What does ‘catchweight’ mean in boxing?

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Chris Eubank Jr. will drop to the lowest weight of his career when he takes on Conor Benn

Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn will be following in their fathers’ footsteps when they meet in the ring in October.

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The fight will be nearly 29 years to the day that Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn met in the ring for the second and final time. The pair became bitter rivals in the 1990s and delivered two of the most exciting fights of the decade.

Her sons will fight at the O2 Arena on October 8, 2022. In the process, Conor Benn will move up two weight classes while Eubank Jr. will drop to a career-low weight.

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Negotiations between the two fighters have been going on for some time and the pair finally agreed to meet at a catch weight of 156 pounds.

Conor Benn has been unbeaten since making his pro debut in 2016 (Getty Images)

What is catchweight in boxing?

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A catch weight is used to describe a weight limit that does not adhere to the traditional limits of a boxing weight class.

There are a number of reasons for this. Most often it takes place when two fighters have a large weight difference.

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Instead of a fighter having to make major changes to their diet and training schedule to reach a specific weight, the pair will enter into a contractual agreement in which they agree to fight mid-weight wise.

This gives both fighters a fair opportunity as they can change their weight less drastically.

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How do the weighing rules work in boxing?

The weigh-in takes place the day before a fight. The two fighters will step on the scales to ensure they do not exceed the traditional weight class or catch weight they have agreed upon.

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Why is Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Conor Benn a catchweight fight?

Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Conor Benn will be fought at a 156lb catchweight limit due to the large weight difference between the two fighters.

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Eubank Jr., nicknamed “Next Gen,” has spent most of his career fighting at the 160-168 pound super middleweight division. While his opponent Benn, nicknamed “The Destroyer”, has only ever fought at welterweight between 140 and 147lbs.

The reason for the catchweight limit is that 156lbs is a weight limit that does not favor any fighter

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Benn, a career welterweight, will need to move up two weight classes to get close to the 156-pound mark, and Eubank Jr. will drop to the lowest weight of his boxing career to date.

Other examples of catchweight fights

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In February 2022, Kell Brook and Amir Khan settled on a catch weight of 149 pounds for their grudge fight. The veteran fighters agreed that for every pound they were over the limit they would be fined £100,000.

The catch weight limit was instituted by Khan’s team as he had spent most of his career at lightweight and welterweight. Brook eventually won the fight with a sixth round knockout.

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How many weight classes are there in boxing?

In boxing, fighters are divided into different weight classes in order to have fair competitions and to ensure that the fighters are as safe as possible.

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There are 17 weight divisions in total, the smallest being the strawweight division with a maximum weight limit of 105 pounds (7.5 stone) and the largest being the heavyweight division which can be anything over 226 pounds (16 stone).

The newest weight class is bridgerweight, established in July 2020. The first winner of this division was Oscar Rivas, who defeated Ryan Rozicki.

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Here is a full list of boxing weight classes

  • Straw Weight (105lbs)
  • Light flyweight (105 – 108lbs)
  • Flyweight (108 – 112lbs)
  • Super Flyweight (112 – 115lbs)
  • Bantamweight (115 – 118lbs)
  • Super Bantamweight (118 – 122 lbs)
  • Featherweight (122 – 126lbs)
  • Super featherweight (126 – 130 lbs)
  • Lightweight (130-135lbs)
  • Light Welterweight (135 – 140lbs)
  • Welterweight (140 – 147lbs)
  • Light Middleweight (147 – 154lbs)
  • Middleweight (154 – 160lbs)
  • Super Middleweight (160 – 168 lbs)
  • Light Heavyweight (168 – 175 lbs)
  • Cruiserweight (175 – 200 lbs)
  • Bridger weight (200 – 224 lbs)
  • Heavyweight (226lbs or more)

Who is The Catchweight King?

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Manny Pacquiao is considered one of the greatest boxers of his generation (Getty Images)

Manny Pacquiao is considered one of the greatest pound fighters in boxing history.

During his career, he became the only boxer to win 12 major world titles in eight different weight classes.

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Pacquiao has been involved in some of the biggest fights in the world against a variety of different opponents throughout his career.

Many of his greatest victories came in fights set at a catchweight.

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One of the most notable examples of this came in 2008 against “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya.

At the time, De La Hoya had been fighting mostly at light middleweight, but dropped back to welterweight for the first time in seven years to face Pacquiao.

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The fight was billed as “The Dream Match” and Pacquiao defeated De La Hoya by technical knockout early in the ninth round. After the fight, De La Hoya announced his retirement from boxing.

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