History of the World Lightweight Championship


During the history of the division's lineal championship, there have been occasions when the reigning champ has moved up in weight or retired, thus ending that particular strand of the lineage. In such instances a new lineage must be established, which is basically filling a vacancy. For background information on this, please click here.



1896
Jun 1 - George Lavigne  KO 17  Dick Burge (London, England)

Oct 27 - George Lavigne  KO 24  Jack Everhardt (New York City, New York, USA)

1897
Feb 8 - George Lavigne  PTS 25  Kid McPartland (New York City, New York, USA)

Lavigne became the first world champion at lightweight

Apr 28 - George Lavigne  KO 11  Eddie Connolly (New York City, New York, USA)

Oct 29 - George Lavigne  KO 12  Joe Walcott (San Francisco, California, USA)

1898
Mar 17 - George Lavigne  D 20  Jack Daly (Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

Sep 28 - George Lavigne  D 20  Frank Erne (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 25 - George Lavigne  PTS 20  Tom Tracey (San Francisco, California, USA)

1899
Jul 3 - Frank Erne  PTS 20  George Lavigne (Buffalo, New York, USA)

Erne was born in Switzerland

Dec 4 - Frank Erne  D 20  Jack O’Brien (New York City, New York, USA)

1900
Mar 23 - Frank Erne  KO 12  Joe Gans (New York City, New York, USA)

1901
-

1902
May 12 - Joe Gans  KO 1  Frank Erne (Fort Erie, Canada)

Jun 27 - Joe Gans  KO 3  George McFadden (San Francisco, California, USA)

Jul 24 - Joe Gans  KO 15  Rufe Turner (Oakland, California, USA)

Sep 17 - Joe Gans  KO 5  Gus Gardner (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Oct 13 - Joe Gans  KO 5  Kid McPartland (Fort Erie, Canada)

1903
Jan 1 - Joe Fans  DIS 11  Gus Gardner (New Britain, Connecticut, USA)

Mar 11 - Joe Gans  KO 11  Steve Crosby (Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA)

Gans (left) defended against Fitzgerald twice

May 29 - Joe Gans  KO 10  Willie Fitzgerald (San Francisco, California, USA)

Jul 4 - Joe Gans  KO 4  Buddy King (Butte, Montana, USA)

1904
Jan 12 - Joe Gans  PTS 10  Willie Fitzgerald (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Oct 31 - Joe Gans  DIS 5  Jimmy Britt (San Francisco, California, USA)

1905
-

1906
Gans-Nelson was a classic showdown that attracted a huge amount of attention from fans and newspaper reporters

Sep 3 - Joe Gans  DIS 42  Battling Nelson (Goldfield, Nevada, USA)

1907
Jan 1 - Joe Gans  KO 8  Kid Herman (Tonopah, Nevada, USA)
Gans (left) convincingly beat Britt in their rematch

Sep 9 - Joe Gans  KO 6  Jimmy Britt (San Francisco, California, USA)

Sep 27 - Joe Gans  PTS 20  George Memsic (Los Angeles, California, USA)

1908
Apr 1 - Joe Gans  KO 3  Spike Robson (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

May 14 - Joe Gans  KO 11  Rudi Unholz (San Francisco, California, USA)

Jul 4 - Battling Nelson  KO 17  Joe Gans (Colma, California, USA)

Sep 9 - Battling Nelson  KO 21  Joe Gans (Colma, California, USA)

1909
May 29 - Battling Nelson  KO 23  Dick Hyland (Colma, California, USA)

1910
Jan 21 - Battling Nelson  KO 8  Eddie Lang (Memphis, Tennessee, USA)
Nelson (left) and Wolgast were both rugged tough guys

Feb 22 - Ad Wolgast  KO 40  Battling Nelson (Point Richmond, California, USA)

1911
-

1912
Jul 4 - Ad Wolgast  KO 13  Joe Rivers (Vernon, California, USA)

Nov 28 - Willie Ritchie  DIS 13  Ad Wolgast (Colma, California, USA)

1913
Jul 4 - Willie Ritchie  KO 11  Joe Rivers (San Francisco, California, USA)

1914
Apr 17 - Willie Ritchie  PTS 20  Tommy Murphy (San Francisco, California, USA)

Jul 7 - Freddie Welsh  PTS 20  Willie Ritchie (London, England)

1915
-

1916
Sep 4 - Freddie Welsh  PTS 20  Charley White (Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA)

1917
May 28 - Benny Leonard  KO 9  Freddie Welsh (New York City, New York, USA)

1918
-

1919
-

1920
Jul 5 - Benny Leonard  KO 9  Charley White (Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA)

Nov 26 - Benny Leonard  KO 14  Joe Welling (New York City, New York, USA)

