Separating boxers into divisions helps ensure fair fights. After all, a fighter who weighs more than 200 pounds has more force behind his punch, while a fighter who weighs 140 pounds will likely be faster and more agile than the heavier fighter.
While weight classes were originally separated into eight divisions, boxing classes today are divided into 17 divisions, allowing fighters to be more precisely matched with their weight counterparts. Fighters also may wish to move between these weight divisions to face new opponents and test their abilities at different weights. Fighters who on the cusp of a weight division can choose to fight in the lower or upper division.
Less than 105 Pounds to 115 Pounds
The lightest boxing class is a mini flyweight/strawweight — names vary based on the boxing organization — in which fighters must weigh less than 105 pounds. Younger boxers also compete in these divisions.
Junior flyweight fighters weigh between 105 and 108 pounds, while flyweight fighters weigh between 108 and 112 pounds. Super flyweight fighters weigh between 112 and 115 pounds. The lightest fighters in these weight classes tend to be short and fast.
Between 115 and 130 Pounds
Super flyweight/junior bantamweight fighters are between 115 and 118 pounds. Fights in these weight divisions are often characterized by fast flurries of punches and quick feet.
Super bantamweight fighters weigh between 118 and 122 pounds, while featherweight fighters weigh between 122 and 126 pounds. The super featherweight division features fighters weighing between 126 and 130 pounds.
Between 130 and 154 Pounds
Lightweight fighters weigh between 130 and 135 pounds, while super lightweight/light welterweight fighters weigh in at 135 to 140 pounds. Fighters in these divisions tend to have a variety of boxing skills, including speed and power.
Welterweight fighters weigh between 140 and 147 pounds. Super welterweight or light middleweight fighters weigh between 147 and 154 pounds.
Weighing 154 Pounds or More
The heavier weight divisions are divided into five weight classes. These fighters tend to have powerful punches, which may result in more knockout-type fights.
The middleweight fighters are 154 to 160 pounds. Fighters weighing 160 to 168 pounds fight in the upper middleweight division, and 168- to 175-pound fighters fight in the light heavyweight division. Cruiserweight division fighters weigh between 175 and 200 pounds.
Heavyweight fighters must weigh at least 200 pounds, and they're allowed to weigh anything more than this amount. Some of the world’s greatest and best-known fighters, like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, fought in this weight division.