Boxing Weight Classes Explained | Boxing 101

FightCamp - Boxing Weight Classes Explained | Boxing 101

Boxing weight classes exist to separate fighters & ensure fair matches in boxing competitions. Here are the weight divisions and how the weigh-in process works.

Published: October 12, 2022

Topics: Culture, Fight News

Author: Shanie "Smash" Rusth

What Is a Weight Class In Boxing?

Weight divisions are designed to prevent mismatches between opponents, create a safer environment for competitors, and have fair fights. There are currently 17 weight classes in men’s professional boxing that range from strawweight (105 lbs) to heavyweight (200+ lbs). There isn’t a universal agreement on professional women’s boxing weight classes, but I have listed 17 below that range from atomweight (102 lbs) to heavyweight (175+ lbs). Here is the breakdown of each weight class.

What Are The Different Weight Classes In Boxing?

Boxing Weight Classes: Women’s Division

  • Atomweight - less than 102 pounds

  • Strawweight - 105 pounds

  • Junior flyweight - 108 pounds

  • Flyweight - 112 pounds

  • Junior bantamweight - 115 pounds

  • Bantamweight - 118 pounds

  • Junior featherweight - 122 pounds

  • Featherweight - 126 pounds

  • Junior lightweight - 130 pounds

  • Lightweight - 135 pounds

  • Junior welterweight - 140 pounds

  • Welterweight - 147 pounds

  • Junior middleweight - 154 pounds

  • Middleweight - 160 pounds

  • Super middleweight - 168 pounds

  • Light heavyweight - 175 pounds

  • Heavyweight - 175+ pounds

Boxing Weight Classes: Men’s Division

  • Strawweight - under 105 pounds

  • Light flyweight - 108 pounds

  • Flyweight - 112 pounds

  • Super flyweight - 115 pounds

  • Bantamweight - 118 pounds

  • Super bantamweight - 122 pound

  • Featherweight - 126 pounds

  • Super featherweight - 130 pounds

  • Lightweight - 135 pounds

  • Super lightweight - 140 pounds

  • Welterweight - 147 pounds

  • Super welterweight - 154 pounds

  • Middleweight - 160 pounds

  • Super middleweight - 168 pounds

  • Light heavyweight - 175 pounds

  • Cruiserweight - 200 pounds

  • Heavyweight - 200+ pounds

There are subtle differences in weight classes and divisions for professional boxing and amateur boxing, as well as for MMA, but, in general, the breakdown is similar. Boxing matches are usually scheduled for fixed weight classes and prior to every fight, competitors must weigh in so as to ensure they do not exceed the upper weight limit for their division. However, boxers may compete above their weight class, for example, when Manny Pacquiao went up against Antonio Margarito for a 154-pound title and weighed under the welterweight limit.

How Does The Weigh-In Process Work In Boxing?

The weigh-in process works differently in professional boxing and amateur boxing. In professional boxing, for title fights, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) mandates a weigh-in the day before a fight and then a follow-up weigh-in the morning of the fight. The day before the fight is considered the “official” weigh-in. The second weigh-in is a check and boxers must not weigh more than 10 pounds above their defined weight class limit.

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In amateur boxing, competitors get only one chance to make weight. The weigh-in for fighters takes place within 24 hours before a bout.

Weight Divisions In Combat Sports

Just as in Boxing, there are weight classes and divisions in other combat sports such as kickboxing, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), taekwondo, and wrestling.

In general, it is difficult to compare boxers in different weight classes. Typically, as a boxer progresses in their training, age, builds more muscle mass, and increases bone density, they will move up in weight classes. When a boxer wins titles in different boxing classes, they are considered to be a “multiple champion” which is a big accomplishment for any fighter.

As you can see, there are a lot of weight classes. Having set weight classes is important for a few reasons but mainly to keep everyone safe. You do not want to have a heavyweight fighting with a featherweight just because they are the same age and have a matched experience level.

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Shanie "Smash" Rusth

Shanie "Smash" Rusth is an undefeated pro MMA fighter, FightCamp Trainer, and mother of two. She began MMA in 2011 to get in shape and feel empowered after becoming a single mom. Shanie is USA Boxing Coach certified.

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