With so many organizations governing the world of boxing, it is easy to lose track of champions and the belts they are being awarded. Are you confused about the workings of boxing championships? Then you have arrived at the perfect webpage. Read along our simple guide to get all the information you need about boxing belts.
How Many Boxing Belts Are There In Total?
Boxing has always been a competitive sport with a lot of prowess and high stakes. There have been various fighting championships for boxing since the early 19th century, which goes on till today. Today’s championships are managed by mainly four different sport governing bodies, namely WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO. All these organizations work together and have a unified ranking system, which helps keep the fights fair. And apart from these organizations, the Ring magazine also has its championship belts awarded annually. Although facing a lot of criticism, the Ring recently introduced a new awarding policy that aims to earn back its reputation that the magazine once held. Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of these organizations.
WBA: World Boxing Association
The world boxing association saw its inception in 1921 under the name of the National Boxing Association in the united states. It later adopted the name WBA and currently has its headquarters situated in Panama.
WBC: World Boxing Council
WBC was established to create a unified governing body for boxing. It ended up establishing many of the rules that are followed today, including the eight-count rule and the limit of 12 rounds in a boxing match. It was established in Mexico City in 1963.
IBF: International Boxing Federation
IBF was founded a few years after the establishment of WBC in 1976 in the name of USBA or United States Boxing Association. This new association was founded by members of the existing WBA to combat biased ratings. The association ended up having an international division in 1983, which with a name change to IBF in 1984.
WBO: World Boxing Organization
WBO originated in Puerto Rico in 1988. It took some time to gain traction but became popular back in 2012 when the Japan Boxing Commission gave them official recognition.
The Ring is the oldest magazine in the business and is often called the Rolling Stone of the boxing world. It was established in the early 19th century and decided to award its titles since the early 1920s. The magazine had an almost a decade long break in 1989 before starting to award belts back in 2001.
The Weight Classes Of Boxing
Altogether, there are in total 17 different Championship belts to be won, which have been listed below. Boxing belts are awarded based on your weight category. This classification helps keep the fight between contenders transparent without discriminating against them based on height or body shape. To qualify in a category, you are simply required to meet the weight requirements. Boxers usually tend to increase or decrease their gains to meet the weight criteria of a particular category. Manny Pacquiao is the only boxer in the world to have competed in the most boxing championships. He is also the only boxer to win eight different boxing belts in 8 different weight divisions throughout his career.
This category allows weight limits beyond 200+ lbs. or 90.7+ kgs. Any fighter weighing above this can compete for this title. Heavyweight titles in the boxing world are usually the most sought after titles that see heavy pay per view matches. Additionally, it has two more subcategories that have been listed below. These categories were formed over the years to keep the competition a fair match
Cruiserweight has a weight limit of 200 lb. or 90 kg. This category usually sees more agile boxers that are preparing for the heavyweight title later in their career.
3. Light Heavyweight
A variation of the heavyweight category, light heavyweight category, allows fighters within the limit of 175 lb. or 79.4 kg.
Middleweight accepts fighters that weigh a maximum of 160 lb or 72.6 kg. This limit is pushed further thanks to the super middleweight category to help boxers prepare for their entry into the world of heavyweight boxing.
5. Super Middleweight
This category is the highest middleweight classification that accepts fighters that have a maximum weight of 168 lb or 76.2 kg. Super Middleweight fighters are usually at the top of their game and the forefront of their respective categories.
6. Light Middleweight
This class is the entry-level in this weight category that accepts fighters with a maximum weight of 154 lb or 69.9 kg.
This weight category has a limit of 157 lb or 66.7 kg and has two subcategories of its own. Welterweight fighters combine the best of both worlds, agility, and strength.
8. Light Welterweight
The light-welterweight category has a maximum cap of 140 lb or 63.5 kg. This category is usually the transfer point for fighters that are looking to climb higher and increase their weight.
Lightweight fighters have a maximum weight of 135 lb or 61.2 kg. The category was established in 1909 by NSC and originally had a limit of 130lbs.
Featherweight is the next famous weight class in boxing that has a maximum weight limit of 126 lb or 57.2 kg. It has one single subcategory titled as the Super Featherweight, which goes beyond the traditional limits of featherweight.
11. Super Featherweight
The maximum limit for this weight class is 130 lb or 59 kg and is the entry point for Bantamweight fighters to try their gloves at featherweight boxing.
Bantamweight class has a maximum cap of 118 lb or 53.5 kg and comes with a single super-category that goes beyond this weight limit. The category was established in 1920 under the Walker Law.
13. Super Bantamweight
This category has a weight limit of 122 lb or 55.3 kg and is the next big weight class for bantamweight fighters looking to make their move towards featherweight boxing.
The last glamourous category in the world of boxing is the Flyweight class that has a maximum limit of 112 lb or 50.8 kg. It has three subcategories, out of which Super Flyweight manages to surpass it in terms of the weight limit. They all have been listed below.
15. Super Flyweight
The super flyweight category has the maximum limit in this class that comes in at 115 lb or 52.2 kg. It was established in 1920 by the Walker Law and was eventually recognized in 1980.
16. Light Flyweight
This category has a weight limit of 108 lb or 49 kg. It too was established by the Walker Law in 1920 but gained recognition five years earlier than super flyweight in 1975
17. Mini Flyweight
Mini flyweight is the entry-level category with a maximum limit of 105 lb or 47.6 kg. It is one of the newest categories in the world of professional boxing and ended up gaining recognition in late 1987.
We hope this guide helped you better understand the working of championships and belts in the world of boxing. What did you think of our guide? Did we miss out on something? Let us know in the comments section below.