MMA vs Boxing Pay: Which Fighters Have Better Salary? - Combat Sport Events

MMA vs Boxing Pay: Which Fighters Have Better Salary?

Boxer vs MMA: Who Makes More Money?

Is there a real MMA vs boxing salary difference? Who gets paid more in the field of martial arts?  Despite professional boxers currently earning significantly more than MMA fighters, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the lower-level boxers are still bathing in this huge wage gap. On top of this, many have predicted that in the near future MMA may begin to edge closer to boxing in popularity, and then consequentially pay more to their fighters.

But for now, take a look at a detailed boxer vs MMA fighter salary overview of the payment boxers and MMA fighters receive, ranging from the amateurs to the full-fledged superstars. Make sure you stick around till the end to see the boxing vs MMA money comparison.

Boxer vs MMA Fighter: Boxing Salary


Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo

The gruelling life of a boxer involves a lot more training and preparing for a fight than the actual winning part. Most of the time, you are going hard in the gym, trying to push yourself to the edge to make sure you can take on your next opponent.

To get to the top you’ll need to have years of experience and be able to self-motivate yourself all-day everyday.

To start off with the few superstars, people like Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury will bank around $60 million for a successful fight, as seen through AJ’s winnings against Ruiz.

If you were to lose a fight of that calibre, you would still be getting quite the pay-day, walking away with roughly $25 million. If you are still a professional but don’t happen to be having some of the biggest fights in history, you can still expect some good money as long as you have a good manager.

This money comes through sponsorships, social media, and obviously your fights, with the average well-known boxer earning around $23 million each calendar year. If you want to achieve these pretty hard-to-reach goals, it requires years of training at the amateur level to build up your career and a ludicrous amount of hard work. Boxing superstardom isn’t for the quaint.



For the boxers who haven’t quite reached major fame yet, but are still managing to earn a living off of boxing and have several high-quality fights each year, they are simply known as professionals.

Don’t be fooled by the step-down, being a boxer on this levels still requires as much work as you can put in, so that you can actually make money off the fights, meaning that you probably don’t have time for another career.

Now whilst there is a huge amount of cash in boxing, most of it ends up in the hands of the select view at the top, leaving the bottle level athletes to quite literally fight for it.

The average salary for boxing at this level is $51,370 each year, which many say is great, and many others disagree saying the hard work doesn’t equate to the salary.

Even with this figure though, due to it being an average, obviously half of the professional boxing circuit earned less than this, with the bottom 10% getting a measly $19,220 each year.

If you are in that bottom 10%, then there is probably no-point doing the boxing unless you get into a higher league, considering how much time and effort you are putting into it.


The salary of a beginning of amateur boxers can be relatively low, with most of the real money being made in the two classes above this. Nevertheless, many people who aren’t able to turn pro still put in the effort in this league and make a fair bit of money in doing so.

To make money in this league, you are obviously expected to be in great shape and spend a lot of time in the gym training, otherwise you would just get walked over in all your fights.

The salary of the beginning pro’s is expected to rise by 7% by 2026, with the current median salary at around $26,115, with the lowest 10% only earning $19,000.

Even with this pretty low salary, as mentioned you are still expected to put in heaps of work and you most likely wouldn’t have time for another job in your life because of the constant training at the gym.

A good goal to set yourself in this category would be to become professional so that you can get a pretty hefty salary increase.

To get a full breakdown on Boxer Pay click here.

Boxing vs MMA Money: MMA Salary


Nate Diaz

Despite the superstars of MMA still earning a huge amount of money, it doesn’t really compare to the amount that the legends of boxing currently earn, with the leaders of MMA such as Conor McGregor or Jon Jones having a base salary of about $3 million each year, and sometimes room for roughly $30 million more earned through sponsorships and fights, as seen through McGregor’s earnings.

Again with MMA, it is the top-tier boxers raking in all the money, leaving not much else but scraps for the pros and amateurs to fight for. Like boxing, MMA is only a career acquired by people with an insane amount of hard work and self-motivation, and people only reach this superstar level by driving each day for more and more.

To get to this level, you would need a huge amount of experience and success in the pro and amateur field, which is what we will be getting into next.



A professional MMA career isn’t something that comes with ease, with most of the people in this bracket working all day every day in order to stay in shape and get the most out of their livelihood.

Whilst most of the money is circulating around the top-tier fighters, they can still earn a fair income at the level with the average fighter raking in around $38,000 each year.

Again, it’s important to remember that with this average, 50% of the fighters still earn less than this, with the bottom 10% only making around $17,520 each year.

At the other end of the spectrum, the top tier professional MMA fighters can find themselves earning a rough estimate of about $59,000 each year, not including all the payouts that need to occur regarding their manager, gym fees, trainer fees, travel and so- on.


Two amateur MMA Fighters competiting

Now, whilst there isn’t a reason that you need to stay in the amateur category of MMA unless you are lacking the skill to make it up the ranks, it is recommended that you get out of there as soon as possible because you will find yourself losing money here.

You do not get paid to compete in any of the fights, instead all audience fees go towards the production and the promoter who has let the fights take place.

You will then of-course find yourself losing money because of the fees you need to pay for your travel, gym and so on. If you want to actually get a career out of MMA, then it is highly recommended to not stay in this amateur league because it will only detriment you as a fighter financially, although it will give you some good experience to help you know what to expect in the big leagues.

To get a full breakdown on MMA Fighter Pay click here.

The final verdict

Dollars fighter pay

So, it is now time to answer the question you have been asking; who gets more money, the boxers or the MMA fighters? Taking all this information and putting it together, it is clear that in the superstar category boxers make significantly more money. This is seen through fighters like AJ and Andy Ruiz earning upwards of $60 million each year, and fighter such as Conor McGregor only earning around $40 million on a good year.

This is most likely due to the larger amount of people who choose to watch boxing fights on T.V and in person as opposed to the MMA fights.

Then, because more people watch and enjoy boxing, more people pay to either go to the match or watch advertisements on T.V, which all contribute to driving up the revenue that these boxers are earning. So, for the first round, it is boxing that takes the win.

Regarding the Professional fighters, although it is a little closer this time, boxing is going to win again, which can most likely be attributed to more people going to watch these professional fights in person.

The professional boxers earn on average around $51,000 each year, in comparison to the MMA fighters who are only getting about $38,000 annually. This small wage gap occurs due to more people wanting to invest there time paying to watch professional boxing matches, as opposed to the MMA fights.

In the final category of amateur fighting, it is a pretty clear winner yet again. With the average amateur boxer earning around $26,000, and the amateur MMA fighter earning no money, you can see why many people choose to undertake boxing as their career choice as opposed to MMA.

So, with this information, it is clear that boxers earn significantly more than their fighting counterparts doing MMA.

This is most likely due to the higher amount of people who watch boxing, which allows for more money to be made through T.V and sponsorships/advertisements. Either way, one thing’s for sure.

Boxing won by a landslide and now has been crowned the champion over MMA for how they pay their fighters.

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