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How Much Does The Average Professional Boxer Make?

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Written By: Richard Magallanes
Last Updated: July 13, 2023

Boxing is a sport of grit, power, and, as it turns out, a dramatic financial dichotomy.

The world of professional boxing is a testament to the saying, ‘the rich get richer.’’

While the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao amass fortunes, many boxers lace up their gloves for a mere few thousand dollars per fight.

Let’s step into the ring and take a closer look at the financial landscape of boxing, specifically addressing the question: how much does the average professional boxer make?

Key takeaways

  • Average boxers make between $1,000 and $4,000 per fight with potential win bonuses.
  • Superstar fighters can earn millions or even hundreds of millions per fight on average.
  • Financial difficulties such as limited career duration, high training/travel expenses and lack of retirement plans are common for professional boxers.
  • Sponsorships, endorsements, and broadcasting rights also play a significant role in a boxer's income.
  • The earnings divide between the top 1% and the rest of the fighters is vast and widening.
  • High-risk health issues in boxing further complicate the financial security of many fighters.

The median salary of an average boxer

In terms of raw numbers, the median pro boxer income sits around $51,370 per year, according to a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017.

And according to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for a professional boxer is approximately $33 as of 2023, which is $68,041 per year.

However, these two metrics are misleadingly high, as the split between the "haves" and "have nots" in boxing is dramatic.

Most professional boxers fall in the $15,000 to $30,000 income bracket annually, excluding endorsements and sponsorships.

For the elites of the sport, figures skyrocket.

For example, Floyd Mayweather earned an astounding $275 million for a single match against Conor McGregor in 2017.

Even a 'modest' top-echelon fighter may secure payouts of $1-2 million per fight.

How much does the average pro boxer make per fight?

The prize that awaits a boxer after a grueling match is a complex equation.

Factors such as experience, popularity, and skill level dictate the paycheck that the boxer takes home.

For instance, a novice stepping onto the professional platform could expect between $1,000 and $4,000 per bout.

However, winning a boxing match is not just about pride and titles; it’s also about money.

Some boxing matches offer a win bonus, which could potentially double the earnings of the victorious fighter.

However, the exact amount of the win bonus is contingent upon the purse negotiation terms of the event.

How much do Olympic boxers get paid?

Olympic boxing presents a unique financial scenario.

The International Olympic Committee does not pay Olympic boxers for their participation.

Instead, the financial support an Olympic boxer receives is largely dependent on their home country.

For example, former British Olympic boxer Tony Jeffries was paid approximately $2700 per month prior to qualifying for the games.

Despite the lack of a consistent payment structure, the prestige and honor of representing one’s country on the Olympic stage often outweigh the financial implications for these professional athletes.

How much on average do super star boxers get paid?

In the upper echelons of the boxing world, where famous boxers such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Tyson Fury, and Gervonta “Tank” Davis reside, the gloves are golden.

Superstar boxers are in a financial league of their own, with earnings that can run into millions and even hundreds of millions per fight.

But who are these star fighters and what are their earnings at the pinnacle of boxing? Let us take a closer look.

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr

Floyd Mayweather Jr., widely considered one of the greatest boxers of all time, is also the industry’s highest paid boxer.

His boxing earnings exceed a staggering $1 billion.

This financial knockout has been achieved through a combination of high-profile fights with massive pay-per-view earnings.

For example, Mayweather reportedly garnered up to $100 million from pay-per-view earnings for televised title fights alone.

It’s a testament to how the right mix of skill, popularity, and business acumen can transform a boxer’s career into a lucrative venture.

2. Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing, also commands an impressive financial legacy.

With an estimated net worth of approximately $220 million, Pacquiao has enjoyed substantial paychecks from high-profile fights, generating over $100 million in revenue from these events.

His earnings in 2021 are still unclear, but rest assured, they’ll only add to an already impressive financial portfolio.

3. Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez, a Mexican professional boxer who has won multiple world championships in three weight classes, is another top earner in the boxing ring.

In 2021 alone, Alvarez amassed a total of $94 million, making him one of the most highly remunerated athletes in the world.

Not to mention, his endorsement income for 2019 was estimated to be approximately $2 million, demonstrating the significant revenue potential that comes with being a boxing superstar.

4. Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury, the reigning WBC heavyweight champion, is another boxer who has made millions from his fights.

While his income for 2021 was reported to be £70,000, his company’s year-end accounts revealed a total of £28.7m generated from his Las Vegas fight.

