Light heavyweight

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Light heavyweight, or light-heavyweight,[1] is a weight class in combat sports.


In amateur boxing, light heavyweight is a weight division above 165 pounds (75 kg) and up to 178 pounds (81 kg), falling between middleweight and heavyweight. In professional boxing, the division is above 168 pounds (76 kg) and up to 175 pounds (79 kg), falling between super middleweight and cruiserweight. The light-heavyweight class has produced some of boxing's greatest champions: Bernard Hopkins (who, upon becoming champion, broke the record for oldest man to win a world title), Evander Holyfield, Tommy Loughran, Billy Conn, Joey Maxim, Archie Moore, Michael Moorer, Bob Foster, Michael Spinks, Dariusz Michalczewski, Roy Jones, Jr. and Zsolt Erdei.

Many light heavyweight champions unsuccessfully challenged for the heavyweight crown until Michael Spinks became the first reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight championship. Bob Fitzsimmons captured the light-heavyweight championship after losing his heavyweight championship. Two all-time great heavyweight champions, Ezzard Charles and Floyd Patterson, started out as light heavyweights. Charles defeated Archie Moore and Joey Maxim several times in non-title bouts before becoming heavyweight champion and Patterson lost an eight-round decision to Joey Maxim before becoming heavyweight champion himself. Evander Holyfield successfully moved up from the light-heavyweight division to the cruiserweight division and eventually the heavyweight division and became undisputed champion of the latter two.

Dariusz Michalczewski holds the record for most consecutive title defenses at this division, with 23 defenses of the WBO title.

Professional champions

Current champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA (Super) November 8, 2014 Russia Sergey Kovalev 28-0-1 (25 KO) 2
WBA (Regular) December 14, 2013 Germany Jürgen Brähmer 47-2 (35 KO) 5
WBC June 8, 2013 Canada Adonis Stevenson 27-1 (22 KO) 6
IBF November 8, 2014 Russia Sergey Kovalev 28-0-1 (25 KO) 2
WBO August 17, 2013 Russia Sergey Kovalev 28-0-1 (25 KO) 6

Interim Champions

Current Male Champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA August 23, 2015 Dominican Republic Felix Valera 13-0 (10 KO)

Longest reigning light heavyweight champions

Below is a list of longest reigning light heavyweight champions in boxing measured by the individual's longest reign. Career total time as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.

Name Title Reign Title Recognition Successful Defenses
1. United States Archie Moore 9 years, 4 months, 24 days World, NYSAC, EBU 8
2. Poland / Germany Dariusz Michalczewski 9 years, 1 months, 8 days IBF, WBA, WBO 23
3. United States Roy Jones Jr 6 years, 9 months, 8 days IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) 11
4. United States Bob Foster 6 years, 0 months, 23 days WBC, WBA 17
5. Hungary Zsolt Erdei 5 years, 9 months, 27 days WBO 16
6. United States Charles Williams 5 years, 4 months, 21 days IBF 8
7. United States Virgil Hill 4 years, 9 months, 15 days WBA 10
8. United States Michael Spinks 4 years, 2 months, 3 days IBF, WBA, WBC 10
9. United States Battling Levinsky 3 years, 11 months, 19 days World N/A
10. United Kingdom Freddie Mills 3 years, 10 months, 25 days EBU N/A
11. Argentina Victor Galindez 3 years, 9 months, 8 days WBA 12
     Active Title Reign
     Reign has ended

[2] [3] [4]

Olympic champions


  • In kickboxing, a light heavyweight fighter generally weighs between 77 kg (171 lb) and 82 kg (180 lb).
  • In International Kickboxing Federation (IKF), a light heavyweight division is 172.1 - 179 lb (78.3 - 81.4 kg).
  • In Glory promotion, a light heavyweight division is up to 95 kg (209 lb).[5]

Mixed martial arts

In MMA, the light heavyweight division is from 186 lbs (84 kg) to 205 lb (93 kg).


  1. "Rankings". Boxing News. Newsquest. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  2. BoxRec Light Heavyweight Ratings Retrieved on 27 December 2012.
  3. BoxRec WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Retrieved on 27 December 2012.
  4. BoxRec Light Heavyweight Division Retrieved on 27 December 2012.