Featherweight is a weight class in the combat sports of boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts and Greco-Roman wrestling.
A featherweight boxer weighs in at a limit of 126 pounds (57 kg). In the early days of the division, this limit fluctuated. The British have generally always recognized the limit at 126 pounds, but in America the weight limit was at first 114 pounds. An early champion, George Dixon, moved the limit to 120 and then 122 pounds. Finally, in 1920 the United States fixed the limit at 126 pounds.
The 1860 fight between Nobby Clark and Jim Elliott is sometimes called the first featherweight championship. However, the division only gained wide acceptance in 1889 after the Ike Weir-Frank Murphy fight. Johnny Kilbane, considered one of the greatest featherweight champions of all time, held the championship for 11 years, starting when he won the title in 1912 from Abe Attell until he lost the title in 1923 to Eugène Criqui. To this day he remains the second longest world title holder in boxing history. Eusebio Pedroza holds the record, set in 1985, for most consecutive title defenses at this division, with 19 defenses of the WBA title.
Since the end of the 2000s and early 2010s the Featherweight division is one of the most active in boxing with the likes of Orlando Salido, Chris John, Juan Manuel López, Celestino Caballero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Elio Rojas, Israel Vazquez, Cristobal Cruz, Rafael Márquez, Rocky Juarez, and Steven Luevano and Manny Pacquiao.
Longest reigning featherweight champions
Below is a list of longest reigning featherweight champions in boxing measured by the individual's longest reign. Career total time as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.
In amateur boxing, the weight limit is 54 kilograms (119 lb) to 57 kilograms (126 lb).
Pan American Champions
In kickboxing, a featherweight fighter generally weighs between 55 kg (121 lb) and 59 kg (130 lb). However, some governing bodies have slightly different classes. For example, the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) featherweight division (professional and amateur) is between 122.1-127 lb (55.50–57.72 kg).
In Glory promotion, a featherweight division is up to 65 kg (143 lb).
Mixed Martial Arts
In MMA, within the UFC company and most other MMA companies the featherweight range is from 61.7 kg to 65.8 kg (136 to 145 lbs).