1921
Leonard (centre) in training with his brother (Charlie, left) and his trainer (Mannie Seaman)

Jan 14 - Benny Leonard  KO 6  Richie Mitchell (New York City, New York, USA)

1922
Feb 10 - Benny Leonard  PTS 15  Rocky Kansas (New York City, New York, USA)

Jul 4 - Benny Leonard  KO 8  Rocky Kansas (Michigan City, Michigan, USA)

1923

Leonard with his mother (left) and sister

Jul 24 - Benny Leonard  PTS 15  Lew Tendler (New York City, New York, USA)

1924
-

1925
Jan - Leonard vacates the world championship and retires

Jul 13 - Jimmy Goodrich  KO 2 
Stanislaus Loayza (New York City, New York, USA)

Dec 7 - Rocky Kansas  PTS 15  Jimmy Goodrich (Buffalo, New York, USA)

1926
Jul 3 - Sammy Mandell  PTS 10  Rocky Kansas (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

1927
-

1928
May 21 - Sammy Mandell  PTS 15  Jimmy McLarnin (New York City, New York, USA)

1929
Aug 2 - Sammy Mandell  PTS 10  Tony Canzoneri (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

1930

The programme for Mandell v Singer

Jul 17 - Al Singer  KO 1  Sammy Mandell (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 14 - Tony Canzoneri  KO 1  Al Singer (New York City, New York, USA)

1931
Apr 24 - Tony Canzoneri  KO 3  Jack “Kid” Berg (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Sep 10 - Tony Canzoneri  PTS 15  Jack “Kid” Berg (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 20 - Tony Canzoneri  PTS 15  Kid Chocolate (New York City, New York, USA)

1932
Nov 4 - Tony Canzoneri  PTS 15  Billy Petrolle (New York City, New York, USA)

1933
Mar 26 - Barney Ross  PTS 10  Tony Canzoneri (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Sep 12 - Barney Ross  PTS 15  Tony Canzoneri (New York City, New York, USA)

1934
-

1935
Apr - Ross vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight
May 10 - Tony Canzoneri  PTS 15  Lou Ambers (New York City, New York, USA)

Oct 4 - Tony Canzoneri  PTS 15  Al Roth (New York City, New York, USA)

1936
Sep 3 - Lou Ambers  PTS 15  Tony Canzoneri (New York City, New York, USA)

1937
May 7 - Lou Ambers  PTS 15  Tony Canzoneri (New York City, New York, USA)

Sep 23 - Lou Ambers  PTS 15  Pedro Montanez (New York City, New York, USA)

1938
Jul 17 - Henry Armstrong  PTS 15  Lou Ambers (New York City, New York, USA)

1939
Aug 22 - Lou Ambers  PTS 15  Henry Armstrong (New York City, New York, USA)

1940
A poster for Ambers v Jenkins

May 10 - Lew Jenkins  KO 3  Lou Ambers (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 22 - Lew Jenkins  KO 2  Pete Lello (New York City, New York, USA)

1941
Dec 19 - Sammy Angott  PTS 15  Lew Jenkins (New York City, New York, USA)

1942
May 15 - Sammy Angott  PTS 15  Allie Stolz (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov - Angott vacates the world championship and retires

1943
-

1944
-

1945
-
1946
-

1947
Aug 4 - Ike Williams  KO 6  Bob Montgomery (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

1948
May 25 - Ike Williams  PTS 15  Enrique Bolanos (Los Angeles, California, USA)

A ticket for Williams v Jack

Jul 12 - Ike Williams  KO 6  Beau Jack (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Sep 23 - Ike Williams  KO 10  Jesse Flores (New York City, New York, USA)

1949
Jul 21 - Ike Williams  KO 4  Enrique Bolanos (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Dec 5 - Ike Williams  PTS 15  Freddie Dawson (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

1950
-

1951
May 25 - Jimmy Carter  KO 14  Ike Williams (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 14 - Jimmy Carter  PTS 15  Art Aragon (Los Angeles, California, USA)

1952
Apr 1 - Jimmy Carter  PTS 15  Lauro Salas (Los Angeles, California, USA)

May 14 - Lauro Salas  PTS 15  Jimmy Carter (Los Angeles, California, USA)
Oct 15 - Jimmy Carter  PTS 15  Lauro Salas (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

1953
Apr 24 - Jimmy Carter  KO 4  Tommy Collins (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Jun 12 - Jimmy Carter  KO 13  George Araujo (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 11 - Jimmy Carter  KO 5  Armand Savoie (Montreal, Canada)

