It’s a heck of a way to make a living
By Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
The nationwide average income for a professional boxer in the United States is just over $37,500; the average American household income in 2019 is more than $68,000 and the don’t have to pay for training and diet expenses.
If there’s one point to take away from someone who fights for a living, then it’s that fighters have a hard time relating to the experiences of the majority of people in the workforce. Most folks go through the motions five days a week and get to escape from their job for a reasonable amount of time every week. Fighters, on the other hand, train for months and commit to hard physical training and dieting. This is all done so that, for a handful of nights in the year, fighters can inflict great physical harm to another human being. It’s a heck of a way to make a living. As a result, the way fighters get paid drastically differs from the way most workers are compensated. In most jobs, one is usually guaranteed a base annual salary and just merely showing up is usually good enough to keep a job.
In the fight game merely showing up is not enough. The difference between winning and losing a fight can have a massive impact on a fighter’s financial future. A winning fighter can make a reasonably consistent income every year. But if a fighter can’t manage to win many of their fights, then no promoter has an incentive to pay them, and the fighter’s career can take a significant nosedive.
Boxing is an example of a go-big-or-go-home combat sport. On one end, the highest paid fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Álvarez, and Anthony Joshua get paid at least eight figures for every event they fight. But boxers like that are astronomically few and far in between.
According to Ziprecruiter (one of the largest job searching websites in the world), the nationwide average income for a professional boxer in the United States is just over $37,500. Those in the top one percent in the sport earn approximately $90,000.
To put this in perspective, the average American household income in 2019 is more than $68,000 and they don’t have to pay for training and diet expenses (and usually don’t accumulate brain damage over the course of their careers). Once again: fighting is a heck of a way to make a living. “Even though I’ve made something of myself from boxing… I’ve seen so many people come away with absolutely nothing,” said Tony Jeffries who is a former Olympic boxer for the British national team.
If one can manage to be among the few to make millions of dollars without walking away with significant damage to the body, then the fight game can be the ultimate jackpot. However, to play around with the odds of getting there is a risky gamble.