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Welterweight is a weight class division in combat sports. Originally the term "welterweight" was used only in boxing, but other combat sports like kickboxing, taekwondo and mixed martial arts also began to use it for their own weight division system. In most sports that use it, welterweight is heavier than lightweight but lighter than middleweight.



Professional boxing

A welterweight boxer weighs in greater than 140 pounds (63.5 kilos), but not greater than 147 pounds (66.7kilos).

Henry Armstrong holds the division record for most title defenses at 18. Freddie Cochran was the longest reigning champion, holding the title four years, six months, and three days (although José Nápoles comes in a close second at four years, six months, and two days). Sugar Ray Robinson is generally considered to be the greatest welterweight of all time.

Notable fighters who have fought as welterweights include Barney Ross, Jackie Fields, Johar Abu Lashin, Ted "Kid" Lewis, Jimmy McLarnin, Jack Britton, Henry Armstrong, Fritzie Zivic, Sugar Ray Robinson, Kid Gavilan, Carmen Basilio, Emile Griffith, José Nápoles, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Durán, Julio César Chávez, Pernell Whitaker, Félix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Ike Quartey, Shane Mosley, Vernon Forrest, [ab Judah, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Ricky Hatton, Arturo Gatti, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao.

Olympic champions

  • 1904 – Flag of the United States Albert Young (USA)
  • 1920 – Flag of Canada Bert Schneider (CAN)
  • 1924 – Flag of Belgium Jean Delarge (BEL)
  • 1928 – Flag of New Zealand Ted Morgan (NZL)
  • 1932 – Flag of the United States Edward Flynn (USA)
  • 1936 – Flag of New Zealand Ted Morgan (NZL)
  • 1948 – Július Torma (TCH)
  • 1952 – Flag of Poland Zygmunt Chychła (POL)
  • 1956 – Flag of Romania Nicolae Linca (ROU)
  • 1960 – Flag of Italy Giovanni Benvenuti (ITA)
  • 1964 – Flag of Poland Marian Kasprzyk (POL)
  • 1968 – Manfred Wolke (GDR)
  • 1972 – Emilio Correa (CUB)
  • 1976 – Jochen Bachfeld (GDR)
  • 1980 – Andrés Aldama (CUB)
  • 1984 – Flag of the United States Mark Breland (USA)
  • 1988 – Flag of Kenya Robert Wangila (KEN)
  • 1992 – Flag of Republic of Ireland Michael Carruth (IRL)
  • 1996 – Flag of Russia Oleg Saitov (RUS)
  • 2000 – Flag of Russia Oleg Saitov (RUS)
  • 2004 – Flag of Kazakhstan Bakhtiyar Artayev (KAZ)
  • 2008 – Flag of Kazakhstan Bakhyt Sarsekbayev (KAZ)

Commonwealth champions

  • 2010 – Patrick Gallagher (NIR)

Professional Boxing Champions

Current champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA 10 April 2009 Flag of Ukraine Vyacheslav Senchenko 31-0 (20 KO) 2
WBC 16 April 2011 Flag of the United States Victor Ortiz 29-2-2 (22 KO) 0
IBF 11 December 2009 Flag of Slovenia Dejan Zavec 31-1-0-1 (18 KO) 3
WBO 13 November 2010 Flag of the Philippines Manny Pacquiao 53-3-2 (38 KO) 2


The weight division system is different in each organisation. So the kickboxing weight divisions of some international organisations vary:

  • International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) Welterweight (Pro & Amateur) 142.1 lbs. - 147 lbs.(64.6 kg - 66.8 kg).
  • World Kickboxing Association (WKA) fixed 140–147 pounds (63.5–67 kg) for welterweight.
  • International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) set 142.1–147 pounds (64.6–66.8 kg) for welterweight.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai has fixed its weight division as similar to boxing. According to World Muay Thai Council (WMC), its welter weight is from 140 pounds (63.5 kg) to 147 pounds (66.6 kg). And World Muay Thai Federation (WMF) which is the official amateur organization fixed from 63.5 to 67 kg for adult. The Junior category is the same as adult.

  • International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) Muay Thai Welterweight (Pro & Amateur) 142.1 lbs. - 147 lbs.(64.59 kg - 66.8 kg).

Shoot boxing

The official rules of shoot boxing define welterweights as between 65 and 67 kg (143.3 to 147.7 lb).

Mixed martial arts

  • International Sport Combat Federation ISCF: Welterweight: 155.1 to 170 lbs. / 70.45.1 kg - 77.27 kg


In the sport of olympic taekwondo, welterweight falls between 74 and 80 kg. At the weight classes for the olympic games it is between 68 and 80 kg.


According to the National Physique Association, in bodybuilding a welterweight weighs more than 154.25 lbs and not more than 165.25 lbs.<ref>NPC Nationals Website</ref>

References and notes

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Original Source

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