Floyd Mayweather Is a TRUE Welterweight

Floyd Mayweather Is a TRUE Welterweight


San Francisco, CA– This article is the first in what will be a series on some much needed improvements regarding the safety of boxing. This first installment looks at the current system of weighing fighters in the day prior to a fight.


Having myself been a big jr. welter (140 lbs), while at the same time an undersized welter (147), nobody was more concerned at most of my weigh ins than yours truly. Once I weighed 143 and change for a welterweight bout in Las Vegas at the Showboat Hotel. Having hit the scale early in the week for the Golden Glove National Regionals, when I looked across the ring five days later at a 165 lb. Ernie Chavez, I thought, “That must be his brother.” After almost beheading me, southpaw Ernie would later rock Meldrick Taylor’s world before losing and then retiring soon thereafter.


With the exception of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and maybe Grandpa Nard’ Hopkins, just about every professional fighting today at the championship level (except heavyweights) is fighting at least one weight class lighter than what he should be. Example: Jorge Arce was under 112 lbs. for a flyweight title at the weigh in. Time and again Jorge would weigh over 125, sometimes as much as 128 + stepping into the ring. At the same time his foes were coming into the ring circa 115-118. Can you imagine what a ten pound advantage is at that weight?


Without singling out anybody in particular as to whom benefits most by the current weighing system that was first employed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for an IBF 160 lb. title tilt in 1988 between a dehydrated champ Frank Tate and Michael Nunn.


My good friend, God bless him, Tate’s manager Bob Spagnola, if he hadn’t been so good at lobbying for his fighter day before the fight weigh ins might never have become the norm. Bob has watched a few guys almost kill himself making weight like Tate did for Nunn, so he sees it from he doesn’t like fighters he represents getting hurt But I say if you can’t fight at the weight, then you CAN’T Fight at the weight. It’s as simple as that.


After a barrage of studies, tests, this conducted over a five year period, the NCAA, which governs college athletics in the US, went to same day weigh ins for their amateur wrestlers. In fact not only same day, but three hours prior to the match! The alleged main concern with weighing the day before is that it reduces the possibility of a dehydrated fighter getting hurt. This lame reason has bastardized the weight class structure. The NCCA and Pennsylvania, for all but the big title fights, it is same day weigh ins!


This is why the NCAA did three hour prior weigh ins. All of a sudden guys were wrestling closer to their weight class limit. Don’t you think that the fighters should be fighting at or close to their natural weights. Undefeated Floyd Mayweather is the exception to the rule as he fights close to the contracted weights.


With the exception of heavyweight title fights, of which the weigh ins were themselves media events, all the greats from Willie Pep and Ray Robinson to Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran, they weighed in on the day of the fight. Somebody should the Nevada Commission how can guys like then welterweight (147) Miguel Cotto be allowed to step into a ring 30 hrs. later some 20 or so lbs. heavier. How can this still be billed as a welterweight fight?


While working with retired referee Mills Lane in the year preceding and leading up to his Stroke on the “Let’s Get It On” Boxing Series that was about to hit the big time and CBS until the Hall of Fame referee got sick, Mills Lane was right at 147 for our last gig. Biw you might say so what, but that’s what Mills won the National Golden Glove title.


What this does is it sets up a severe disadvantage for some, especially the “opponent” types as they’re already undersized a lot of the time. These guys are the lowest on the pugilistic food chain and take fights against bigger guys to eat. But fair play is not what boxing is about, it’s about the powers that be making money period! The suits, they know of the NCAA tests and how it is better for the athlete. But the financial and logistical advantages of day before weigh ins trump fighter safety, always have, always will!

Pedro Fernandez


  • Only reason commissions and promoters favor day before weigh-ins, is because of money. If a guy can’t make the weight the night before, they have time to figure out a way to salvage the fight. With only three hours before the fight if someone misses weight, a cancellation is more likely.It is too risky for these entities. Anyone who who thinks this has anything to do with health is naive. The 12 round title fight rule is the same. Had more to do with fitting boxing into a 1 hour slot of TV than safety. If fighters just stayed in proper condition between fights, or didn’t take massive layoffs or spent frequent amounts of time out of the gym, making weights wouldn’t be an issue. The current culture of the game has lead to laziness in many fighters.

  • I’m all for weighing the fighters like the old days. I’d rather see a fair fight with both fighters at their real weight, than for one guy to get an advantage because he can cut weight better. If if the fighter doesn’t make weight, cancel the fight, and fine the fighter. No more payoffs for one guy to get an advantage when he may have never intended to make the weight in the first place (see Chavez Jr., Salido, Castillo).
    No doubt though if they changed it a fighter would make the weight super dehydrated and end up getting hurt. Then people would scream about it being unsafe for fighters to enter the fight dehydrated and how there’s a greater risk for brain injury. Can’t please every one.

