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. 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 second 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 the likes of Orlando Salido, Chris John, Juan Manuel López, Celestino Caballero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Elio Rojas, Israel Vazquez, Cristobal Cruz, Rafael Márquez, Rocky Juarez, and Steven Luevano and Manny Pacquiao.

Professional Champions

Current Champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA (Super) July 30, 2016 United Kingdom Carl Frampton 23-0 (14 KO) 0
WBA February 21, 2015 Argentina Jesus Cuellar 27-1 (21 KO) 1
WBC March 28, 2015 United States Gary Russell, Jr. 27-1 (16 KO) 1
IBF May 30, 2015 United Kingdom Lee Selby 23-1 (8 KO) 2
WBO July 23, 2016 Mexico Óscar Valdez 20-0 (18 KO) 1

Longest reigning 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.

Name Title reign Title recognition Successful defenses
1. United States Johnny Kilbane 11 years, 3 months, 24 days World 4
2. Indonesia Chris John (boxer) 10 years, 1 month, 5 days WBA 18
3. United States Abe Attell 10 years World 18
4. Panama Eusebio Pedroza 7 years, 1 month, 23 days WBA 19
5. United States Sandy Saddler 7 years World 4
6. United Kingdom Naseem Hamed 4 years, 11 months, 20 days WBO 15
7. United States George Dixon (boxer) 4 years, 5 months World 3
8. Venezuela Antonio Esparragoza 4 years, 27 days WBA 7
9. United States Davey Moore 4 years, 3 days World 5
10. United States Tom Johnson (boxer) 3 years, 11 months, 12 days IBF 10

Amateur boxing

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

Olympic champions

Pan American Champions

Notable featherweights


In kickboxing, a featherweight fighter generally weighs between 55 kg (121 lb) and 59 kg (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 (55.50–57.72 kg).

In Glory promotion, a featherweight division is up to 65 kg (143 lb).[2]

Mixed Martial Arts

Main article: Featherweight (MMA)

In MMA, within the UFC company and most other MMA companies the featherweight range is from 61.7 kg to 65.8 kg (136 to 145 lbs).

See also


  1. Mullan, Harry (1996). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing. London, England: Carlton Books. p. 172. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.

External links

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