The super featherweight division (WBA and WBC), also known as the junior lightweight division (IBF and WBO), is one of the most technically-skilled divisions in all of boxing. They’re usually fast, they know how to work their way around the ring, and know how to put on a good show.
Super featherweight boxers weigh anywhere between 126 pounds (57 kg) and 130 pounds (59 kg). The first World super featherweight champion was Johnny Dundee in 1921. Although he lost the title in 1923, he regained it seven months later and held it for the next six months.
Flash Elorde was the first WBA/WBC champion in 1963, Rene Barrientos was the first WBC champion in 1969, Alfredo Marcano was the first WBA champion in 1971, Hwan-Kil Yuh was the first IBF champion in 1984, and John John Molina was the first WBO champion in 1989.
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Who Are the Greatest Super Featherweight Boxers Ever?
Over the past 100 years, the super featherweight division has housed some of the greatest boxers of all-time. The division has continued to produce high-quality champions year-in and year-out, resulting in an illustrious and star-studded list of all-time greats at 130 pounds.
Some names worth mentioning include Benny Bass, Sandy Saddler, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Humberto Soto, Takashi Miura, Yong–Soo Choi, Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai, and Kamel Bou Ali – all of whom were super featherweight champions at one point in their career.
While that’s a pretty illustrious list of super featherweight boxers in itself, there’s one thing all those boxers above share in common – none of them are found in our top-20 all-time best super featherweight (junior lightweight) boxers. That just goes to show how competitive the division is.
20. Ricardo Arredondo
Career Record: 77-22-1 (58 knockouts)
Ricardo Arredondo is a former Mexican professional boxer that turned professional in 1966 with a victory against Augusto Angeles. He won his next 13 fights before losing to Clemente Sanchez in 1967. He followed that loss up with a six-game win streak throughout 1967.
In 1971, he had his first WBC title shot against Hiroshi Kobayashi, but failed to win the belt. He had another title shot seven months later and came out victorious against Yoshiaki Numata. Arredondo defended his title five times before losing it to Kuniaki Shibata in 1974.
19. Takashi Uchiyama
Career Record: 24-2-1 (20 knockouts)
Takashi Uchiyami, also known as ‘KO Dynamite,’ is a former Japanese boxer that made his professional debut in 2005 following a 91-22 (59 knockouts) amateur career. By 2007, he was the OPBF super featherweight champion and even defended that title five times before losing it.
In 2010, Uchiyami won the WBA super featherweight title via a twelfth round TKO against Juan Carlos Salgado. He defended the title for the first time just four months later and defended it a total 11 times between 2010 and 2016. He retired with a 24-2-1 career record (20 knockouts).
18. Rocky Lockridge
Career Record: 44-9-0 (36 knockouts)
Rocky Lockridge, born Rick Lockridge, is a former American professional boxer that made his debut in 1978 with a TKO victory against Tony Reed. He won his first 16 pro fights before suffering his first loss to Eusebio Pedroza in the WBA world featherweight title bout in 1980.
Lockridge lost a shot at the USBA feather title in 1981 and lost his second shot at the WBA world feather title in 1983. One year later, he handed Roger Mayweather his first loss to capture the WBA world super featherweight title. He also won the IBF super feather title in 1987.
17. Acelino Freitas
Career Record: 41-2-0 (34 knockouts)
Acelino Freitas, also known as ‘Popó,’ is a former Brazilian boxer that made his professional debut in 1995 with a win against Jose Adriano Soares. He went on to win his first 35 pro fights between 1995 and 2004. In that time, he was a two-time super featherweight champion.
His first title came in 1999 against Anatoly Alexandrov, in which he became the WBO super feather champ. He defended the title six times before winning a unification title bout against WBA super featherweight champ Joel Casamayor. He defended those two belts three more times.
16. Tony Lopez
Career Record: 50-8-1 (34 knockouts)
Tony Lopez, also known as ‘The Tiger,’ is a former American boxer that made his professional debut in 1983 with a win against Juan Rodriguez. Between 1983 and 1988, Lopez had a 29-1 record. In 1988, he defeated Rocky Lockridge to win the IBF super featherweight title.
Lopez defended that title three times before losing it to John John Molina in 1989. He retained the title in 1990 and defended it three more times before losing it to Brian Mitchell in 1991. He was also a lightweight champion and had several shots at becoming a super lightweight champ.
15. Samuel Serrano
Career Record: 50-6-1 (17 knockouts)
Samuel Serrano, also known as ‘El Torbellino’ or ‘the Whirlwind,’ is a former Puerto Rican boxer that made his professional debut in 1969. He learned to box at the age of five and had his first shot at a super featherweight title in 1976 against Ben Villaflor – a bout that ended in a draw.
