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How Many Weight Classes in Boxing | Boxing Weight Classes

From its primal origins to the evolution of fair competition, discover the nexus of size, skill, and strategy that shapes the sport as we look to answer the question, “How many weight classes are there in boxing?” In this guide, we aim to examine the intricacies of both professional and amateur divisions, unveiling the tapestry of weight classes and the kings who reign supreme in each division while delving into the rationale behind weight divisions in this ancient combat sport.

Step into the ring and immerse yourself in the world of boxing’s weight classes, where the fierce clash of fighters and the art of pugilism converge. Learn all about boxing weight classes so that you can place smart bets at the best boxing betting sites.

Why Does Boxing Have So Many Weight Classes?

Weight classes were introduced rather recently in the history of boxing to give competitors more equal footing. During the 19th and 20th centuries, weight classes and divisions were created to counter physical advantages and allow for more competitors in the field and, thus, more entertainment. A heavier boxer may have size, strength and power on their side, while a lighter fighter may enjoy an edge in quickness, speed and endurance.

Now with as many as 18 recognized weight classes at the professional level, boxers are squared up on equal footing as much as ever before. This ensures skill, strategy, and pure heart and guts are the keys to winning any match instead of just sheer physical superiority. It also allows for the most talented boxers to move through weight classes to test their dominance at different levels and against different competition. It’s a win-win for boxing enthusiasts.

Do Weight Classes Affect Boxing Matches?

Yes, weight classes affect boxing matches because body size and mass can have both physical advantages and disadvantages. The technique is, of course, one of the most important factors in any fight, but the more one weighs on the scale, the more force will be generated by their punch. For lower-weight classes, advantages can be gained by speed and quickness of movement as well as endurance. Lower-weight classes can have more punches thrown, but fewer of them may land. This can lead to those fights lasting more rounds.

Generally, the lower the weight class, the less likely the fight will end in a knockout. 79% of heavyweight fights end in a knockout, while only 51% of strawweight fights end the same way. Relatedly, fights in lower weight classes tend to last more rounds. This is because a heavyweight fighter can generate more force with their strikes, leading to big knockout events when their opponent gets tired.

What Are The Weight Limits for Each Class?

Here is a complete list of the weight limits for each boxing weight division currently recognized by professional governing bodies, with their upper weight limit in pounds and kilograms from the lightest to the heaviest.

Strawweight: 105 pounds (48 kg)

Light Flyweight: 108 pounds (49 kg)

Flyweight: 112 pounds (51 kg)

Super Flyweight: 115 pounds (52 kg)

Bantamweight: 118 pounds (53.5 kg)

Super Bantamweight: 122 pounds (55 kg)

Featherweight: 126 pounds (57 kg)

Super Featherweight: 130 pounds (59 kg)

Lightweight: 135 pounds (61 kg)

Super Lightweight: 140 pounds (63.5 kg)

Welterweight: 147 pounds (67 kg)

Super Welterweight: 154 pounds (70 kg)

Middleweight: 160 pounds (72.5 kg)

Super Middleweight: 168 pounds (76 kg)

Light Heavyweight: 175 pounds (79 kg)

Cruiserweight: 200 pounds (91 kg)

Heavyweight: Unlimited

Weight Classes in Professional Boxing

Here are the major weight divisions in professional men’s boxing, along with how they are defined. Women’s and amateur boxing weight classes are covered further down this page.

Strawweight: The lightest division in pro boxing. Boxers must weigh 105 pounds (48kg) or below.

Light Flyweight: Boxers must weigh between 105 and 108 pounds (48-49 kg).

Flyweight: Boxers in the Flyweight division must weigh between 108 and 112 pounds (49-51 kg).

Super Flyweight: The weight range for Super Flyweight boxers is 112 to 115 pounds (51-52 kg).

Bantamweight: Bantamweight fighters can weigh anywhere from 115 to 118 pounds (51-53.5 kg).

Super Bantamweight: Super Bantamweight is 118 to 122 pounds (53.5-55 kg).