This substantial sum shows that a boxer’s official income may not always reflect their true earnings, with fight purses and pay-per-view earnings sometimes making up a significant portion of their income.

Fury’s success is a testament to the potential rewards of boxing, and it is a testament to the potential rewards of boxing.

5. Gervonta "Tank" Davis

Last but certainly not least, Gervonta “Tank” Davis is a rising star in the world of boxing.

Even though he’s relatively new to the scene, Davis’ earnings have already begun to climb with his increasing popularity.

He had a guaranteed total of approximately $2 million for 2021, with a total payout of $5 million following PPV sales for his fight against Rolando Romero.

Tank then fought Ryan Garcia in a clash of 2 superstar athletes, with Tank attaining a guaranteed $5 million, with both fighters expect to receive a 50% paycut of the PPV proceeds.

Reportedly, the fight has brought in over $1.2m purchases, generating $22.8m at the gate.

Gerovnta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia is speculated to be the third highest paid boxing fight as of 2023. * Please note this speculation based on various sources.

What is the path to becoming a professional boxer?

Becoming a professional boxer is no easy feat.

It’s a path paved with intense training, dedication, and of course, a series of amateur fights.

The first step towards this goal is a rigorous training regimen that focuses on strength, conditioning, and honing technique.

Consistent practice and a keen focus on the fundamentals of boxing are the building blocks of a promising boxing career.

However, the journey doesn’t end with mastering the sport.

Finding a knowledgeable and experienced manager is the next crucial step.

Your manager will handle the legal and financial aspects of your career, helping you navigate the complex world of professional boxing.

Finally, obtaining a license to fight professionally is the last hurdle before you can step into the ring for your first professional bout.

Anomalies: How much did fighters get paid versing Jake Paul?

In the world of boxing, anomalies can sometimes disrupt the typical financial dynamics of the sport.

One such anomaly is the emergence of social media influencers like Jake Paul in the boxing scene.

Paul’s foray into boxing has led to some interesting financial outcomes for his opponents.

Boxers like Tommy Fury, Tyrone Woodley, and Ben Askren have made substantial earnings from their bouts with Paul, showing the potential for fighters to generate significant revenue outside of the traditional boxing circuit.

This demonstrates that there is a new avenue for other boxers to make money, and that there is a new avenue for other boxers to make money.

Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury

Tommy Fury, a British professional boxer and reality television star, squared off against Jake Paul in a much-anticipated boxing event.

The financial rewards were significant, with Fury reportedly set to receive a $2 million purse plus 35% of the PPV share, amounting to a total of $4.5 million.

This bout was significant not just for its high stakes, but also for marking the first time a YouTuber had faced a professional boxer, highlighting the potential for YouTubers to generate revenue in the boxing industry.

Jake Paul vs. Tyrone Woodley

Jake Paul’s bout with former UFC Welterweight Champion, Tyrone Woodley, was another high-profile event with significant financial implications.

Woodley was guaranteed a hefty $2 million plus a share of the pay-per-view earnings for his bout against Paul.

This fight not only brought Woodley a substantial payday, but also highlighted the potential for mixed martial artists to earn considerable income through crossover events in the boxing ring.

Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren

Retired MMA fighter and Olympic wrestler, Ben Askren, also jumped into the ring to face Jake Paul. For this event, Askren earned a cool $500,000, with Paul taking home $690,000.

This bout illustrates how fighters from different combat sports are increasingly venturing into boxing, drawn by the potential for lucrative paydays.

UFC Fighters vs. Professional Boxers: A comparison of earnings

Now that we’ve delved into the earnings of professional boxers, how do these figures compare to those of UFC fighters?

Generally, boxers tend to earn more than UFC fighters, but there are exceptions to this rule.

The popularity of both the sport and individual fighters can significantly affect earnings.

Let’s break this down further.

How much do UFC fighters make?

The earnings of UFC fighters are as diverse as the techniques they employ in the octagon.

Salaries can range from $10,000 to a whopping $3,000,000 per fight, depending on the fighters’ experience, popularity, and performance.

On average, a UFC fighter makes about $146,673 per year.

However, top fighters like Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov have shattered this ceiling, earning tens of millions of dollars.

The popularity factor?

Popularity plays a significant role in a fighter’s earnings, regardless of whether they’re in the boxing ring or the UFC octagon.

Fighters who have a strong fan base and high public recognition can command higher salaries and endorsement deals, while those who are lesser-known may not have the same opportunities.

Fighters like Conor McGregor have effectively leveraged their popularity, earning millions from fights and endorsements.

