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


Professional boxing[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. Johnny Kilbane, considered one of the greatest featherweight champions of all time, held the championship for 11 years, starting when he won the title in 1912 from Abe Attell until he lost the title in 1923 to Eugène Criqui. To this day he remains the second longest world title holder in boxing history. Eusebio Pedroza holds the record, set in 1985, for most consecutive title defenses at this division, with 19 defenses of the WBA title.

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 and Manny Pacquiao.

Professional champions[edit]

Current champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA (Super) January 29, 2017 Mexico Léo Santa Cruz 34–1–1 (19 KO) 1
WBA (Regular) July 4, 2018 Puerto Rico Jesús Rojas 26–2–2 (19 KO) 0
WBC March 28, 2015 United States Gary Russell, Jr. 29–1 (17 KO) 3
IBF May 19, 2018 United Kingdom Josh Warrington 27–0 (6 KO) 0
WBO July 23, 2016 Mexico Óscar Valdez 24–0 (19 KO) 4

Current interim champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA July 15, 2018 Philippines Jhack Tepora 22–0 (17 KO) 0
WBO April 21, 2018 United Kingdom Carl Frampton 26–1 (15 KO) 1

Longest reigning 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
1. United States Johnny Kilbane 11 years, 3 months, 24 days World 4
2. Indonesia Chris John 10 years, 1 month, 5 days WBA 18
3. United States Abe Attell 10 years World 18
4. Panama Eusebio Pedroza 7 years, 1 month, 23 days WBA 19
5. United States Sandy Saddler 7 years World 4
6. United Kingdom Naseem Hamed 4 years, 11 months, 20 days WBO 15
7. United States George Dixon 4 years, 5 months World 3
8. Venezuela Antonio Esparragoza 4 years, 27 days WBA 7
9. United States Davey Moore 4 years, 3 days World 5
10. United States Tom Johnson 3 years, 11 months, 12 days IBF 10

Amateur boxing[edit]

In amateur boxing, the weight limit is 54 to 57 kilograms (119 to 126 lb).

Notable featherweights[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).[2]

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

Mixed Martial Arts[edit]

In MMA, within the UFC company and most other MMA companies the featherweight range is from 61.7 to 65.8 kg (136 to 145 lb).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London, England: Carlton Books. p. 172. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5. 
  2. ^ OFFICIAL GLORY RANKING Archived 2014-01-18 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]