The light welterweight class (also called junior welterweight or super lightweight) is a weight division in professional boxing that has a limit of 63.5 kg or 140 pounds. The first champion of this weight class was Pinky Mitchell in 1926, though he was only awarded his championship by a vote of the readers of the Boxing Blade magazine.
There was not widespread acceptance of this new weight division in its early years, and the New York State Athletic Commission withdrew recognition of it in 1930. The National Boxing Association continued to recognize it until its champion, Barney Ross relinquished the title in 1935 to concentrate on regaining the welterweight championship.
A few commissions recognized bouts in the 1940s as being for the light welterweight title, but the modern beginnings of this championship date from 1959 when Carlos Ortiz won the vacant title with a victory over Kenny Lane. Both the WBA and WBC recognized the same champions until 1967, when the WBC stripped Paul Fuji of the title and matched Pedro Adigue and Adolph Pruitt for their version of the championship. Adigue won a fifteen round decision. The International Boxing Federation recognized Aaron Pryor as its first champion in 1984.
Notable fighters to hold titles in this weight class have included Barney Ross, Jack 'Kid' Berg, Mushy Callahan, Carlos Ortiz, Antonio Cervantes, Wilfred Benitez, Aaron Pryor, Edwin Rosario, Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, Ricky Hatton, Kostya Tszyu, Zab Judah, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto.
In amateur boxing, the light welterweight division is a weight class division for fighters weighing up to 64 kilograms. For the 1952 Summer Olympics, the division was created when the span from 54-67 kg was changed from three weight classes (featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight) to four. Perhaps the most famous light welterweight champion is Sugar Ray Leonard, who went on to an impressive professional career.