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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


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

Sanctioning BodyReign BeganChampionRecordDefenses
WBA January 29, 2017 Léo Santa Cruz 38–2–1 (19 KO)3
WBC January 22, 2022 Mark Magsayo 24–0 (16 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

As of June7, 2022. [2]


 C  Current The Ring world champion
1 Emanuel Navarrete 35–1 (29 KO) WBO
2 Mark Magsayo 24–0 (16 KO) WBC
3 Mauricio Lara 24–2–1 (17 KO)
4 Josh Warrington 31–1–1 (8 KO) IBF
5 Leigh Wood 26–2 (16 KO)
6 Gary Russell Jr. 31–2 (18 KO)
7 Kiko Martinez 43–11–2 (30 KO)
8 Kid Galahad 28–2 (17 KO)
9Joet Gonzalez25–2 (14 KO)
10 Michael Conlan 16–1 (8 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.

NameTitle reignTitle recognitionSuccessful defensesBeaten opponentsFights
1. Johnny Kilbane 11 years, 3 months, 24 daysWorld/NYSAC42 [3] [4]
2. Chris John 10 years, 1 month, 5 daysWBA1816 [5]
3. Abe Attell 8 years, 5 months, 19 daysWorld2214 [6]
4. Eusebio Pedroza 7 years, 1 month, 23 daysWBA1918 [7]
5. Gary Russell, Jr. 6 years, 9 month, 25 daysWBC55 [8]
6. Sandy Saddler 6 years, 4 months, 13 daysWorld43 [9] [10]
7. Léo Santa Cruz 5 years, 4 months, 1 week and 2 daysWBA (Super)55 [11]
8. Naseem Hamed 4 years, 11 months, 20 daysWBO1515 [12]
9. George Dixon 4 years, 5 monthsWorld44 [13] [14]
10. Antonio Esparragoza 4 years, 27 daysWBA77 [15]
11. Davey Moore 4 years, 3 daysWorld54 [16]

Amateur boxing

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

Pan American Champions

Notable featherweights


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).


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

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

These tables were last updated in August 2020.


OrganizationReign BeganChampionRecordDefenses
UFC December 14, 2019 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Alexander Volkanovski 24–1 (12KO 3SUB)3
Bellator MMA April 15, 2022 Flag of Brazil.svg Patrício Pitbull 33-5 (11KO 12SUB)0
ONE Championship August 18, 2017 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Martin Nguyen13–3 (9KO 3SUB)3
ACA October 4, 2019 Flag of Brazil.svg Felipe Froes18–4 (7KO 2SUB)0
Cage Warriors June 29, 2019 Flag of Denmark.svg Mads Burnell 13–3 (8SUB)0
M-1 Global Flag placeholder.svg Vacant
Fight Nights Global Flag placeholder.svg Vacant
Brave Combat Federation September 21, 2018 Flag of the United States.svg Bubba Jenkins 14–4 (6KO 3SUB)1
Titan FC April 6, 2018 Flag of the United States.svg Jason Soares14–0 (3KO 9SUB)3
Legacy Fighting Alliance July 10, 2020 Flag of the United States.svg Justin Gonzales11–0 (4KO 1SUB)0
Road FC November 3, 2018 Flag of South Korea.svg Jeong Yeong Lee9–1 (3KO 3SUB)1
KSW April 27, 2019 Flag of France.svg Salahdine Parnasse14–0–1 (2KO 4SUB)1


OrganizationReign BeganChampionRecordDefenses
UFC December 29, 2018 Flag of Brazil.svg Amanda Nunes 20–4 (13KO 3SUB)1
Bellator MMA January 25, 2020 Flag of Brazil.svg Cris Cyborg 22–2 (1) (18KO 1NC)0
Invicta FC August 9, 2019 Flag of the United States.svg Pam Sorenson 8–3 (1SUB)0

See also

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