September 4, 2022

How Much Money Do Professional Boxers Make?

If you are looking for a sport that is both hard-hitting and action-packed, it is hard to beat the game of boxing. Sure, MMA is making its way through the ranks, but boxing is a time-honored sport that will always live in infamy. Just look at what some of the greats have done and how they are still inspiring athletes of all ages. Simply put, it takes a special person to become a boxer and if you think you have what it takes there are a few things that you need to know about getting paid.

Boxers don’t earn a traditional salary. Instead, they earn what is known as a purse. Out of this purse, a number of individuals like your trainer and manager will get a cut for each fight. The prices per fight and cost of training per fight can vary, but at the end of the day, only the top 1 per cent of boxers earn more than a million dollars a year. In 2018, the lowest 10 per cent of boxers earned right around $35,584, which isn’t nearly enough to support a mid-sized family.

close up of boxing gloves along with paper money

How Do Professional Boxers Make Money?

If you ask most people this question, they are merely going to tell you that professional boxers make money by fighting, which is somewhat in large correct. However, there is more to it than that; this is especially true for the individual that is just starting. Only a small percentage of boxers make considerable money. Most modest boxers end up promoting and selling tickets to their fights. If you fight in a local arena, then there is a good chance that you or your manager will end up negotiating a deal for gate sales of ticket sales. Obviously, the more ticket you sell, the more money you will make when the card is over. This is just one of the many ways that professional boxers can make money.


A big chunk of income for boxers comes through endorsements. Although it is only applicable to only a very few popular boxers (less than <10%), it is a source of revenue that equates to almost any other lucrative sport like golf and football. Boxers are paid through endorsements based on their popularity on social networks, popularity and number of matches.

Training Aspiring Boxers

Even if a boxer is not good enough to make it to the big leagues, it doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t have the skills or the knowledge. Some age factor in, sometimes injuries factor in, and sometimes boxers just get overlooked because they don’t have access to the right resources. Another way for a boxer to make money is by training other aspiring boxers. You could take up your trainee and become his or her manager. With the right boxing skills and knowledge, you might be able to help another kid go professional.

Fitness Coaches

Sometimes people want to get in shape, and no better sport can help you do that than boxing. Look at most boxers. They are ripped with physiques like Roman gods. This is because they know how to eat, sleep, and train right. As a professional boxer, you can use this knowledge to your benefit. Use this information to help people lose weight or just become overall healthier. People pay for services like this every day, so why shouldn’t they be paying you instead of someone else?

Also, here are the earnings of a professional boxing referee and UFC fighters.

How To Start A Career In Boxing

As you can see, making a professional career out of being a boxer is not something that is going to come easy. If this doesn’t deter you and you still want to continue, then there are a number of things that you need to do to get your career started. First and foremost, you must find a reputable trainer that you can trust with your life. Your trainer will more than likely be the one that will be negotiating your contracts and fight deals. If you cannot trust this individual, then you might as well get out of the game right now because boxing is not something that you can go about alone, even though you fight alone.

Learn The Basics

Once you have a good manager, there is an even better chance that he or she will be able to put you in touch with a gym where you can begin learning the basics. This is something that must not be skipped, regardless of how good you think you are. Every building needs a good foundation and without it, that building would not stand. The same can be said for any boxer. A foundation is what you will fall back on when you are in there in those later rounds looking for much-needed advice and assistance.

Taking On Amateur Fights

After you are comfortable in the ring, it will be time to schedule a few amateur fights. You can probably expect to fight some no-name individuals for little to nothing, but this is pretty much how everyone starts. This is okay because it can all be considered part of the foundation building process. Your local boxing clubs, as well as your manager, can help you find events that you can participate in. Heck, you might even end up partaking in some of them for free, but this is all part of building that foundation. Some of these events might even be unsanctioned, so you are going to have to rely on your trainer and manager to look out for your best interests.

From this point, it will pretty much just be rinse and repeat until you get spotted. Hopefully, you will get spotted by the right individuals, and before you know it, you will be well on your way to working yourself through the professional circuit.

Exploring The Expenses Of A Boxer

Becoming a professional boxer might bring you a lot of fame and fortune if you make it to the big time, but this doesn’t mean that the profession doesn’t come without some downsides. One of the significant disadvantages of becoming a professional fighter is that you will be covering all your expenses. Boxers are not employers of the league or anything like that, which means that they have to pay their way through a fight or competition. This means that you will not only be paying for your transportation, training, nutrition, but you are going to be paying for your medical expenses and insurance.

If you get injured in the ring and need surgery, that money is going to come out of your pocket. That aside, one of the most significant expenses that any boxer faces is his trainer. Even though you are in the ring on your own, boxing is something that you cannot do on your own. You cannot train yourself as much as you might want to. In fact, your trainer will probably cost you right around 10 per cent of your purse. This might not seem like a lot at first, but 10 per cent of 1 million is $100,000.

Managerial Expenses

Don’t forget about your manager as well. Not all boxers have managers, but if you are going to go pro then you will likely need someone that knows the legal sides of the business, Managers usually make more than coaches since they are the ones that arrange the fights as well as the contracts. Keep in mind that these are the individuals that also negotiate with sponsors. If you earn a little extra money on a shirt or shoe deal, you might end up paying out that money to your manager anyway. Unfortunately, this is just the life of the professional fighter, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t good money out there to be made.

Why Boxers Need Accountants

Ultimately, boxers have a lot of expenses to juggle. Floyd Mayweather had a tough time managing his books and ended up getting into tax trouble. With that being said, boxers need accountants. They need someone to scour through the books so they can discover their income and expenses.

Once they’ve found this information, they’ll know how much money they have to pay on taxes. This will enable them to minimize their tax debts. Boxers need accountants so they can keep track of the money they’ve spent on training, transportation, and other things.

They also have to know how much they’ve earned so they can pay taxes on that money. If they don’t, they’re going to land in trouble. Accountants might cost a lot, but their services will prove to be well worth it. It’ll help ensure that the boxer can pay their taxes on time and avoid spending time in jail.


How Hard Is It To Become A Pro Boxer?

It is more than extremely hard to become a professional boxer. In fact, it is like getting discovered as a professional musician. There are tons of individuals out there with the skills to go pro, but they just get overlooked because they either don’t have the right resources at their disposal or they don’t have the right individuals back them. As you learned above, only the top 1 per cent of boxers make it to where they can earn more than a million a year.

What Is The Right Age To Start Boxing?

There is no age that is too young to get into boxing. Boxing is a great sport that can teach an individual a lot about discipline, teamwork, and respect. However, most professionals would probably not recommend getting into boxing until you are at least 8 to 10 years old. Another thing to note is that you cannot turn pro until you are 18 years of age.

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

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