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.
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
|Sanctioning Body||Reign Began||Champion||Record||Defenses||Beaten opponents|
|WBA (Super)||January 29, 2017||Léo Santa Cruz||37–2–1 (19 KO)||3||3|
|WBC||March 28, 2015||Gary Russell, Jr.||31–1 (18 KO)||5||5|
|WBO||October 9, 2020||Emanuel Navarrete||34–1 (29 KO)||1||1|
Current The Ring world rankings
As of June 14, 2021.
- The Ring world champion Current
|1||Josh Warrington||30–1 (7 KO)||IBF|
|2||Gary Russell Jr.||31–1 (18 KO)||WBC|
|3||Xu Can||18–2 (3 KO)|
|4||Shakur Stevenson||15–0 (8 KO)|
|5||Mark Magsayo||22–0 (15 KO)|
|6||Abdul Barry Awad||27–1 (16 KO)|
|7||Tugstsogt Nyambayar||12–1 (9 KO)|
|8||Ruben Villa||18–1 (5 KO)|
|9||Jessie Magdaleno||28–1 (18 KO)|
|10||Miguel Marriaga||29–4 (25 KO)|
Longest reigning world featherweight champions
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||4||2|||
|2.||Chris John||10 years, 1 month, 5 days||WBA||18||16|||
|3.||Abe Attell||8 years, 5 months, 19 days||World||22||14|||
|4.||Eusebio Pedroza||7 years, 1 month, 23 days||WBA||19||18|||
|5.||Sandy Saddler||6 years, 4 months, 13 days||World||4||3|||
|6.||Gary Russell, Jr.||6 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 3 days||WBC||5||5|||
|7.||Naseem Hamed||4 years, 11 months, 20 days||WBO||15||15|||
|8.||George Dixon||4 years, 5 months||World||4||4|||
|9.||Léo Santa Cruz||4 years, 4 months, 2 weeks and 2 days||WBA (Super)||5||5||}}</ref>|
|10.||Antonio Esparragoza||4 years, 27 days||WBA||7||7|||
|11.||Davey Moore||4 years, 3 days||World||5||4|||
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.
- Alexis Argüello
- Henry Armstrong
- Abe Attell
- Marco Antonio Barrera
- Kid Chocolate
- Luisito Espinosa
- Wilfredo Gómez
- Wilfredo Vázquez
- Naseem Hamed
- Paul Ingle
- Chris 'The Dragon' John
- Tom "Boom Boom" Johnson
- Kevin Kelley
- Derrick Gainer
- Kina Malpartida
- Juan Manuel Márquez
- Barry McGuigan
- Érik Morales
- Azumah Nelson
- Manny Pacquiao
- Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire
- Tommy Paul
- Willie Pep
- Sandy Saddler
- Calvin Grove
- Vicente Saldivar
- Salvador Sánchez
- Orlando Salido
- Miguel Ángel García
- Juan Manuel López
- Yuriorkis Gamboa
- Jeff Fenech
- Vasyl Lomachenko
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 Bellator Kickboxing promotion, a featherweight division is up to 66 kg (146 lb).
In International Lethwei Federation Japan Thar A Thae Ta Pwint is the Featherweight Champion.
Mixed Martial Arts
These tables were last updated in August 2020.
|UFC||December 14, 2019||Alexander Volkanovski||22–1 (11KO 3SUB)||1|
|Bellator MMA||April 21, 2017||Patrício Freire||30–4 (10KO 11SUB)||3|
|ONE Championship||August 18, 2017||Martin Nguyen||13–3 (9KO 3SUB)||3|
|ACA||October 4, 2019||Felipe Froes||18–4 (7KO 2SUB)||0|
|Cage Warriors||June 29, 2019||Mads Burnell||13–3 (8SUB)||0|
|Fight Nights Global||Vacant|
|Brave Combat Federation||September 21, 2018||Bubba Jenkins||14–4 (6KO 3SUB)||1|
|Titan FC||April 6, 2018||Jason Soares||14–0 (3KO 9SUB)||3|
|Legacy Fighting Alliance||July 10, 2020||Justin Gonzales||11–0 (4KO 1SUB)||0|
|Road FC||November 3, 2018||Jeong Yeong Lee||9–1 (3KO 3SUB)||1|
|KSW||April 27, 2019||Salahdine Parnasse||14–0–1 (2KO 4SUB)||1|
|UFC||December 29, 2018||Amanda Nunes||20–4 (13KO 3SUB)||1|
|Bellator MMA||January 25, 2020||Cris Cyborg||22–2 (1) (18KO 1NC)||0|
|Invicta FC||August 9, 2019||Pam Sorenson||8–3 (1SUB)||0|
- Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London, England: Carlton Books. p. 172. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.
- "The Ring ratings: featherweight". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "Professional boxing record: Johnny Kilbane". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "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.
- "Professional boxing record: Chris John". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "Professional boxing record: Abe Attell". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "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.
- "Professional boxing record: Sandy Saddler". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "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.
- "Professional boxing record: Gary Allen Russell Jr". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "Professional boxing record: Naseem Hamed". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "Professional boxing record: George Dixon". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "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.
- "Professional boxing record: Antonio Esparragoza". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- "Professional boxing record: Davey Moore". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- OFFICIAL GLORY RANKING Archived 2014-01-18 at the Wayback Machine