  • Yep, been saying for years there should be a return to same-day weigh-ins.

  • Jesustheprophet

    I agree with Pedro. The best weight for a fighter is that which he can make on the day of the fight without being dehydrated.

    This is the reason why Paul Williams shouldn’t be fighting at welter. He can make the weight the day before the fight and then has about 30 hours to rehydrate to a solid 160. However, this could also work to his disadvantage as losing so much weight would not allow for him to recover fully.

    It works both ways, but I tend to think that fighters weighing -ins on the same day would not dare take the risk of fignting 1 division below, as they would not have time to regain their strengths

  • Kamarah Pasley


    excellent article, this is something that I have had an issue with for years in regards to the fight game. They SHOULD go back to the weight classes of
    “yesteryear” and “they” should definitely make the weight in the day of the fight AND 3 hours before. Aside from the disadvantages that you pointed out; look at all of the physiological damage done to the body (liver, heart, thyroid, etc). As well as the weight that most all fighters gain after they are done competing. There is no excuse for a fighter to retire and then gain upwards of 60-100lbs!!

    For those fighters like myself who train all year round and lead a healthy, fighting lifestyle… whether we are preparing for a bout or not (hey we are PROFESSIONALS) Make these guys fight at their natural weight (or as close to it as possible) not stepping in the ring for a “light heavy weight” bout weighing 200 lbs! The power is not in the is within the individual’s genetic and spiritual (chi) makeup.

    Again..fantastic article.

  • You forgot to mention Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams, even Antonio Tarver who weighted close to 200 pounds vs Dawson.

  • Rubber Warrior

    Weigh-ins should happen on the day of the fight.

  • I remember the Cotto v Corley that was a bit unfair when Cotto weighed about 17 pounds more than Corley on fight nite. Well thanks to most boxing fans who are bigots. If the guy comes in huge he has every advantage especially if the fights doesn’t go the distance. Paul Williams, Clottey, Margarito and Cintrons of this world are huge for 147 yet they fought there and people pissed their pants to watch them beat the crap outta midgets. Margarito v Johnson any takers?

  • they should weight in 3hours before a fight to make it even for everyone.

  • Gatti v Gamache is the poster boy for this article. Gatti had this down to a science, I am sure it eventually destroyed his body.

    You should also look at eliminating some of the much lighter weight classes. IMHO I would eliminate all weight classes under 122 for professionals.

  • I agree with same day. I also think there r too many weight classes. They should go to the original 8 plus 2 10 total and same day weigh ins. Also u didn’t mention in the great sport of wrestling highscool and college we r examined by doctors and our bmi is taken and our given out lowest weight allowable by the doctor. The boxing commisions can do that also.

  • Its about time someone starts making some noise about this again. Not only is it putting fighters health at risk its also a way a cheating. Anyone remember that fight with Gatti & Gamache? Gamache was brought in to lose and that still wasn`t good enough, they let Gatti fight dame near 20lbs heavey and almost killed that kid. If theirs a middleweight championship fight and both fighter weigh like 175 at the weigh in….how can anyone keep a straight face and still call it a middleweight fight without feeling like a whore. Also keep in mind that boiling down in weight increases chances of brain damage to fighters considerably. Dropping that exccess water from your system takes slight amounts or fluid from the area protecting the brain and recovering what has been lost is not as simple as drinking or taking an IV. Bowe`s fight agenst Golata was a perfect example of that. Just as a whole many of the safty standards these days are useless and counterproductive. Weigh in`s should be day of the fight, with strict penalties and no more buying your way out. Also mandtory glove sizes need to be reworked, as bigger is in no way safer.

  • Not sure what the answer is but Gatti was a bad one for that. He almost killed Joey Gamache when he weighed 160 and Gamache weighed 140. Also against Leonard Dorin he looked like a middleweight fighting a lightweight.

  • Pedro Fernandez


  • fighters have the choice to gain weight after there weigh in. if they think its an advantage then do it too.

  • Hey pedro you boxed professional?

  • Oscar de la Hoya built most of his career fighting “naturally” smaller guys. He was a natural welter/jr middle fighting lightweights. I have one thing to say in his favor – making the weight has to be difficult and weakening, whereas the guy fighting at his natural weight it comes easier. Does that fact even the playing field at all?

  • They do it for the same reason they still allow those obscene painted logos on the canvas. Fighters’ safety always comes last. Can even a “boxing czar” help??

  • You are so right Pedro. This would force fighters to fight at a more natural weight. I always believed that was the reason that the fighters from years gone by were able to fight a good hard 15 rounds and they could step in and fight at a weeks notice. This is one rule that would help the sport.

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