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Professional boxingEdit


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. Johnny Kilbane, considered one of the greatest featherweight champions of all time, held the championship for 11 years, starting when he won the title in 1912 from Abe Attell until he lost the title in 1923 to Eugène Criqui. To this day he remains the longest world title holder in boxing history. Eusebio Pedroza holds the record, set in 1985, for most consecutive title defenses at this division, with 19 defenses of the WBA title.

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.

Professional championsEdit

Current champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA (Super) January 29, 2017   Léo Santa Cruz 36–1–1 (19 KO) 3
WBA (Regular) January 26, 2019   Xu Can 17–2 (3 KO) 1
WBC March 28, 2015   Gary Russell, Jr. 30–1 (18 KO) 4
IBF May 19, 2018   Josh Warrington 29–0 (6 KO) 2
WBO vacant

Longest reigning featherweight championsEdit

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
1.   Johnny Kilbane 11 years, 3 months, 24 days World 4
2.   Chris John 10 years, 1 month, 5 days WBA 18
3.   Abe Attell 10 years World 18
4.   Eusebio Pedroza 7 years, 1 month, 23 days WBA 19
5.   Sandy Saddler 7 years World 4
6.   Naseem Hamed 4 years, 11 months, 20 days WBO 15
7.   George Dixon 4 years, 5 months World 3
8.   Gary Russell, Jr. 4 years, 4 months and 3 weeks WBC 4
9.   Antonio Esparragoza 4 years, 27 days WBA 7
10.   Davey Moore 4 years, 3 days World 5

Amateur boxingEdit

In amateur boxing, the weight limit is 54 to 57 kilograms (119 to 126 lb).

Notable featherweightsEdit


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).[2]

In Bellator Kickboxing promotion, a featherweight division is up to 66 kg (146 lb).

Mixed Martial ArtsEdit

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).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London, England: Carlton Books. p. 172. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.
  2. ^ OFFICIAL GLORY RANKING Archived 2014-01-18 at the Wayback Machine