

Current professional boxing champions[edit]

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA March 1, 2014 South Africa Hekkie Budler 26-1 (9 KO) 1
WBC February 5, 2014 Mexico Oswaldo Novoa 14-4-1 (9 KO) 1
IBF March 30, 2013 Japan Katsunari Takayama 27-6-0-1 (10 KO) 2
WBO March 22, 2014 Mexico Francisco Rodriguez, Jr. 14-2 (10 KO) 0

For a full list, see List of minimumweight boxing champions

Other Sports[edit]

Other sports to include a minimumweight division include the following,

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://boxrec.com/media/index.php/The_Ring_Magazine%27s_Annual_Ratings:_Strawweight--1990s