The two met again six months later and Serrano got the better of Villaflor – making Serrano the WBA super featherweight champ. He defended the title 10 times before losing it to Yasutsune Uehara in a fight that was named Upset of the Year in 1980. Serrano regained the title in 1981.
14. Alfredo Escalera
Career Record: 53-14-3 (31 knockouts)
Alfredo Escalera, also known as ‘El Salsero’ or ‘The Saucer,’ is a former Puerto Rican boxer that made his professional debut in 1970 and received his first shot at the WBC super feather title in 1975. He won that WBC title bout against Kuniaki Shibata via a third-round knockout.
Escalera defended the title 10 consecutive times until finally losing it to Alexis Arguello in 1978. The two had a rematch the following year, but Escalera once again failed to walk away victorious. Escalera continued to fight until 1983, though he didn’t earn any more title shots.
13. Tod Morgan
Career Record: 133-42-33 (29 knockouts)
Tod Morgan, born Albert Morgan Pilkington, is a former American boxer that made his professional debut in 1920 and appeared in 210 career pro bouts. He won the World junior lightweight title in 2015 and defended the title 10 times before finally losing it in 1929.
Morgan continued to fight through 1942. He captured the Australian lightweight title in 1938 after defeating Jimmy Dundee, but lost it in 1939 to Paddy Boxall. Morgan regained the title in a rematch six months later. He defended that title twice before losing it to Vic Patrick in 1941.
12. Erik Morales
Career Record: 52-9-0 (36 knockouts)
Erik Morales, also known as ‘El Terrible,’ is a former Mexican boxer that made his professional debut in 1993. Morales had an illustrious career that included world titles in four different weight classes – super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, and light welterweight.
He didn’t start fighting in the super featherweight division until 2004, but he immediately captured the belt after defeating Jesus Chavez. He then defeated Carlos Hernandez five months later in a unification bout that made him the IBF and WBC super featherweight champion in 2004.
11. Bobby Chacon
Career Record: 59-7-1 (47 knockouts)
Bobby Chacon, also known as ‘Schoolboy,’ is a former American boxer that made his professional debut in 1972 with a win against Modesto Boy Dayaganon. In 1974, he beat Alfredo Marcano to win the vacant WBC World Featherweight title via a TKO in the second round.
Chacon had his first shot at a WBC super featherweight title in 1979, but lost to Alexis Arguello. His second shot came in 1981 against Cornelius Boza Edwards, but he lost. He finally prevailed in 1982 with a win against Rafael Limon, winning Fight of the Year in both 1982 and 1983.
10. Ben Villaflor
Career Record: 56-6-6 (31 knockouts)
Ben Villaflor is a former Filipino boxer that made his debut in 1966 with a win against Flash Javier at the young age of 14 years old. Six years later, he received his first title opportunity against Alfredo Marcano. Villaflor won the bout and was named WBA super feather champ.
Villaflor defended the title once in a draw to Victor Federico Echegaray and eventually lost it in a loss to Kuniaki Shibata in 1973. He regained the title seven months later in a rematch with Shibata and defended the title five times before losing it to Samuel Serrano in October 1976.
9. Kid Chocolate
Career Record: 136-10-6 (51 knockouts)
Kid Chocolate, born Eligio Sardiñas Montalvo and also known as ‘The Cuban Bon Bon,’ is a former Cuban boxer that made his professional debut in 1927. He fought in 152 pro bouts in his career, which spanned over a decade. He won his first world junior lightweight title in 1931.
He defended that title six times until eventually losing it in a third-round TKO defeat to Frankie Klick in 1933. Although he wouldn’t have another shot at a title, he continued to fight for the next five years and only lost three times over that period. He’s one of Cuba’s greatest boxers ever.
8. Genaro Hernandez
Career Record: 38-2-1 (17 knockouts)
Genaro Hernandez, also known as ‘Chicanito,’ is a former American boxer that made his professional debut in 1984 with a win against Dino Ramirez. In 1988, he won the USA California State Super Feather Title and eventually won the vacant WBA super feather title in 1991.
He defended that title eight times until suffering his first career loss against Oscar De La Hoya in 1995 – a bout for the WBO world lightweight title. Hernandez returned to the super feather division with a WBC title win against Azumah Nelson and defended that title three times.
7. Julio César Chávez
Career Record: 107-6-2 (85 knockouts)
Julio César Chávez is a former Mexican boxer that made his professional debut in 1980 with a win against Andres Felix. By 1981, he was facing some quality opponents and while they kept getting better, JCC continued to win. He won the vacant WBC super feather title in 1984.
