Most amateur boxers struggle to make a living out of boxing. What keeps these fighters driving is their love and passion for the sport. So, it’s safe to say love is the mechanism that keeps most boxers moving.
Still, you can make your way to the top money zone. Some pro boxers earn millions, like Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Anthony Joshua, and other top fighters. As a beginner or amateur in boxing, it would help if you look up to these successful fighters and study the path they followed to prosperity.
This guide takes you through the frequent questions every amateur or aspiring boxer asks, such as:
“What makes professional boxers earn big?”
“How big do they earn?”
“What’s the secret behind their wealth?”
“How do they earn?”
“How does one earn big in boxing?”
Hang on as we unravel the mysteries behind these money-bagging boxers.
Summary — How Much Boxers Likely Make Per Fight
Roughly, standard fighters earn between $2,000 and $150,000 per fight.
However, it’s quite difficult to give the particular amount a boxer earns per fight as certain factors contribute to their earnings. These elements include popularity and the number of wins the boxer has attained.
The question of a boxer’s earnings per match recurs among curious amateur boxers and boxing enthusiasts. But, pro boxers earn more money than amateurs in reality.
Boxers’ Earnings Per Level/Grade
Here, we’ll assess boxers’ income based on their boxing level or grade.
Boxers may be divided into two classes, viz:
- Beginner/Amateur boxers
- Professional boxers
Let’s broadly see how grades influence a boxer’s earnings.
Starting a career as a boxer could be daunting. It takes a strong will and passion for withstanding the storm. Considering the laws governing their level, making ends meet isn’t easy for amateur boxers.
The law states that no amateur boxer should be paid directly for any fight or competition, nor should they partake in any product endorsement.
As such, life as an amateur boxer is usually constricting and involves struggling to balance side jobs with boxing. This made some countries and organizations volunteer to give grants and jobs to budding boxers to keep them fully focused. Still, there are other avenues where they could get good earnings.
Some realities about the beginner boxers’ earnings include:
- Participating in the world series of boxing(WSB), where amateur boxers get to compete with professionals and qualify for the Olympics if they win. During this international tournament, the boxers are paid roughly $25,000–$30,000 annually and stand the chance of getting a winning bonus of $5,000.
- Suppose the boxers finally scale through the Olympics and become qualified as average pro boxers. In that case, their earnings at this early stage aren’t comparable to other professional boxers. They could earn roughly $2,000 per fight, with their earnings depending on their performance and fame at the amateur level.
Becoming a professional fighter is every amateur boxer’s desire. The fame, money, records, and series of gains are enough for a strong-willed boxer to fight for. Things will gradually change financially when an amateur surpasses the average professional level.
Consequently, rich promoters would be eager to sign a contract with such a fighter, and many brands would want to sign an endorsement deal with them. Yet, not all pro boxers earn big; at least we could say 1% had a breakthrough.
Back to the question: How much do pro fighters earn in boxing?
One can’t measure the exact amount they earn as there are variations. A fighter’s earnings could differ from another’s due to several factors we’ll discuss later.
Although professional boxers earn roughly $2,000 per fight, their profit depends on their popularity and experience. Participating in world title matches could fetch a pro fighter as much as $150,000 per match — not including the other avenues like the regional title that could fetch them $10,000 and above. Still, not every pro boxer has the opportunity to participate.
Reasons Most Boxers Earn Little
(The Boxing Struggle)
Many boxers are underpaid, and the little income they struggle to earn still has to pass through legal deductions.
When a boxer receives the purse, they must settle their coach, promoter, manager, and other staff. Thus, the boxer gets less than their actual earnings.
In addition, after the deductions, the boxer is responsible for paying taxes and sponsoring necessities like travel, feeding, training, and health.
Here are speculations on how the purse is split, according to a reliable source:
“When a boxer receives a purse, they give 33.33% of it to the manager, 25% to the promoter, 10% to the coach, and finally, the rest percentage (roughly 32%) goes to the boxer. Now, from the remaining 32%, the boxer would pay tax (40% of the remaining amount) and also shoulder other expenses.”
Similarly, boxing only deals with brand sponsorship, unlike other sports where the governing bodies support the athletes’ expenses by giving them allowances. Fortunately, pro fighters earning big are less affected as they have multiple income sources.
Factors That Can Make Boxers Earn Big
Several elements can improve your earnings in boxing. They include:
- Dedication: You don’t just hop into being one of the top money boxers without passing through the right channel. Boxing doesn’t work that way. Like the maxim, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step,” your quest as a boxer begins from your amateurish stage. That’s where you need to start building yourself to become the professional you seek.
- Hard work
- Fighting style
- Winning record
- Popularity: The reputation you make during your amateurish stage plays a significant role in your career.
- Entertainment skill
How Do Professional Fighters Earn in Boxing?