1954
Mar 5 - Paddy DeMarco  PTS 15  Jimmy Carter (New York City, New York, USA)

Carter (left) became a three-time champion when he beat DeMarco (right)

Nov 17 - Jimmy Carter  KO 15  Paddy DeMarco (San Francisco, California, USA)

1955
Jun 29 - Bud Smith  PTS 15  Jimmy Carter (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Oct 19 - Bud Smith  PTS 15  Jimmy Carter (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)

1956
Aug 24 - Joe Brown  PTS 15  Bud Smith (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

1957
Feb 13 - Joe Brown  KO 11  Bud Smith (Miami, Florida, USA)

Jun 19 - Joe Brown  KO 15  Orlando Zulueta (Denver, Colorado, USA)
Brown was known as “Old Bones” and was an outstanding champion

Dec 4 - Joe Brown  KO 11  Joey Lopes (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

1958
May 7 - Joe Brown  KO 8  Ralph Dupas (Houston, Texas, USA)

Jul 23 - Joe Brown  PTS 15  Kenny Lane (Houston, Texas, USA)

1959
Feb 11 - Joe Brown  PTS 15  Johnny Busso (Houston, Texas, USA)

Jun 3 - Joe Brown  KO 9  Paolo Rosi (Washington DC, USA)

Dec 2 - Joe Brown  KO 6  Dave Charnley (Houston, Texas, USA)

1960
Oct 28 - Joe Brown  PTS 15  Cisco Andrade (Los Angeles, California, USA)

1961
A poster for Brown’s rematch with Charnley

Apr 18 - Joe Brown  PTS 15  Dave Charnley (London, England)

Oct 28 - Joe Brown  PTS 15  Bert Somodio (Quezon City, Philippines)

1962
Apr 21 - Carlos Ortiz  PTS 15  Joe Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Dec 3  - Carlos Ortiz  KO 5  Teruo Kosaka (Tokyo, Japan)

1963
Apr 7 - Carlos Ortiz  KO 13  Doug Vaillant (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

1964
Feb 15 - Carlos Ortiz  KO 14  Flash Elorde (Manila, Philippines)
Apr 11 - Carlos Ortiz  PTS 15  Kenny Lane (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

1965
Apr 10 - Ismael Laguna  PTS 15  Carlos Ortiz (Panama City, Panama)

Nov 13 - Carlos Ortiz  PTS 15  Ismael Laguna (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

1966
Jun 20 - Carlos Ortiz  KO 12  John Bizzaro (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Oct 22 - Carlos Ortiz  KO 5  Sugar Ramos (Mexico City, Mexico)

Nov 28 - Carlos Ortiz  KO 14  Flash Elorde (New York City, New York, USA)

1967
Jul 1 - Carlos Ortiz  KO 4  Sugar Ramos (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Aug 16 - Carlos Ortiz  PTS 15  Ismael Laguna (New York City, New York, USA)

1968
Jun 29 - Carlos Cruz  PTS 15  Carlos Ortiz (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)

Sep 27 - Carlos Cruz  PTS 15  Mando Ramos (Los Angeles, California, USA)

1969

The programme for Cruz’s second defence against Ramos

Feb 18 - Mando Ramos  KO 11  Carlos Cruz (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Oct 4 - Mando Ramos  KO 6  Yoshiaki Numata (Los Angeles, California, USA)

1970
Mar 3 - Ismael Laguna  KO 9  Mando Ramos (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Jun 6 - Ismael Laguna  KO 13  Ishimatsu Suzuki (Panama City, Panama)

Sep 26 - Ken Buchanan  PTS 15  Ismael Laguna (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

1971
Feb 12 - Ken Buchanan  PTS 15  Ruben Navarro (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Sep 23 - Ken Buchanan  PTS 15  Ismael Laguna (New York City, New York, USA)

1972
Jun 26 - Roberto Duran  KO 13  Ken Buchanan (New York City, New York, USA)

1973
Jan 20 - Roberto Duran  KO 5  Jimmy Robertson (Panama City, Panama)

Duran is one of the greatest lightweights ever

Jun 2 - Roberto Duran  KO 8  Hector Thompson (Panama City, Panama)

Sep 8 - Roberto Duran  KO 10  Guts Ishimatsu (Panama City, Panama)

1974
Mar 16 - Roberto Duran  KO 11  Esteban DeJesus (Panama City, Panama)

Dec 21 - Roberto Duran  KO 1  Masataka Takayama (San Jose, Costa Rica)

