Whether you’re an aspiring boxer or a true fan of boxing as a sport, it’s quite common to wonder how much do female boxers make.
On average, female boxers can make $1000 per fight at a low level whereas most professional female boxers earn around $9000 per fight. Boxing salaries and fight purses are highly dependent on the weight divisions, past winning records, popularity, as well as brand sponsorships.
Further in this guide, I’ll touch on the most prominent ways through which female boxers earn most of their income and various factors that affect their overall earnings. Keep reading…
How Do Female Boxers Make Money?
Thanks to the Muhammad Ali boxing reform act passed by the government, the way through which boxers earn money is much clear as compared to UFC fighters.
Here’re some of the most common ways through which female boxers earn most of their income:
1. Boxing Matches
There is no doubt that competing in the ring is the most obvious and prominent way to earn money for boxers. Almost all professional female boxers typically fight between two to five times in a single year and earn the majority of their income from these fights only.
The business of boxing usually works on the basis of splitting the fight purse, which is nothing but an amount of money collected by fight promoters for that particular event through ticket selling, pay-per-view services, and international broadcasting.
This fight purse is split into two parts and most of the money goes to the boxer with a bigger draw, which is typically decided on the basis of the boxer’s past record, experience, popularity, and sometimes looks and exciting presence in the match.
The purse bid is established first and their managers negotiate about how much each fighter will get paid. That’s why even if boxers lose that particular match, she will get her pre-decided split.
2. Merchandise Commission
Selling their own merchandise is another great way to earn money for best-performing professional boxers outside of an actual fight.
Even though it is a very small percentage of the money in their income, most female boxers like to sell their own products such as fan T-shirts, hats, or any other type of wearable that has their name, photo, or signature on it.
If you’re a true fan of any boxer, buying their merchandise is one of the best ways to support them, both personally as well as financially. That’s because, unlike boxing match salaries, this money goes directly to them without any split.
3. Brand Endorsements
Last but not least, Endorsements and brand sponsorships are also one of the best ways for female boxers to earn money outside of boxing bouts.
With the explosion of social media marketing in recent years, more and more brands are willing to promote their products through popular professional boxers.
This has become a quite bigger stream of income for many female boxers because it’s much easier to post a photo on your Instagram account and influence your followers about upcoming products as compared to shooting a complete TV commercial.
It’s a great way to earn money, especially for those boxers who are popular among people and have a huge following on various social media platforms.
That’s why you’ll probably notice most of the famous female fighters posting partnerships with brands so often and having logos on their boxing tops, and all around the ring.
Top 4 Factors that Influence Female Boxers Earning
If you’re wondering why some boxers are able to earn more money than other boxers, here’re the key factors that influence how much do female boxers make:
1. Weight Class
It’s very common to see a significant increase in pay when female boxers move up in the weight division over time.
There are more than 17 weight divisions for female boxers and each of these divisions comes with its own set of standards in terms of fitness.
Some female boxers take years to perfectly nail down their training and move up in the weight division. That’s why female boxers who work hard to reach the next weight class are more popular because it represents their dedication to the sport.
This increment is usually done to compensate for their efforts because it’s hard to compete in higher-weight classes in terms of experience and skills.
This popularity not only helps these boxers to get sponsorships easily but also offers them the power to negotiate their split in the boxing purse, which definitely increases their income significantly.
There are many popular brands including Hayabusa, Tatami, Gameness, Garden of Life, etc. that are always looking for emerging boxers to promote their products. The better the relationship boxers have with their fans, the bigger payout provided to them.
Brands love to attach themselves to the popular and best-performing boxers because many fans look up to these boxers and dream to live life like them by dressing and looking like them.
3. Opponent Boxer
Along with their own popularity and boxing records, the reputation of their opponent boxer also affects the average salary of female boxers.
As I already discussed above how boxers earn the majority of their money by splitting the boxing purse, it’s the popularity of both fighters that decides how much money people are going to spend.
It also depends on the championship belt you’re fighting for and the storyline between you and you’re opponent.
Usually, two boxers with very high winning records in the past tend to have better responses from the audience and generate the most amount of earnings for both fighters.
This is one of the factors that most people tend to ignore when discussing about female boxers’ income. When we read how Katie Taylor took out a 60% split from the boxing purse, it’s important to understand that not everything goes into her pockets.
Technically speaking, boxers aren’t employees of promoters and commissions that host the boxing matches, which means they have to pay for things like their travel expenses, medical insurance, training cost, etc. on their own.
Along with that, boxers also need to pay their crew from the boxing purse itself which cuts down their income even more.
The amount they pay to each member may vary but here’s some base idea for you:
|% Earning from Boxing Purse
|35% – 40%
|Manager or Advisor
Many beginner female boxers can expect to get $300 to $400 per fight until they reach the pro level where they can effectively negotiate contracts with the brands.
Who is the Highest-Paid Female Boxer?
Even though male boxing dominated the ring for decades, female boxing also start gaining traction and a fan following all over the world.
With pretax earnings of more than $1 million in 2018, Katie Taylor is the highest-paid female boxer ever. She topped these earnings with a grand victory against Cindy Serrano. She also brought in a seven-figure fight purse in 2021, making her officially the highest-paid female boxing champion.
Even though salaries and fight purses are always lagged behind for female boxers but things started getting better in recent years.
Female vs Male Boxer’s Average Salary
Most professional female boxers earn around $7,800 per fight in the USA whereas the average salary for male boxers is around $51,000. Many female boxers also need to work at another full-time job just to be able to fight and cover their ongoing cost.
The WBO champion, Amanda Serrano expresses her feelings “It’s like day and night, black and white. I’m still fighting to get the pay I deserve”.
With that being said:
My Final Thoughts on Female Boxers Salary
Even though the recent outlook towards boxing is more commercial but it’s important to remember that not all boxers are fighting solely for the money.
Many female boxers also fight for their true passion and they already showcase their love for this sport through their interviews.
BUT: If you’re aspiring to become a professional boxer, I recommend you to give enough importance to the money as well. It’s because there is no job security and you also won’t be able to avail of benefits like 401k and retirement plans.