Featherweight is a weight class in the combat sports of boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and Greco-Roman wrestling. It is anybody from 57 to 60 kg.
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.
|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||33–1 (27 KO)||0||0|
As of April30, 2021.
|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||21–0 (14 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)|
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, 1 month and 2 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, 3 months and 1 day||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.
Pan American Champions
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).
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.
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).
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|
Bonnie Canino is a retired American boxer and kickboxer, and former world featherweight champion for two different associations. She also won world titles in kick boxing for two different associations.
Middleweight is a weight class in combat sports.
Heavyweight is a weight class in combat sports and professional wrestling.
Lightweight is a weight class in combat sports and rowing.
Bantamweight is a weight class in combat sports. For boxing the range is above 115 lb (52.2 kg) and up to 118 lb (53.5 kg). In kickboxing, a bantamweight fighter generally weighs between 53 and 55 kilograms. In MMA, bantamweight is 126–135 lb (57.2–61.2 kg).
Welterweight is a weight class in combat sports. Originally the term "welterweight" was used only in boxing, but other combat sports like Muay Thai, taekwondo, and mixed martial arts also use it for their own weight division system to classify the opponents. In most sports that use it, welterweight is heavier than lightweight but lighter than middleweight.
Light heavyweight, also referred to as junior cruiserweight or light cruiserweight, is a weight class in combat sports.
Flyweight is a weight class in combat sports.
George Henry "K.O." Chaney was a hard punching featherweight and lightweight who fought from 1910 to 1928. Known as the "Knockout King of Fistiana", Chaney was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Irish-American parents. Boxing Illustrated ranked him #4 all-time in terms of pound for pound punchers, while the Bleacher Report named him the #14 greatest southpaw in boxing history. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.
Cruiserweight, also referred to as junior heavyweight, is a weight class in professional boxing between light heavyweight and heavyweight. Before the advent of the current cruiserweight class, "light heavyweight" and "cruiserweight" were sometimes used interchangeably in the United Kingdom.
Troy Glenn Dorsey is an American former boxer and kickboxer who competed in the bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight divisions. Known predominantly for his indominatable spirit, amazing physical endurance and a propensity to hammer an opponent with a withering constant barrage of punches, Dorsey began his martial arts training in karate and taekwondo at the age of ten before later making the switch to full contact kickboxing where he was a three-time world champion as well as a gold medalist the WAKO Amateur World Championships in both 1985 (London) and 1987 (Munich). He began dedicating himself to boxing in 1989 and would win the IBF World Featherweight Championship and IBO World Super Featherweight Championship before retiring in 1998.
John Patrick "Johnny" Kilbane was a featherweight boxer in the early part of the 20th century. He held the World Featherweight title from 1912 to 1923, the longest period in the division's history, having defended the title against four contenders during the reign. Statistical boxing website BoxRec lists Kilbane as the #2 ranked featherweight of all-time, while The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at #5. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Kilbane as the 8th best featherweight ever. He was inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1960 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.
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Yuriorkis Gamboa Toledano is a Cuban professional boxer. He is a former unified featherweight world champion, having held the WBA and IBF titles between 2009 and 2011, as well as the WBA interim championship in both the super featherweight and lightweight divisions. As an amateur he won a gold medal in the flyweight division at the 2004 Olympics, and bronze in the featherweight division at the 2005 World Championships.
Super featherweight, also known as junior lightweight, is a weight division in professional boxing, contested between 126 pounds (57 kg) and 130 pounds (59 kg).
Orlando Salido Rivera is a Mexican professional boxer. He is a multiple-time former world champion in two weight classes, having held the IBF featherweight title in 2010; the WBO featherweight title twice between 2011 and 2014; and the interim WBO junior lightweight title from 2014 to 2015.
Young Corbett II was an American boxer who held the World Featherweight championship. He took the name "Young Corbett II" in honor of James J. Corbett, a heavyweight champion. Corbett was posthumously inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1965 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010.
Naseem Hamed, nicknamed Prince Naseem and Naz, is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1992 to 2002. He held multiple featherweight world championships, including the WBO title from 1995 to 2000; the IBF title in 1997; and the WBC title from 1999 to 2000. He also reigned as lineal champion from 1998 to 2001; IBO champion from 2002 to 2003; and held the European bantamweight title from 1994 to 1995. Hamed is ranked the best British featherweight of all time by BoxRec. In 2015, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
In boxing, a weight class is a measurement weight range for boxers. The lower limit of a weight class is equal to the upper weight limit of the class below it. The top class, with no upper limit, is called heavyweight in professional boxing and super heavyweight in amateur boxing. A boxing match is usually scheduled for a fixed weight class, and each boxer's weight must not exceed the upper limit. Although professional boxers may fight above their weight class, an amateur boxer's weight must not fall below the lower limit. A nonstandard weight limit is called a catchweight.
Frank "Frankie" Fleming was a Canadian featherweight boxer active from 1910 to 1922. During his career he held the distinction of being the Canadian Boxing Federation Featherweight Champion. He is best known for beating all-time great Benny Leonard twice, being the only fighter to do so. He also faced Hall of Famers Johnny Kilbane, Johnny Dundee, and Freddie Welsh in defeat; challenging for the latter's World Featherweight Title. Statistical boxing website BoxRec rates Fleming as the 11th best Canadian boxer ever across all weight divisions.