1975
Mar 2 - Roberto Duran  KO 14  Ray Lampkin (Panama City, Panama)

Dec 20 - Roberto Duran  KO 15  Leoncio Ortiz (Hato Rey, Puerto Rico)

1976
May 23 - Roberto Duran  KO 14  Lou Bizarro (Erie, Pennsylvania, USA)
Duran with legendary actor Sylvester Stallone

Oct 15 - Roberto Duran  KO 1  Alvaro Rojas (Hollywood, Florida, USA)

1977
Jan 29 - Roberto Duran  KO 13  Vilomar Fernandez (Miami, Florida, USA)

Sep 17 - Roberto Duran  PTS 15  Edwin Viruet (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

1978
Jan 21 - Roberto Duran  KO 12  Esteban DeJesus (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1979
Feb - Duran vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight

1980
-

1981
-

1982
May 22- Alexis Arguello  KO 5  Andy Ganigan (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
1983
Feb - Arguello vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight

1984
-

1985
-

1986
-

1987
-

1988

Chavez-Ramirez was a major event

Oct 29 - Julio Cesar Chavez  TD 11  Jose Luis Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1989
May - Chavez vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight

Aug 20 - Pernell Whitaker  PTS 12  Jose Luis Ramirez (Norfolk, Virginia, USA)

1990
Whitaker defeated all the top contenders during his reign

Feb 3 - Pernell Whitaker  PTS 12  Freddie Pendleton (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

May 19 - Pernell Whitaker  PTS 12  Azumah Nelson (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Aug 11 - Pernell Whitaker  KO 1  Juan Nazario (Lake Tahoe, California, USA)

1991
A ticket for Whitaker’s defence against Tracy Spann (this contest did not materialize as Spann was injured during training and replaced by Anthony Jones)

Feb 23 - Pernell Whitaker  PTS 12  Anthony Jones (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Jul 27 - Pernell Whitaker  PTS 12  Poli Diaz (Norfolk, Virginia, USA)

Oct 5 - Pernell Whitaker  PTS 12  Jorge Paez (Reno, Nevada, USA)

1992
Jan - Whitaker vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight

1993
-

1994
-

1995

De La Hoya was a hugely popular and glamorous champion

May 6 - Oscar De La Hoya  KO 2  Rafael Ruelas (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Sep 9 - Oscar De La Hoya  KO 6  Genaro Hernandez (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Dec 15 - Oscar De La Hoya  KO 2  Jesse James Leija (New York City, New York, USA)

1996
Feb - De La Hoya vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight

1997
-

1998
-

1999
-
2000
-

2001
-

2002












Mayweather’s first win over Castillo (right) was controversial with many at ringside thinking the decision went the wrong way

Apr 20 - Floyd Mayweather  PTS 12  Jose Luis Castillo (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Dec 7 - Floyd Mayweather  PTS 12  Jose Luis Castillo (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2003
Apr 19 - Floyd Mayweather  PTS 12  Victoriano Sosa (Fresno, California, USA)

Nov 1 - Floyd Mayweather  KO 7  Phillip Ndou (Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)

2004
May - Mayweather vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight

Jun 5 - Jose Luis Castillo  PTS 12  Juan Lazcano (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Dec 4 - Jose Luis Castillo  PTS 12  Joel Casamayor (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2005
Mar 5 - Jose Luis Castillo  KO 10  Julio Diaz (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Corrales with his wife

May 7 - Diego Corrales  KO 10  Jose Luis Castillo (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2006
Oct 7 - Joel Casamayor  PTS 12  Diego Corrales (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2007
Nov 10 - Joel Casamayor  PTS 12  Jose Armando Santa Cruz (New York City, New York, USA)

2008
Mar 22 - Joel Casamayor  KO 10  Michael Katsidis (Cabazon, California, USA)

Sep 13 - Juan Manuel Marquez  KO 11  Joel Casamayor (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2009
Feb 28 - Juan Manuel Marquez  KO 9  Juan Diaz (Houston, Texas, USA)

2010
Jul 31 - Juan Manuel Marquez  PTS 12  Juan Diaz (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Nov 27 - Juan Manuel Marquez  KO 9  Michael Katsidis (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2011
-

2012
Apr - Marquez vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight

2013
-

2014
Nov 29 - Terence Crawford  PTS 12  Raymundo Beltran (Omaha, Nebraska, USA)

2015
Mar - Crawford vacates the world championship to campaign at welterweight

2016
Sep 24 - Jorge Linares  PTS 12  Anthony Crolla (Manchester, England)

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