Light heavyweight

Light heavyweight, or junior cruiserweight, 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), Tommy Loughran, Billy Conn, Joey Maxim, Archie Moore, Michael Moorer, Bob Foster, Ann Wolfe, Michael Spinks, Dariusz Michalczewski, Roy Jones, Jr., Joe Calzaghe 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 Sep 18, 2017 Dmitry Bivol 17–0 (11 KO) 6
WBC Oct 18, 2019 Artur Beterbiev 15–0 (15 KO) 0
IBF Nov 11, 2017 Artur Beterbiev 15–0 (15 KO) 3
WBO Nov 2, 2019 Canelo Alvarez 53–1–2 (36 KO) 0

Current interim champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA Nov 16, 2019 Dominic Boesel 30–1–0 (12 KO) 0

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.

NameTitle ReignTitle RecognitionSuccessful Defenses
1. Archie Moore9 years, 4 months, 24 daysWorld, NYSAC, EBU8
2. / Dariusz Michalczewski9 years, 1 months, 8 daysIBF, WBA, WBO23
3. Bob Foster6 years, 0 months, 23 daysWBC, WBA14
4. Zsolt Erdei5 years, 9 months, 27 daysWBO11
5. Adonis Stevenson5 years, 5 months, 24 daysWBC9
6. Charles Williams5 years, 4 months, 21 daysIBF8
7. Roy Jones Jr5 years, 2 months, 25 daysWBC, IBF, WBA (Super)11
8. Virgil Hill4 years, 9 months, 15 daysWBA10
9. Michael Spinks4 years, 2 months, 3 daysIBF, WBA, WBC10
10. Battling Levinsky3 years, 11 months, 19 daysWorldN/A
11. Freddie Mills3 years, 10 months, 25 daysEBUN/A
12. Victor Galindez3 years, 9 months, 8 daysWBA12
13. Sergey Kovalev3 years, 3 months, 3 daysIBF, WBA, WBO8
     Active Title Reign
     Reign has ended

[1] [2] [3]

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).[4]
  • In Bellator Kickboxing promotion, a light heavyweight division is up to 95 kg (209 lb).

Mixed martial arts

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


  1. BoxRec Light Heavyweight Ratings Retrieved on 27 December 2012.
  2. BoxRec WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Retrieved on 27 December 2012.
  3. BoxRec Light Heavyweight Division Retrieved on 27 December 2012.
  4. Official Glory Ranking Archived 2014-01-10 at the Wayback Machine
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