JCC went on to defend that title nine times before vacating it to pursue further success as a lightweight, which he did by becoming the WBA title holder. He later had an incredible run in the super lightweight division that included several more title belts. His career was a legendary one.
6. Brian Mitchell
Career Record: 45-1-3 (21 knockouts)
Brian Mitchell is a former South African boxer that made his professional debut in 1981 with a win against Joseph Moneoane. He won his first six fights before losing to Jacob Morake in a 1982 Transvaal super feather title bout. He rebounded with a South African Super Feather Title.
After defending the South African super feather title eight times, he defeated Alfredo Layne in 1986 to take the WBA world super feather title. He defended that title 12 times and eventually won the IBF world super featherweight title with a rematch win over Tony Lopez in 1991.
5. Flash Elorde
Career Record: 89-27-2 (33 knockouts)
Flash Elorde, born Gabriel Elorde, is a former Filipino boxer that made his professional debut in 1951 with a win against Little Dundee. He won the OPBF Bantam Title in 1953 and Philippines Games & Amusement Board Light Title in 1954, but lost the world feather title in 1956.
In 1960, after a lot of success as a lightweight, Flash won the World Super Featherweight Title against Harold Gomes. He defended the title four times before being named WBA/WBC champ in 1963. He defended both those titles five times before losing them to Yoshiaki Numata in 1967.
4. Azumah Nelson
Career Record: 38-6-2 (27 knockouts)
Azumah Nelson, also known as ‘The Professor,’ is a former Ghanaian boxer that made his professional debut in 1979 with a win against Billy Kwame. He’s widely regarded as one of the greatest Ghanaian athletes of all-time and won world titles in two different weight divisions.
He won the Commonwealth featherweight title in 1981 and the WBC featherweight title in 1984. After defending that title six times, he won the WBC super featherweight title and defended it 10 times before losing it to Jesse James Leija in 1994. He regained the WBC belt in 1995.
3. Manny Pacquiao
Career Record: 62-8-2 (39 knockouts)
Manny Pacquiao, also known as ‘PacMan,’ is a former Filipino boxer that made his pro debut in 1995 with a win against Edmund Enting Ignacio. Pacquiao is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all-time and won 12 major world titles in eight different weight divisions.
He defeated Hector Velazquez in 2005 to claim the vacant WBC super featherweight title and defended it six times before vacating it. In that time, he defeated the likes of Erik Morales (twice), Oscar Larios, Jorge Solis, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Juan Manuel Marquez.
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Career Record: 50-0-0 (27 knockouts)
Floyd Mayweather Jr., also known as ‘TBE’, ‘Money,’ or ‘Pretty Boy,’ is a former American professional boxer that made his debut in 1996. He did most of his damage in the welterweight division, but won a total of 15 major world titles in a career that spanned over 20 years.
Oh year, and did we mention he retired with a perfect 50-0-0 record? His reign as a super featherweight began in 1998 with a win over Genaro Hernandez for the WBC title. He defended it eight times before vacating it in 2002. It was an impressive run during an illustrious career.
1. Alexis Argüello
Career Record: 77-8-0 (62 knockouts)
Alexis Argüello, also known as ‘El Flaco Explosivo’ and ‘El Caballero del Ring,’ is a former Nicaraguan boxer that made his professional debut in 1968 with a win against Israel Medina. He won world titles in three weight classes – featherweight, super featherweight, and lightweight.
Argüello made his most noise as a super featherweight between 1978 and 1980. During that time, he held the WBC world super feather title and defended it eight times – including against Bobby Chacon, Rafael Limon, Alfredo Escalera (twice), Rey Tam, and Arturo Leon.
Who Are the Greatest Super Featherweight Boxers in 2022?
We’ve talked a lot about the best super featherweights of all-time, but what about the best super featherweights in boxing today. Shakur Stevenson is the current WBO champ, Kenichi Ogawa is the IBF champ, Oscar Valdez is the WBC champ, and Roger Gutierrez is the WBA champ.
Some of the other top super featherweight boxers today include Chris Colbert, Lamont Roach, Miguel Berchelt, Jamal Herring, Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, Leo Santa Cruz, Samir Ziani, Robson Conceicao, O’Shaquie Foster, Archie Sharp, and Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov.
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The super featherweight division will continue to produce high-quality talent and will be a division to watch if you enjoy some intense back-and-forth battles. If so, tune in to the Oscar Valdez vs. Shakur Stevenson on April 30, 2022 – it’s one of the most-anticipated fights of the year.
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