Featherweight: Boxers in the Featherweight division can weigh 122 to 126 pounds (55-57 kg).

Super Featherweight: Super Featherweight boxers can weigh between 126 and 130 pounds (57-59 kg).

Lightweight: This popular weight class has fighters between 130 and 135 pounds (59-61 kg).

Light Welterweight: The Light welterweight division sees fighters anywhere between 135 and 140 pounds (61-63.5 kg).

Welterweight: This weight range is from 140 to 147 pounds (63.5-67 kg).

Light Middleweight: Boxers in this weight class can weigh between 147 to 154 pounds (67-70 kg).

Middleweight: Middleweight fighters must weigh between 154 and 160 pounds (70-72.5 kg).

Super Middleweight: Super Middleweight fighters can weigh anywhere from 160 to 168 pounds (72.5-76 kg).

Light Heavyweight: Light Heavyweight boxers must weigh between 168- and 75 pounds (76-79 kg).

Cruiserweight: The Cruiserweight division is for fighters between 175 and 200 pounds (79-91 kg).

Heavyweight: Heavyweight boxers must weigh at least 200 pounds or more (91 kg or more).

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Different Boxing Organizations and Their Weight Classes

Some boxing organizations recognize slightly different weight classes. When it comes to professional boxing, most boxing organizations recognize the same classes. However, since 2020, only the WBC or World Boxing Council has recognized the Bridgerweight division, which they consider to be between 200 pounds (91 kg) and 224 pounds (102 kg). The WBC gave the reason for this was to set something up for the large number of boxers that fell in that weight range. This would put the total number of weight classes with some recognition at the professional level at 18.

The weight classes are also sometimes referred to by different names by the various boxing organizations and governing bodies. For example, the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Council (WBC) refer to the Light Middleweight division as Super Welterweight, whereas the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) call it Junior Middleweight. To avoid any confusion, usually, Super and Junior are used interchangeably.

Weight Classes in Professional Boxing

In professional boxing, there are a greater number of weight classes because more body types are competing at that level.

Here are the 17 weight divisions currently recognized by all the professional governing bodies, with their weight ranges in pounds and kilograms from the lightest division to the heaviest.

Strawweight: 105 pounds (48kg)

Light Flyweight: 105-108 pounds (48-49 kg)

Flyweight: 108-112 pounds (49-51 kg)

Super Flyweight: 112-115 pounds (51-52 kg)

Bantamweight: 115-118 pounds (51-53.5 kg)

Super Bantamweight: 118-122 pounds (53.5-55 kg)

Featherweight: 122-126 pounds (55-57 kg)

Super Featherweight: 126-130 pounds (57-59 kg)

Lightweight: 130-135 pounds (59-61 kg)

Light Welterweight: 135-140 pounds (61-63.5 kg)

Welterweight: 140-147 pounds (63.5-67 kg)

Light Middleweight: 147-154 pounds (67-70 kg)

Middleweight: 154-160 pounds (70-72.5 kg)

Super Middleweight: 160-168 pounds (72.5-76 kg)

Light Heavyweight: 168-175 pounds (76-79 kg)

Cruiserweight: 175-200 pounds (79-91 kg)

Heavyweight: 200 pounds or more (91 kg or more)

Weight Classes in Amateur Boxing

There are a total of ten weight classes in amateur boxing. Here’s the list from the lightest division to the heaviest.

Flyweight: 106 pounds or less (48 kg or less)

Bantamweight: 106-112 pounds (48-51 kg)

Featherweight: 112-119 pounds (51-54 kg)

Lightweight: 119-126 pounds (54-57 kg)

Light Welterweight: 126-132 pounds (57-60 kg)

Welterweight: 132-141 pounds (60-64 kg)

Middleweight: 141-152 pounds (64-69 kg)

Light Heavyweight: 152-165 pounds (69-75 kg)

Heavyweight: 165-179 pounds (75-81 kg)

Super Heavyweight: 179 pounds or more (81 kg or more)

Weight Classes in Women’s Boxing

Weight classes in women’s boxing are also different. There are six recognized weight classes in Olympic women’s boxing, with the sixth being planned for the 2024 Olympics. They are as follows:

  • 110 pounds or less (50 kg or less)
  • 110-119 pounds (50-54 kg)
  • 119-126 pounds (54-57 kg)
  • 126-132 pounds (57-60 kg)
  • 132-146 pounds (60-66 kg)
  • 146-165 pounds (66-75 kg)

Women’s professional boxing recognizes the following 17 weight classes though different organizations may impose different limits.

