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How Much Money Do Professional Boxers Make?

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Looking at the kind of cash boxing superstars are raking in is probably making you dizzy. Can’t say we don’t understand since we’re sick with envy, too! That said, these guys literally shed blood, sweat, and tears to get to the top of the sport and deserve every bit of the perks that come their way.

Of course, international superstar fights aren’t an accurate basis for general boxer salaries. After all, these numbers can vary across the spectrum. From a little more than twenty-grand annually to as much as ten million or more per fight.

So, what’s the real deal about boxing earnings?

The Life of a Professional Boxer

Boxing guides will tell you that the life of a professional boxer is not just about fighting and winning (or losing) titles. To get to the point of competing for titles, one has to train constantly to develop his strength and technique. Boxers also have to be willing to start small, participate in local fights, and garner experience before considering the big stage.

Nobody embodies “your body is your temple” more than pro athletes, boxers included. While these guys stretch their bodies to the limit on a regular basis, they also infuse them with the necessary nutrition for keeping up with their journey. Boxers have physios and other sports science experts on their team who help develop programs for optimal body development.

There’s also the mental and emotional aspects of a pro boxer’s life. To these individuals, as crucial as training and studying are sleep, respite, and relaxation.

These restful activities help boxers recover holistically from the challenges of their journey. Not making time for these things could cause you to burn out faster than you grow in the sport. The path to the top might require foregoing a social life, but that does not mean you don’t get to take a break. 

State-Level and Above Competition Requirements

To qualify for the state-level competition, you’ll need to secure a license from the state’s sports commission. That won’t be easy, as you’d have to pass a series of psychological and medical tests and have a decent record of sportsmanship at amateur competitions. Basically, there has to be significant proof that you possess the physical and mental fortitude required to fight in the bigger stages.

On the other hand, national competitions are a whole different ballgame. To qualify to fight at this level, you have to do well at state to build the skills and reputation necessary for hiring a manager. Truth be told, not many make a name past the amateurs.

While there’s no shortage of cash splashed around in boxing, the majority of it makes it to the hands of only a few prized fighters. Aside from the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, who earn millions per fight, the general population of professional boxers struggle to make a decent income.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics listed professional athletes as having an average salary of a little over $51,000 per year. That implies that around half of these athletes, professional boxers included, brought home less than this amount. That’s anything but a good payday.

Salary Breakdown

A pro boxer’s salary usually comes from the following sources: prize money, sponsorship deals, and endorsements. You don’t really earn a fixed salary as a boxer; you earn one that aligns with your results instead.

In boxing’s upper echelons, most of the wealth is amassed from activities outside the ring, such as endorsements, brand building, royalties, and many others. For some legends, a good chunk of their net worth is earned post-retirement by allowing businesses to use their names.

As attractive as that all sounds, it’s also far removed from the realities of most boxers. The average professional boxer earned about thirty-grand in 2018, with the figure getting as low as twenty-grand at some point during the year.

Travel and training expenses, management fees, and other costs might also have to be taken from their paycheck. This results in take-home earnings far less than suggested.

Is the Trend on Your Side? 

You don’t usually find credible job-growth information on pro boxers specifically, but you can keep track of how pro athletes are faring in general. Boxing follows a similar trajectory, so we can accurately imply several things from these generic pieces of information.

Pro athlete employment is expected to grow in the next few years. The amount of money circulating in the boxing industry suggests boxers could fare better than most athletes in this regard. This also tells us spectators won’t get tired of the sport any time soon. And, sometimes, that’s all a boxing aspirant really needs to hear.

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