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Top / Blog / How much money does a professional boxer earn?
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How much money does a professional boxer earn?

How much money does a professional boxer earn?

Floyd Mayweather's Instagram is an endless catalog of cars, money and watches. A testimony of the American dream. While Floyd is the face of this lifestyle, it might be easy to assume that most professional boxers live similarly. But this couldn't be further from the truth. The vast majority of professional boxers have very little, especially compared to footballers.

The following figures contextualize the salary discrepancy. According to Sports Brief, an average professional boxer will earn approximately $64,000 a year, assuming he has 8 fights that generate approximately $8,000 each. However, for many new boxers, the figure is much lower, earning a few hundred dollars per fight and barely taking in a few thousand dollars in a year.

By comparison, championship football players earn more than $250,000 a year according to the Professional Footballer Scouts Association. Premier League players, on average, earn almost $4,000,000. Only the lowest division players earn approximately $1000 per week. Simply put, the average salary is abysmally different.

Why Don't Boxers Win Much?

Since boxing is not a team sport, it is up to individuals to generate interest in themselves. Generally, there are three ways to achieve this. Or you have great management that knows what fights to book to get you into the spotlight.

Alternatively, you could find fame by simply being a fantastic professional boxer who destroys every opponent at every opportunity, creating intrigue. Lastly, you can talk your way into making a lot of money in boxing. Being outspoken and brash often leads to boxing fans either loving you or hating you. This means everyone will tune in to see you, no matter the outcome.

However, the problem with all of these methods is that they are all incredibly difficult. Most of them require money, connections or luck. Sometimes it takes all three for a boxer to even have a chance in the world of professional boxing.

Essentially, if you can't sell tickets, you will make very little money. This is fundamentally what makes boxing's pay structure so different from football. In football, there are many more people involved. This also means that you don't need to have a huge following from the beginning. The teams already have an audience, so getting your spot means you will earn money.

Why Do Boxing Superstars Earn Millions?

Now that we've established that the vast majority of boxers don't make much money, we can look at the elite fighters. The best of the best. Boxers earn tens of millions per fight because of the amount of money they generate. Once you reach the highest levels of boxing, you can earn huge sums due to how the business is structured.

There is your promoter, coach and some other forms of management that need a piece of the pie. However, generally, much of the money generated from ticket sales and PPV purchases goes to the boxers. Not having so many different factors within one system means that boxers can keep a greater proportion of the winnings. So, although the net figures may not be as large as those in football, the margin for boxers compared to players is much greater as the money does not have to be divided among as many people.

To put this into context, Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Conor McGregor generated approximately $600 million of which approximately $280 million went to Floyd and $130 million to McGregor. If these figures are accurate, that means that $410 million supposedly went to the boxers out of the $600 million generated by the fight. McGregor, an MMA fighter, showed how clever promotion and fame can generate huge amounts of money despite never having boxed professionally in his life.

Highest Paid Boxers vs Highest Paid Footballers

When you compare the highest-paid athletes in boxing to the highest-paid athletes in football, there doesn't seem to be a huge disparity. This is probably why people often assume that boxers earn large sums of money. However, in reality, most boxers don't make much money, while most footballers make very good money.

Name Estimated Net Worth
Floyd Mayweather Jr. $1,000,000,000
Manny Pacquiao $600,000,000
Canelo Alvarez $500,000,000
Oscar de la hoya $450,000,000
Mike Tyson $400,000,000
Evander Holyfield $300,000,000
Anthony Joshua $170,000,000
Tyson Fury $150,000,000
Lennox Lewis $140,000,000
Ray Leonard $120,000,000
Name Estimated Net Worth
Faiq Bolkiah $20,000,000,000
Lionel Messi $600,000,000
Cristiano Ronaldo $500,000,000
David Beckham $450,000,000
Dave Whelan $210,000,000
Neymar Jr. $200,000,000
Zlatan Ibrahimovic $190,000,000
Kylian Mbappe $180,000,000
Wayne Rooney $170,000,000
Ronaldo Luis Nazario $160,000,000

Boxing vs Football: Which is a Better Career?

Let's first assume that you are good enough to be a good professional boxer or footballer, which would be a very rare instance, but let's accept it for the sake of argument. In such a situation, it would almost always be objectively better to pursue football. You'll suffer fewer injuries, earn more money, and probably play at a higher level for longer. There is no tangible reason for someone in a position like that to choose boxing over football.

Unless it was your passion or you were a boxing prodigy, it wouldn't be the most sensible career choice to choose boxing over football.


While the highest-paid footballers and boxers are roughly on par in terms of salary, this does not reflect the averages for both sports. On average, boxers earn much less than footballers. This is due to the nature of sports and how they operate financially.


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