The income source for pro boxers varies — some can be on and off the ring. Commonly, professional boxers earn through the sale made from the pay-per-view night fights, tickets sold to fans, endorsement, sponsorship, and coaching.
If you’re a die-hard fan of boxing, you may be conversant with certain sceneries at the boxing arena, from the canned drinks, snacks, and seats. These are some means of making the most out of a match.
Before moving further, let’s take a brief look at the sources of earnings of pro boxers.
“How would a boxer possibly earn without fighting?”
Fighting bouts are the primary basis for making a profit as a professional fighter. Every competition or fight is another chance for a boxer to cash out.
Still, earning through fighting depends on your popularity and sponsorship. If you’re a good fighter without fans and sponsors, you’ll find it difficult to earn.
The common source of earning in a fighting bout is the ’fight purse.’ The fight purse is the money each fighter’s promoter or manager pools to sort out the fighters’ payment. This amount is shared between the boxers according to their title and popularity.
Another typical way a boxer earns through a fight is when the fight is based on a pay-per-view (PPV) arrangement. Here, the match is televised and streamed live for people worldwide to view in return for a payment.
A look at some notable top-grossing PPV matches below will give you the basic expectancy of what a boxer should earn:
- The Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao clash grossed over $400 million with a total of 4.6 million PPV buys in 2015.
- The clash between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield II grossed over $100 million with a total of 1.99 million PPV purchases in 1997.
You can easily deduce the earnings of the boxers from these figures.
Conclusively, the money earned from the sale of tickets is another source a boxer can make the most of a match. The tickets are sold based on the number of seats in the arena.
Furthermore, boxers make the most of the digital era by selling tickets via NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the form of digital assets to online fans. NFT is a source of huge investment. When the boxer sells the ticket via blockchain, the tickets are stamped, and if the purchaser resells the ticket, the boxer will get a commission.
Endorsement and Sponsorship
As boxers’ fans increase, popular brands will begin patronizing them to take their products to the limelight. Thir number of followers on the media is enough to influence any product within a twinkle of an eye. But, there must be something the brand exchanges sponsorship for in return for promoting their products —a form of barter.
For a more vivid image, whenever you watch a boxing match, you’ll notice the gears and wears the boxer put on are all branded with a signature. Some of the most popular brands are Lucozade, Under Armor, Hublot, and Tecate.
Boxers even earn via sponsorship in the range of $50,000 to $3 million annually. Fans are usually attached to their favorite athletes and accept any product the boxer uses, influencing such brands in the process.
Some popular boxers don’t depend solely on fighting to earn their money. Perhaps, that’s why they earn more than other fighters.
Boxers like Floyd Mayweather and George Foreman have had breakthroughs in this aspect. They have stores where they sell their products, especially boxing gear and T-shirts bearing their logo, signature, and quotes.
A boxer could earn close to $10,000 monthly in shirt sales alone.
Boxers can also coach other budding boxers for a monthly wage. Statistics show that boxing coaches in the United States earn between $33,981 and $50,281 per month.
As one can’t engage in boxing throughout one’s lifetime—give or take 35 years—the sport will begin to take its toll on the body. So, it’s reasonable they invest in cushioning the effect of retirement.
How is the fight purse split between two professional boxers?
Before a match begins, the fighter’s promoter/manager contributes an agreed amount to the fight purse. The purse is split at the end of the match, and the winner usually takes the larger part. However, the rules of sharing the fight purse aren’t always based on who wins.
At times, the loser might go home with the largest portion on the condition that such a boxer is a champion well experienced and has tons of fans. These factors may increase the boxer’s draw. Looking back at history, we could say it’s shared 55/45 or 60/40.
Do pro boxers still get paid when they lose?
Yes, it depends on the defeated boxer’s popularity and history, as earlier explained. If the defeated boxer is a famous champion with tons of fans, they may have a better chance of earning more money than the winner. But, if the loser possesses none of the required features, they’ll receive the least portion of the purse as compensation for the rigorous fight.
How can I earn as an amateur fighter?
You can earn as an amateur by participating in the World Series of Boxing tournaments, where you compete with top-notch boxers. During this tournament, you stand the chance of earning approximately $25,000–$30,000 annually plus a winning bonus of $5,000
Who are the top 10 highest-paid boxers in 2022?
Here are the top 10 high-earning boxers in 2022 classified according to their earnings:
- Anthony Joshua
- Tyson Fury
- Deontay Wilder
- Alexander Povetkin
- Dillian Wyte
- Andy Ruiz Jr.
- Luiz Ortiz
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Micheal Hunter
- Joseph Parker
In summary, boxers’ earnings per fight depend on certain factors such as their sponsors, entertainment skill, fighting style, popularity, and winning record. Some professional fighters earn much from boxing, but their incomes don’t exclusively come from the fight purse. Becoming a high-earning boxer is a somewhat tedious and daunting endeavor, requiring strength, endurance, and discipline.