The distinction of being the first boxer to win world titles in six different weight classes is attributed to two legendary fighters: Thomas Hearns and Oscar De La Hoya. Hearns, born in 1958, achieved this remarkable feat between the years 1980 and 1988, while De La Hoya, born in 1973, accomplished it from 1994 to 2007.
Thomas Hearns set the precedent by capturing world titles in six distinct weight classes. His conquests encompassed the welterweight (147 lbs), light middleweight (154 lbs), middleweight (160 lbs), super middleweight (168 lbs), light heavyweight (175 lbs), and cruiserweight (200 lbs) divisions. Although there is a debate surrounding the legitimacy of his cruiserweight title, which was obtained from the WBU—an organisation not affiliated with the four major sanctioning bodies in boxing—Hearns’ advocates argue that his skills and dominance within the cruiserweight division warrant recognition.
Oscar De La Hoya, following in Hearns’ footsteps, claimed world titles across six weight classes during his illustrious career. His triumphs spanned the super featherweight (130 lbs), lightweight (135 lbs), welterweight (147 lbs), light middleweight (154 lbs), middleweight (160 lbs), and super welterweight (154 lbs) divisions. De La Hoya’s accomplishments solidified his status as one of the sport’s most versatile and accomplished fighters.
The achievements of both Hearns and De La Hoya in conquering multiple weight classes demonstrate their exceptional skills, adaptability, and versatility within the ring. While the legitimacy of Hearns’ cruiserweight title may be debated, there is no denying the indelible mark left by these two pugilistic icons in the annals of boxing history. Their remarkable accomplishments continue to inspire and captivate fans worldwide, solidifying their places among the sport’s elite.