Last updated

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.



The first known instance of the term is from 1831, meaning "heavyweight horseman," later "boxer or wrestler of a certain weight" by 1896. This sense comes from earlier "welter" "heavyweight horseman or boxer" from 1804, possibly from "welt", meaning "to beat severely", from c. 15th century [1]


Professional boxing

A welterweight boxer's weight is greater than 63.5 kg (140 lb), but no more than 66.7 kg (147 lb). [2]

Current world champions

Current champions

Sanctioning bodyReign beganChampionRecordDefensesBeaten opponents
WBA July 20, 2019 Flag of the Philippines.svg Manny Pacquiao 62–7–2 (39 KO)00
WBC September 29, 2019 Flag of the United States.svg Errol Spence Jr. 26-0 (21 KO)00
IBF May 27, 2017 Flag of the United States.svg Errol Spence Jr. 26–0 (21 KO)44
WBO June 9, 2018 Flag of the United States.svg Terence Crawford 35–0 (26 KO)33

Current The Ring world rankings

As of June10, 2020. [3]


 C  Current The Ring world champion
1 Flag of the United States.svg Errol Spence Jr. 26–0 (21 KO) IBF, WBC
2 Flag of the United States.svg Terence Crawford 36–0 (27 KO) WBO
3 Flag of the Philippines.svg Manny Pacquiao 62–7–2 (39 KO) WBA
4 Flag of the United States.svg Keith Thurman 29–1 (22 KO)
5 Flag of the United States.svg Shawn Porter 30–3–1 (17 KO)
6 Flag of the United States.svg Danny García 36–2 (21 KO)
7 Flag of Cuba.svg Yordenis Ugás 25–4 (12 KO)
8 Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Qudratillo Abduqaxorov 17–0 (9 KO)
9 Flag of Russia.svg Sergey Lipinets 16–1 (12 KO)
10 Flag of the United States.svg Mikey Garcia 40–1 (30 KO)

Longest reigning world welterweight champions

Below is a list of longest reigning welterweight 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. Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Felix Trinidad 6 years, 8 months, 14 daysIBF1515 [4]
2. Flag of Mexico.svg Antonio Margarito 5 years, 3 months, 28 daysWBO77 [5]
3. Flag of Cuba.svg José Nápoles 4 years, 6 months, 2 daysWBA, WBC119 [6]
4. Flag of the United States.svg Floyd Mayweather Jr. 4 years, 1 month, 18 daysWBC54 [7]
5. Flag of the United States.svg Pernell Whitaker 4 years, 1 month, 6 daysWBC87 [8]
6. Flag of Mexico.svg Pipino Cuevas 4 years and 16 daysWBA1110 [9]
7. Flag of the United States.svg Sugar Ray Robinson 3 years, 7 months, 19 daysWorld55 [10] [11]
8. Flag of the United States.svg Donald Curry 3 years, 7 months, 14 daysWBA77 [12]
9. Flag of the United States.svg Jack Britton 3 years, 7 months, 13 daysWorld108 [13] [14]

Amateur boxing

Olympic champions

The current Olympic male welterweight division is set at 64–69 kg (141–152 lb). [2]


The weight division system is different in each organisation, so the kickboxing weight divisions of some international organizations vary:

Mixed martial arts

The welterweight limit, as defined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission [19] and the Association of Boxing Commissions [20] is 155 to 170 lb (70.3 to 77.1 kg).

Current champions

This table is not always up to date. Last updated March 15, 2019.

OrganizationReign beganChampionRecordDefenses
UFC March 3, 2019 Flag of Nigeria.svg Kamaru Usman 151 (6KO 2SUB)1
Bellator MMA January 20, 2018 Flag of Brazil.svg Douglas Lima 204 (7KO 7SUB)0
ONE Championship October 25, 2019 Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg Kiamrian Abbasov224 (7KO 4SUB)0
British Association of Mixed Martial Arts March 9, 2018 Flag of England.svg Terry Brazier101 (4KO 2SUB)0
Fight Nights Global May 19, 2017 Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Georgy Kichigin185 (1KO 15SUB)1
KSW April 14, 2018 Flag of South Africa.svg Dricus du Plessis 121 (4KO 8SUB)0
Titan FC June 29, 2018 Flag of Slovenia.svg Uroš Jurišic90 (4KO 4SUB)0
ACB August 19, 2017 Flag of Russia.svg Mukhamed Berkhamov120 (2KO 8SUB)0
Legacy Fighting Alliance September 22, 2017 Flag of the United States.svg James Nakashima800
Cage Warriors Oct 20, 2018 Flag of Scotland.svg Ross Houston800

Other sports

Other sports to include a welterweight division include the following,

Related Research Articles

Benny Urquidez American kickboxer, martial artist

Benny Urquidez is an American kickboxer, martial arts choreographer and actor. Nicknamed "The Jet", Urquidez was a non-contact karate competitor who later pioneered full-contact fighting in the United States. He made the transition from point to full-contact karate in 1974, the year of its inception in the US, frequently fighting in bouts where the rules were ambiguous and contrasts in styles were dramatic. Urquidez is also known for once holding the rare achievement of six world titles in five different weight divisions, and remained largely undefeated in his 27-year career. His only loss came in a Muay Thai match which was shrouded in controversy, as Urquidez had only agreed to a no-decision exhibition, a clause which was ignored when the fight had ended.

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 pounds (52.2 kg) and up to 118 pounds (53.5 kg). In kickboxing, a bantamweight fighter generally weighs between 53 kg (116 lb) and 55 kg (120 lb). In MMA, bantamweight is 126–135 pounds (57.2–61.2 kg).

