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Knowing the Weight Classes

Boxing Betting: Knowing the Weight Classes

By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

This is not the boxing that was enjoyed by our grandfathers, where there were 8 weight classes and everyone knew the identity of the champion. Now there are enough weight classes to the point where a guy could eat a happy meal and be able to join a higher weight class. Here are all the divisions in the world of boxing. Get ready for your head to spin.

Heavyweight: The only weight class without a maximum. Anyone over 200 pounds is considered a heavyweight. Some of the bigger names to grace this division are Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, and Evander Holyfield, among many others. It's interesting than many of the top-ranked heavyweights historically wouldn't even be heavyweights today because they were too small. Those names include Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, and Floyd Patterson.

Cruiserweight: A newish division (established in 1979) and one of the more struggling weight classes in terms of name-power. The greatest ever cruiserweight was Evander Holyfield. The weight limit was either 190 or 195 for the first quarter-century of the division's history, eventually settling on 200 pounds as a the division's maximum.

Light Heavyweight: One of the original 8 weight classes, with a division max of 175 pounds. Some of history's greatest fighters have made light heavyweight home, including Archie Moore, Ezzard Charles, Billy Conn, Bob Foster, Michael Spinks, and Roy Jones, Jr.

Super Middleweight: A division created in the 1980's, with a maximum weight of 168 pounds. The once-mocked Super Middleweight division has become one of the marquee divisions in the sport, with a large lineup of big talent doing their thing at super middleweight.

Middleweight: One of the original 8 weight classes and simply one of the most historically-significant in the history of the sport. The division limit is 160 pounds and has always been perceived as a division with the perfect blend of skills, speed, and power. A list of past champions reads like a who's-who in the history of the sport, with Harry Greb, Sugar Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon, Marvin Hagler, and Sugar Ray Leonard doing good work in this division.

Junior Middleweight: One of the better "junior" divisions in the history of the sport, with a maximum weight limit of 154 pounds. This division has enjoyed a built-in advantage of being a stopover between welterweight and middleweight--two of the more stacked divisions in the sport's history. Also referred to as super welterweight, this division has seen such great talent as Oscar De La Hoya, Tommy Hearns, Felix Trinidad, Terry Norris, and many others.

Welterweight: One of the original 8 weight classes, welterweight has a rich history and continues to be a home base for some of the greats in the sport. The maximum weight for welterweight is 147 pounds. The greatest ever was Sugar Ray Robinson, but many other glorious names have graced this division.

Junior Welterweight: Another junior class that gets a lot of attention, with a weight limit of 140 pounds. One of the older junior weight divisions. Also known as super lightweight, the 140-pound class has been home to such greats as Barney Ross, Aaron Pryor, Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, and Kostya Tszyu.

Lightweight: One of the original 8 classes, the lightweight division is one of the more historically-stacked divisions in the history of the sport, with a weight limit of 135 pounds. Names include Pernell Whitaker, Benny Leonard, Roberto Duran, and many others.

Junior Lightweight: One of the older "junior" classes and also known as super featherweight, this division has a maximum weight limit of 130 pounds. Some of the best to ever do it at 130 pounds are Alexis Arguello and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Featherweight: With a weight limit of 126 pounds, featherweight is one of the original 8 weight classes and has enjoyed a solid roster of legends, with Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler, Salvador Sanchez, and many others forging legendary careers in this division.

Junior Featherweight: A junior division that has made a solid impact on the sport, with 122 being the maximum poundage. Puerto Rican legend Wilfredo Gomez is the far-and-away top 122-pounder o ever grace the prize ring. Also known as super bantamweight.

Bantamweight: One of the original weight classes with a maximum weight limit of 118 pounds. Some of the historically-significant talent that has graced this division includes the great Carlos Zarate and Eder Jofre.

Junior Bantamweight: A division that came along late in the history of the sport and sometimes perceived as an unnecessary stopover at 115 pounds between bantamweight (118 pounds) and flyweight (112 pounds). Nevertheless, this division has produced some standout talent, with Khaosai Galaxy, Jiro Watanabe, and Gilberto Roman doing their thing at 115. Also known as the super flyweight division.


Flyweight: The last of the original 8 weight classes, with a maximum weight limit of 112 pounds. Some of the sport's best little men have plied their trade at 112 and has been an internationally-contested weight class that has thrilled fans for over a century.

Junior Flyweight: Another junior class that came along relatively late in the sport's history. The maximum weight for junior flyweight is 108 pounds. Despite it's low weight limit, it has been a consistently entertaining class, with guys like Jung Koo-Chang, Michael Carbajal, and Humberto Gonzalez making their mark here.

Strawweight: The bottom rung of boxing's weight class structure, with a maximum weight of only 105 pounds. This division is bigger in Asia and Latin America. Mexican legend Ricardo Lopez is recognized as easily the greatest strawweight of all-time. Also known as mini- flyweight and minimumweight.

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