Atomweight: 102 pounds or less (46 kg or less)

Strawweight: 102-105 pounds (46-48 kg)

Junior Flyweight: 105-108 pounds (48-49 kg)

Flyweight: 108-112 pounds (49-51 kg)

Junior Bantamweight: 112-115 pounds (51-52 kg)

Bantamweight: 115-118 pounds (52-53.5 kg)

Junior Featherweight: 118-122 pounds (53.5-55 kg)

Featherweight: 122-126 pounds (55-57 kg)

Junior Lightweight: 126-130 pounds (57-59 kg)

Lightweight: 130-135 pounds (59-61 kg)

Junior Welterweight: 135-140 pounds (61-63.5 kg)

Welterweight: 140-147 pounds (63.5-67 kg)

Junior Middleweight: 147-154 pounds (67-70 kg)

Middleweight: 154-160 pounds (70-72.5 kg)

SuperMiddleweight: 160-168 pounds (72.5-76 kg)

Light Heavyweight: 168-175 pounds (76-79 kg)

Heavyweight: 175 pounds or more (79 kg or more)

Finally, women’s amateur boxing has 10 weight classes, just like the men’s but with slightly different names and weight ranges.

  • Flyweight: 106 pounds or less (48 kg or less)
  • Bantamweight: 106-112 pounds (48-51 kg)
  • Featherweight: 112-119 pounds (51-54 kg)
  • Lightweight: 119-126 pounds (54-57 kg)
  • Light Welterweight: 126-132 pounds (57-60 kg)
  • Welterweight: 132-141 pounds (60-64 kg)
  • Middleweight: 141-152 pounds (64-69 kg)
  • Light Heavyweight: 152-165 pounds (69-75 kg)
  • Heavyweight: 165-179 pounds (85-81 kg)
  • Super Heavyweight: 179 pounds or more (81 kg or more)

What Are The Most Well-Paid Weight Classes in Boxing?

The most well-paid weight classes in boxing are also the ones that have been with us the longest. Heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight and lightweight, all in existence since 1914 or before, enjoy the most popularity among boxing fans, as well as the most lucrative prizes. The heavyweight division is by far the most popular, but recent years have seen an uptick in popularity in lower-weight classes. Most of the highest-paid boxers in the world are heavyweights, but many of the most popular and well-known boxers are not. Many of the most famous boxers have moved through several weight classes, and this includes some of the most well-known boxers of this century, including the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Canelo Alvarez.

Best Boxers of All Times in Every Weight Division

There are too many boxers of note to list for each weight division. But here are some popularly recognized GOATs in each weight class.

  • Strawweight: Ricardo Lopez
  • Light Flyweight: Humberto Gonzalez
  • Flyweight: Jimmy Wilde
  • Super Flyweight: Johnny Tapia
  • Bantamweight: Eder Jofre
  • Super Bantamweight: Wilfredo Gomez
  • Featherweight: Willie Pep
  • Super Featherweight: Floyd Mayweather Jr
  • Lightweight: Roberto Duran
  • Light Welterweight: Julio Cesar Chavez
  • Welterweight: Sugar Ray Leonard
  • Light Middleweight: Thomas Hearns
  • Middleweight: Sugar Ray Robinson
  • Super Middleweight: Roy Jones Jr.
  • Light Heavyweight: Ezzard Charles
  • Cruiserweight: Evander Holyfield
  • Heavyweight: Muhammad Ali

Expert’s View on Boxing Weight Classes

So as you can see, there are lots of different boxing matches to bet on and in a great number of different weight divisions. When it comes to placing bets on boxing matches, here’s how weight classes might factor in for you. The main thing is you always want to do some research before betting on a fight. To make that easier, you will probably want to wager on the more popular fights each year. Don’t worry, there are a lot of them with so many different weight classes! But the more popular the fight, the more information to glean about each fighter. The most popular fights are usually the heavyweight ones. In this division, names like Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Oleksandr Usyk, and Anthony Joshua will likely bring the most attention.