Sponsorships and endorsements in boxing

Beyond the purse that comes with each bout, boxers have another source of income - sponsorships and endorsements.

From gear to drinks, many brands are eager to associate with boxers, and these affiliations can bring in a significant amount of revenue.

However, not all boxers benefit equally from these deals.

Let’s take a closer look at the opportunities that star fighters and lesser-known boxers have when it comes to sponsorships and endorsements.

Opportunities for star-fighters

For star fighters, the opportunities for sponsorships and endorsements are plentiful.

These fighters can earn income through match outcomes, sponsorships, ambassadorships of the sport, and a portion of the purse from pay-per-view broadcasts.

Moreover, star fighters can generate revenue through promotional events, interviews, and advertisements, which not only increase their income but also help boost the sport’s popularity.

Sponsorships and endorsements are a great way for star fighters to increase their income and help them reach their goals.

Earning potential for lesser-known boxers

Lesser-known boxers may not have access to the same level of sponsorships as their superstar counterparts, but they can still earn extra income through endorsements and televised fights.

While their earnings might not reach millions, the additional income can make a significant difference in their overall earnings, making every punch count.

Endorsements and televised fights can provide boxers with an extra source of income, allowing them to earn more.

YouTube has become a popular platform for boxers on the come-up to start garnering attention.

Established pro boxer Ryan Garcia and up-and-coming pro boxer Frankie Davie have both utilized YouTube to grow their fan bases and reach a wider audience.

Through vlogs, training videos, and behind-the-scenes footage, these boxers have been able to generate additional revenue from YouTube's ad revenue and sponsored content.

The financial challenges faced by most boxers

Despite the allure of big paydays and lucrative endorsements, most boxers, including the average professional boxer, face significant financial challenges.

A limited professional career span, high costs associated with training, equipment, and travel, and a lack of pensions and retirement plans are just a few of the obstacles they face.

Training and management fees

Training and management fees are a hefty expense that all boxers must bear.

Average training fees for professional boxers typically range from $80 to $180 per month, and management fees can range from 10% to 35%.

These costs can be a substantial financial burden, especially for boxers who are just starting out and have yet to secure a steady stream of boxers pay from fights.

For these pro boxers, the cost of training and management fees can be a major obstacle to success.

Lack of pensions and retirement plans

Another financial hurdle that boxers face is the lack of pensions and retirement plans.

The Professional Boxer’s Pension Fund in California is one of the few exceptions, offering pensions to boxers who have fought at least 75 rounds in the state with no more than a three-year break.

However, for a few boxers outside California, there is no such financial safety net, leaving them to fend for themselves to secure a financially stable future after their boxing career ends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make a living off boxing?

Boxers can make a living through fight fees, promotion contracts, and sparring sessions. Additionally, building a reputation in the sport and transitioning to boxing coaching when retiring from the ring can prove profitable as well.

How much do male boxers make per fight?

On average, boxers make anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000 per fight depending on their contract and promoter.

Amateur boxers, however, do not get paid.

How much does Mike Tyson make per fight?

Mike Tyson earned an impressive $10 million for his last fight against Roy Jones Junior in November 2020, and typically made $7.5 million per fight on average throughout his career.

This is a testament to his success in the ring, and his ability to draw in large crowds and generate significant revenue.

Who are some of the highest paid boxers?

Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Tyson Fury, and Gervonta “Tank” Davis are some of the highest paid boxers in the sport.

Who are the highest paying boxers as of 2023?

Anthony Joshua and Canelo Alvarez are the highest paying boxers. Forbes' 2023 list of highest paid athletes confirms that they're the only boxers featured. Forbes tracked the income earned by top sports stars between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023, to compile the annual list.

How much do UFC fighters make?

On average, UFC fighters make about $146,673 per year, with salaries ranging from $10,000 to $3,000,000 per fight.

What is the lowest a boxer can make?

The lowest earnings for a boxer can be less than $19,220 per year. While some may believe professional boxers make huge amounts of money, only the top 1% earn over a million dollars annually. However, the majority of professional boxers earn significantly less.

The bottom line

From the humble earnings of novice fighters to the multi-million-dollar paychecks of superstar boxers, the financial landscape of professional boxing is a study in contrasts.

The sport is rife with dazzling financial victories and sobering economic knockouts.

With the advent of social media influencers stepping into the ring and the growing popularity of cross-over events, the dynamics of boxing earnings are continually evolving.

As we’ve seen, the punch that lands the knockout blow in the boxing world isn’t just about physical power - it’s also about financial prowess.

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