Featherweight

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Featherweight is a weight class in the combat sports of boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Boxing[edit]

Professional boxing[edit]

History[edit]

A featherweight boxer weighs in at a limit of 126 pounds (57 kg). In the early days of the division, this limit fluctuated. The British have generally always recognized the limit at 126 pounds, but in America the weight limit was at first 114 pounds. An early champion, George Dixon, moved the limit to 120 and then 122 pounds. Finally, in 1920 the United States fixed the limit at 126 pounds.[1]

The 1860 fight between Nobby Clark and Jim Elliott is sometimes called the first featherweight championship. However, the division only gained wide acceptance in 1889 after the Ike Weir–Frank Murphy fight (one of the most famous fights of all time).

Since the end of the 2000s and early 2010s the featherweight division is one of the most active in boxing with fighters such as Orlando Salido, Chris John, Juan Manuel López, Celestino Caballero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Elio Rojas, Israel Vazquez, Cristobal Cruz, Rafael Márquez, Rocky Juarez, Steven Luevano, Naseem Hamed, Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao.

Current world champions[edit]

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA January 29, 2017 Léo Santa Cruz 38–2–1 (19 KO) 3
WBC July 9, 2022 Rey Vargas 36–0 (22 KO) 0
IBF March 26, 2022 Josh Warrington 31–1–1 (8 KO) 0
WBO October 9, 2020 Emanuel Navarrete 35–1 (29 KO) 2

Current The Ring world rankings[edit]

As of September 25, 2022.[2]

Keys:

 C  Current The Ring world champion
Rank Name Record Title(s)
C vacant
1 Emanuel Navarrete 35–1 (29 KO) WBO
2 Rey Vargas 36–0 (22 KO) WBC
3 Mark Magsayo 24–1 (16 KO)
4 Mauricio Lara 24–2–1 (17 KO)
5 Josh Warrington 31–1–1 (8 KO) IBF
6 Leigh Wood 26–2 (16 KO)
7 Gary Russell Jr. 31–2 (18 KO)
8 Kiko Martínez 43–11–2 (30 KO)
9 Kid Galahad 28–2 (17 KO)
10 Robeisy Ramírez 10–1 (6 KO)

Longest reigning world featherweight champions[edit]

Below is a list of longest reigning featherweight 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. Johnny Kilbane 11 years, 3 months, 24 days World/NYSAC 4 2 [3][4]
2. Chris John 10 years, 1 month, 5 days WBA 18 16 [5]
3. Abe Attell 8 years, 5 months, 19 days World 22 14 [6]
4. Eusebio Pedroza 7 years, 1 month, 23 days WBA 19 18 [7]
5. Gary Russell, Jr. 6 years, 9 month, 25 days WBC 5 5 [8]
6. Sandy Saddler 6 years, 4 months, 13 days World 4 3 [9][10]
7. Léo Santa Cruz 5 years, 7 months, 3 weeks and 6 days WBA (Super) 5 5 [11]
8. Naseem Hamed 4 years, 11 months, 20 days WBO 15 15 [12]
9. George Dixon 4 years, 5 months World 4 4 [13][14]
10. Antonio Esparragoza 4 years, 27 days WBA 7 7 [15]
11. Davey Moore 4 years, 3 days World 5 4 [16]

Amateur boxing[edit]

In amateur boxing, the weight limit is 54 to 57 kilograms (119 to 126 lb) for women and 52 to 57 kilograms (115 to 126 lb) for men. To make room for the introduction of women's boxing to the Olympics in 2012, the men's featherweight class was dropped down one kilogram and became bantamweight. Following further adjustments, the 2020 Olympics will again feature men's featherweight and, for the first time, women's featherweight.[17]

Olympic champions[edit]

Pan American Champions[edit]

Notable featherweights[edit]

Kickboxing[edit]

In kickboxing, a featherweight fighter generally weighs between 55 and 59 kg (121 and 130 lb). However, some governing bodies have slightly different classes. For example, the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) featherweight division (professional and amateur) is between 122.1–127 lb (55.4–57.6 kg).

In Glory promotion, a featherweight division is up to 65 kg (143 lb).[18]

In Bellator Kickboxing promotion, a featherweight division is up to 66 kg (146 lb).

In ONE Championship, the featherweight division limit is 70.3 kg (155 lb).

Lethwei[edit]

International Lethwei Federation Japan has a featherweight division with an upper limit of 65 kg (143 lb). In International Lethwei Federation Japan, Thar A Thae Ta Pwint is the Featherweight Champion.

In World Lethwei Championship, the featherweight division has an upper limit of 57 kg (126 lb).

Mixed Martial Arts[edit]

In MMA, within the UFC company and most other MMA companies the featherweight range is from 136 to 145 lb (62 to 66 kg).

Current champions[edit]

These tables were last updated in August 2020.

Men:

Organization Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
UFC December 14, 2019 Australia Alexander Volkanovski 24–1 (12KO 3SUB) 3
Bellator MMA April 15, 2022 Brazil Patrício Pitbull 33-5 (11KO 12SUB) 0
ONE Championship August 18, 2017 Australia Martin Nguyen 13–3 (9KO 3SUB) 3
ACA October 4, 2019 Brazil Felipe Froes 18–4 (7KO 2SUB) 0
Cage Warriors June 29, 2019 Denmark Mads Burnell 13–3 (8SUB) 0
M-1 Global Vacant
Fight Nights Global Vacant
Brave Combat Federation September 21, 2018 United States Bubba Jenkins 14–4 (6KO 3SUB) 1
Titan FC April 6, 2018 United States Jason Soares 14–0 (3KO 9SUB) 3
Legacy Fighting Alliance July 10, 2020 United States Justin Gonzales 11–0 (4KO 1SUB) 0
Road FC November 3, 2018 South Korea Jeong Yeong Lee 9–1 (3KO 3SUB) 1
KSW April 27, 2019 France Salahdine Parnasse 14–0–1 (2KO 4SUB) 1

Women:

Organization Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
UFC December 29, 2018 Brazil Amanda Nunes 20–4 (13KO 3SUB) 1
Bellator MMA January 25, 2020 Brazil Cris Cyborg 22–2 (1) (18KO 1NC) 0
Invicta FC August 9, 2019 United States Pam Sorenson 8–3 (1SUB) 0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London, England: Carlton Books. p. 172. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.
  2. ^ "The Ring ratings: featherweight". Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Professional boxing record: Johnny Kilbane". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Johnny Kilbane, p. 172" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Professional boxing record: Chris John". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Professional boxing record: Abe Attell". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Eusebio Pedrosa, p. 668" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Professional boxing record: Gary Allen Russell Jr". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Professional boxing record: Sandy Saddler". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Sandy Saddler, p. 720" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Professional boxing record: Léo Santa Cruz". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Professional boxing record: Naseem Hamed". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Professional boxing record: George Dixon". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  14. ^ "George Dixon, p. 118" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Professional boxing record: Antonio Esparragoza". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Professional boxing record: Davey Moore". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  17. ^ "2 Gone and 2 Changed – Info on NEW Men's Olympic Weight Classes - Irish Boxing". 10 September 2018.
  18. ^ OFFICIAL GLORY RANKING Archived 2014-01-18 at the Wayback Machine