why do boxers get paid more than mma

why do boxers get paid more than mma

Boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) are two popular combat sports that have gained immense popularity and have a large fan base worldwide. However, when it comes to the financial aspect, it is often observed that boxers tend to earn more than MMA fighters. This raises the question of why boxers get paid more than MMA fighters. In this article, we will explore various factors that contribute to the higher pay in boxing compared to MMA.

1. Historical Significance

Boxing has a long and rich history, dating back thousands of years. It has been a part of the Olympic Games since ancient times and has had a significant cultural impact globally. This historical significance has led to a larger fan base and more established infrastructure, resulting in greater financial opportunities for boxers.

2. Established Promotional Companies

Boxing has several well-established promotional companies such as Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, and Matchroom Boxing. These companies have a solid track record of organizing high-profile fights and have built strong relationships with broadcasters and sponsors. Their ability to secure lucrative deals and sponsorships allows boxers to earn substantial amounts of money.

3. Pay-Per-View Revenue

Boxing has a long-standing tradition of pay-per-view (PPV) events, where fans pay to watch highly anticipated fights. These PPV events generate enormous revenue, with top boxing matches often breaking records. The revenue generated from PPV buys significantly contributes to the higher pay received by boxers.

4. Higher Ticket Prices

why do boxers get paid more than mma

Boxing events generally have higher ticket prices compared to MMA events. The demand for boxing tickets is often higher due to the sport’s historical significance and the larger fan base. The increased revenue from ticket sales allows boxers to command higher salaries.

5. Boxing’s Global Reach

Boxing has a more extensive global reach compared to MMA. It is popular in various countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and many others. The global appeal of boxing attracts larger audiences, which translates into higher revenue streams and better pay for boxers.

6. Fighter Purses

In boxing, the fighter purses, which are the guaranteed amounts paid to fighters, tend to be higher than in MMA. This is due to the larger revenues generated by boxing events, allowing promoters to allocate more money towards fighter salaries. The higher purses make boxing a more lucrative choice for professional fighters.

7. Sponsorship Opportunities

Boxing has traditionally attracted a wide range of sponsors, including major brands from various industries. This is partly due to the sport’s long-standing popularity and the exposure it provides to sponsors. The availability of lucrative sponsorship opportunities allows boxers to supplement their income and earn more compared to MMA fighters.

8. Longer Fight Duration

Boxing matches typically last longer than MMA fights. This longer duration provides more opportunities for boxers to showcase their skills and entertain the audience. Consequently, promoters and broadcasters perceive boxing as having higher entertainment value, resulting in higher pay for boxers.

9. Media Coverage

Boxing has historically received more extensive media coverage compared to MMA. Major boxing matches are often covered by mainstream media outlets, including newspapers, television networks, and online platforms. This increased media exposure helps generate more interest and revenue, ultimately leading to higher pay for boxers.

10. Limited Number of Weight Classes

Boxing has a limited number of weight classes compared to MMA. This concentration of talent in fewer weight divisions creates more opportunities for high-profile fights and rivalries. The increased demand for these fights results in higher pay for boxers involved in these weight classes.


While both boxing and MMA are physically demanding sports, boxers tend to earn more due to factors such as historical significance, established promotional companies, pay-per-view revenue, higher ticket prices, global reach, fighter purses, sponsorship opportunities, longer fight duration, media coverage, and limited weight classes. These factors collectively contribute to the financial success of boxing and the higher pay received by boxers compared to MMA fighters.

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