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 Russia Dmitry Bivol 16–0 (11 KO) 5
WBC Dec 1, 2018 Ukraine Oleksandr Gvozdyk 17–0 (14 KO) 1
IBF Nov 11, 2017 Russia Artur Beterbiev 14–0 (14 KO) 2
WBO Feb 2, 2019 Russia Sergey Kovalev 34–3–1 (29 KO) 1

Current interim champions

Sanctioning Body Reign Began Champion Record Defenses
WBA Aug 3, 2019 Canada Jean Pascal 34–6–1 (20 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.

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 Bob Foster 6 years, 0 months, 23 days WBC, WBA 14
4. Hungary Zsolt Erdei 5 years, 9 months, 27 days WBO 11
5. Canada Adonis Stevenson 5 years, 5 months, 24 days WBC 9
6. United States Charles Williams 5 years, 4 months, 21 days IBF 8
7. United States Roy Jones Jr 5 years, 2 months, 25 days WBC, IBF, WBA (Super) 11
8. United States Virgil Hill 4 years, 9 months, 15 days WBA 10
9. United States Michael Spinks 4 years, 2 months, 3 days IBF, WBA, WBC 10
10. United States Battling Levinsky 3 years, 11 months, 19 days World N/A
11. United Kingdom Freddie Mills 3 years, 10 months, 25 days EBU N/A
12. Argentina Victor Galindez 3 years, 9 months, 8 days WBA 12
13. Russia Sergey Kovalev 3 years, 3 months, 3 days IBF, WBA, WBO 8
     Active Title Reign
     Reign has ended

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Olympic champions