In professional boxing, light welterweight is contested between the lightweight and welterweight divisions, in which boxers weigh above 135 pounds and up to 63.5 kg or 140 pounds. The first champion of this weight class was Pinky Mitchell in 1946, though he was only awarded his championship by a vote of the readers of the Boxing Blade magazine.
There was not widespread acceptance of this new weight division in its early years, and the New York State Athletic Commission withdrew recognition of it in 1930. The National Boxing Association continued to recognize it until its champion, Barney Ross relinquished the title in 1935 to concentrate on regaining the welterweight championship.
A few commissions recognized bouts in the 1940s as being for the light welterweight title, but the modern beginnings of this championship date from 1959 when Carlos Ortiz won the vacant title with a victory over Kenny Lane. Both the WBA and WBC recognized the same champions until 1967, when the WBC stripped Paul Fuji of the title and matched Pedro Adigue and Adolph Pruitt for their version of the championship. Adigue won a fifteen round decision. The International Boxing Federation recognized Aaron Pryor as its first champion in 1984.
|Sanctioning Body||Reign Began||Champion||Record||Defenses|
|WBA (Super)||July 14, 2012||Danny García||30-0 (17 KO)||4|
|WBA||April 12, 2014||Jessie Vargas||26-1 (9 KO)||2|
|WBO||April 18, 2015||Terence Crawford||26-0 (18 KO)||0|
In amateur boxing, light welterweight is a weight class for fighters weighing up to 64 kilograms. For the 1952 Summer Olympics, the division was created when the span from 54–67 kg was changed from three weight classes (featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight) to four. Perhaps the most famous amateur light welterweight champion is Sugar Ray Leonard, who went on to an impressive professional career.
- 1952 – Charles Adkins (USA)
- 1956 – Vladimir Yengibaryan (URS)
- 1960 – Bohumil Nemeček (TCH)
- 1964 – Jerzy Kulej (POL)
- 1968 – Jerzy Kulej (POL)
- 1972 – Ray Seales (USA)
- 1976 – Ray Leonard (USA)
- 1980 – Patrizio Oliva (ITA)
- 1984 – Jerry Page (USA)
- 1988 – Vyacheslav Yanovskiy (URS)
- 1992 – Héctor Vinent (CUB)
- 1996 – Héctor Vinent (CUB)
- 2000 – Muhammadqodir Abdullaev (UZB)
- 2004 – Manus Boonjumnong (THA)
- 2008 – Felix Diaz (DOM)
- 2012 – Roniel Iglesias (CUB)
Notable Light welterweights
- Saensak Muangsurin
- Saoul Mamby
- Aaron Pryor
- Carlos Morocho Hernández
- Antonio Cervantes
- Julio César Chávez
- Oscar De La Hoya
- Pernell Whitaker
- Kostya Tszyu
- Duilio Loi
- Eddie Perkins
- Erik Morales
- Ricky Hatton
- Manny Pacquiao
- Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
- Amir Khan
- Juan Manuel Márquez
- Micky Ward
- Arturo Gatti
- Danny García
- Devon Alexander
- Ruslan Provodnikov
- Timothy Bradley
- In the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF), Super lightweight is 132.1 - 137 lbs or 60.04 - 62.27 kg, & Light welterweight is 137.1 - 142 lbs or 62.31 - 64.54 kg.
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- "Current WBA Champions". WBA. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- "Rankings". Boxing News. Newsquest. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- "WBC Light Welterweight Champion - Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia". Boxrec.com. 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- "Boxing's Greatest Fighters: Sugar Ray Leonard - classic - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2011-12-06.