But there are so many other weight classes to pay attention to. With many fighters choosing to move up and down in weight class, it may make more sense to look out for the following names when looking for the biggest and best fights to bet on:

  • Canelo Alvarez
  • Vasiliy Lomachenko
  • Errol Spence Jr.
  • Terrence “Bud” Crawford
  • Gervonta “Tank” Davis
  • Dmitry Bivol, Shakur Stevenson
  • Naoya Inoue
  • Devin Haney
  • Jermell Charlo

These are some of the names you should keep your eye out for. Remember that the heavier the division, the more likely the fight ends in a knockout. You’ll also want to look at each fighter’s history to see how they have fought in that weight class and against common opponents. There will be loads of information about each of their fights, so you can go into the match with everything you need to know. This way, you can make your most educated wager while at the same time learning about the sweet science that is the sport of boxing.

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Final Thoughts

Boxing Betting Expert

Jake Skudder

12 Articles

The first step to successfully betting on boxing is understanding the sport’s basic structure, which revolves around weight classes. “How many weight classes in boxing” is a crucial question to answer, as there are 17 weight classes for men at the professional level and numerous others for women and amateur boxers. Each weight class presents unique matchups and wagering opportunities, so it’s important to thoroughly research fighters in each division, taking into account their strengths, weaknesses, and fighting styles. While heavyweight and middleweight divisions may grab headlines, lesser-known weight classes can also offer exciting betting prospects. By analyzing fighters within their respective weight classes, you can bet on boxing with confidence.

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FAQs About Weight Classes in Boxing

There is so much to learn about boxing which has been starting to regain some of its popularity, especially in the sports betting world. Here are some frequently asked questions we thought we could help answer.

How many boxing weights are there?

This depends mainly on if we’re talking professional or amateur boxing. There were eight original weight classes established in the early 1900s, and currently, there are 17 different weight divisions in professional boxing and 10 in amateur boxing. It’s also different for the Olympics, where there are seven categories for men and six for women.

What is the hardest weight class in boxing?

This is a tough question to answer because each weight class has its own challenges. Also, if we go by which weight division is the most competitive with the most talent, that can fluctuate over time. Right now, the lightweight and welterweight divisions are probably the most talented, so they could be the hardest for a boxer making their way to the top. However, traditionally, the heavyweight division is considered by many to be the hardest boxing weight class there is.

What class is 150 in boxing?

At 147 to 154 pounds, Light Middleweight, also known as Junior Middleweight or Super Welterweight, is where you would find a 150-pound boxer in the professional ranks. In amateur boxing, however, a fighter that weighs 150 pounds would qualify for the Middleweight division, which is 141 to 152 pounds.

Why is boxing divided by weight?

Boxing is divided by weight because that is the best way to increase fair competition by matching up individuals of similar physical size against each other. This creates the best match for fans to observe as well as to test who really has the better overall skill as a boxer.

Why does boxing have so many weight classes?

Boxing has so many weight classes because humans have so many body types. It wasn’t always this way. Boxing started out with no weight classes at all! But over time, people realized that separating by weight just made the sport fairer for those involved. It also contributed to increasing participation and included more competitors.

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MMA & Boxing Betting Writer with 11+ Years of Experience
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MMA & Boxing Expert Writer

Jake Skudder

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12 Articles

Jake is an experienced editor-in-chief with over 10 years of expertise in covering Combat Sports, Gaming, and Pro Wrestling, specializing in MMA and Boxing. He has contributed to various publications and has extensive knowledge of mixed martial arts, pro wrestling, and gaming.

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