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

The International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) is one of the oldest and the largest professional sanctioning organizations of kickboxing and Muay Thai in the world and is based in the United States. The IKF sanctions and regulates all aspects of these sports from Semi Contact to Full Contact in both Amateur and Professional levels. The IKF World Headquarters located in Newcastle, California, USA oversees over 2,000 IKF events a year around the world.

Light middleweight, also known as super welterweight or junior middleweight, is a weight class in combat sports.

Light welterweight, also known as junior welterweight or super lightweight, is a weight class in combat sports.

Kickboxing weight classes are weight classes that pertain to the sport of kickboxing.

The welterweight division in mixed martial arts contains different weight classes:

Curtis Bush is an American world champion kickboxer who competed in the welterweight, super-welterweight, light-middleweight and middleweight divisions. A tall southpaw possessing dangerous spinning back kicks and spinning back fists, Bush competed entirely under full contact rules and was a two-time Virginia state champion as an amateur before turning professional in 1983. After knocking out Robert Visitacion to become the North American welterweight champion in 1987, he went on to win five world titles in four weight classes and retired from competition in 1999.

Dale Cook is an American former kickboxer who competed in the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions. With a background in karate and taekwondo, Cook debuted professionally in 1977 and spent the early part of his career as a full contact rules fighter, winning the PKA World Middleweight Championship. In the 1980s, he began fighting under Oriental and Muay Thai rules and took two world titles under the WKA banner. A short stint in shoot boxing towards the end of his career in the mid-1990s resulted in another world title in that discipline.

John Wayne Parr Australian martial artist

John Wayne "The Gunslinger" Parr, also known as JWP, is an Australian kickboxer and boxer, fighting out of Boonchu Gym in Gold Coast, Queensland. He is a former 10-time World Champion and was the runner up on The Contender Asia.

Rick Cheek American kickboxer and MMA fighter

Richard P. "Rick" Cheek is an American kickboxer and mixed martial artist who competes in the heavyweight division. A North American Muay Thai champion as an amateur, Cheek turned professional in 2005 and debuted in K-1 the same year. He holds notable wins over WSOF standout Dave Huckaba in MMA, 2001 K-1 Japan Grand Prix Champion Nicholas Pettas and multiple time world kickboxing champion Mike Sheppard

Besim Kabashi was a Kosovar-German kickboxer who competed in the light heavyweight, cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions. He began his training in Germany after emigrating from Kosovo and initially competed as a -79 kg/174 lb fighter before moving up through the weight classes until eventually reaching heavyweight. After stints as a German and European champion, Kabashi won the WKA World Heavyweight Muay Thai title in 2008. Although he defended this belt numerous times and had an impressive 80% knockout ratio, he rarely fought outside him hometown of Munich or against top-ranked competition, and so was never considered elite at any weight class.

Chike George Lindsay-Ajudua is an American Muay Thai kickboxer who competes in the Middleweight division. Lindsay is the former WKA North American Champion, WBC Muaythai International Champion, and IMTO World Super Welterweight Champion.

Gabriel Varga Canadian kickboxer

Gabriel Varga is a Canadian kickboxer who competes in the Featherweight division. A martial artist since his childhood, Varga started out in Shotokan karate and made the switch to kickboxing at seventeen. After becoming a Canadian, North American and two-time world champion during his amateur career, he turned professional in 2009 and won two more world championships in the pro ranks inside the space of seven months during 2011. Varga has since competed in the K-1, Glory, and Bellator Kickboxing promotions and has won 6 professional kickboxing world titles.

Alexis Rufus is an English Muay Thai kickboxer who competes in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Having turned professional in 2005, Rufus is a two-time European and five-time world champion.

Julie Kitchen is a retired professional English female kickboxer, muay thai fighter and sports commentator.

Superbon Banchamek

Superbon Banchamek is a Thai Muay Thai kickboxer fighting out of Bangkok. Superbon is currently ranked number one on the WBC world super-welterweight rankings. He is the former Professional Association of Thailand Muay Thai champion and is currently ranked number 1 in Kunlun Fight 70 kg rankings. As of 1 November 2018, he is ranked the #4 lightweight in the world by Combat Press.

Iman Barlow is a professional English female kickboxer, muay thai fighter. She has fought Sofia Olofsson for the World Muaythai Council world title. She is the current International WBC Muaythai Super Bantamweight Champion. In October of 2019, Barlow signed multi fight deal with ONE Championship for the next 24 months.


  1. "welterweight | Origin and meaning of welterweight by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com.
  2. 1 2 "Classes & Divisions". HolyTrinityBoxing.com. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  3. "The Ring ratings: welterweight" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  4. "Professional boxing record: Felix Trinidad" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  5. "Professional boxing record: Felix Trinidad" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  6. "Professional boxing record: José Nápoles" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  7. "Professional boxing record: Floyd Mayweather Jr" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  8. "Professional boxing record: Pernell Whitaker" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  9. "Professional boxing record: Pipino Cuevas" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  10. "Professional boxing record: Sugar Ray Robinson" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  11. "Sugar Ray Robinson, p. 700" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame . Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  12. "Professional boxing record: Donald Curry" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  13. "Professional boxing record: Jack Britton" . Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  14. "Jack Britton, p. 80" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame . Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  15. "IKF WEIGHT CLASSES". IKFKickboxing.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  16. "INTERNATIONAL SPORT KARATE & KICKBOXING ASSOCIATION" (PDF). ISKAWorldHQ.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  17. "WKA USA - Official Rulebook". WKAUSA.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  18. "Fighters Rankings". gloryworldseries.com. Archived from the original on 21 October 2015.
  19. "Nevada Revised Statutes: CHAPTER 467 - UNARMED COMBAT". www leg state nv us. Retrieved 2007-02-20.
  20. "UNIFIED RULES OF MMA". ABCBoxing.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2012-07-15.