How Much Money Do Boxing Promoters Make?


Everyone knows that Boxers makes big money. But what about the men behind the boxers? Or in this case in front of the fighter, promoting and selling them.

Yes, I am talking about Boxing promoters.

Each year millions of dollars are made in the boxing game and fighters have Boxing promoters to thank for this. If the fighters are making that much money I thought it would be interesting to find out just how much Boxing promoters make.

A Boxing Promoter generally makes 20% to 25% of the fighters take-home purse. The greater the fighter’s purse the better it is for the promoter. This is why it is within the promoters best interest to negotiate a good deal for their fighter.

Although this is the general rate for a promoter contract can differ for every fight. There are promoters that have taken considerably more or even in some cases considerably less of a cut. 

Most promoters nowadays organise the events under their own promotion in which they are promoter to both fighters.

While the 20% to 25% take is the average take from a promoter this is not always the case. Possibly the biggest promoter in boxing today managing several world champions and putting on some of the biggest PPV events is Eddie Hearn with an estimated Net worth of $50 million.

Don King, on the other hand, has been sued more times than anyone I know of and still has an estimated Net Worth of $150 million. So how is this possible? 

To get a better and deeper understanding of these percentage splits we must take a deeper look into specific Boxing promoters and their terms.

Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing)

Eddie Hearn

Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing at this point in time are at the forefront of Boxing Promotion. With several world-class fighters and champions under contract such as Anthony Joshua, Billy Joe Saunders and Katie Taylor each contract for each fight will vary fighters. 

Eddie Hearn has stated that Anthony Joshua receives 85% of his earnings per fight after they (Matchroom Boxing) take their 15% cut. 

This is not the case with all of Eddie’s fighters but it gives you an idea that contracts can be different for each promoter and each fighter. 

Something interesting that Hearn stated in an interview with ESPN

”When the fight is finished, [Joshua] will receive a complete detailed analysis of every invoice, every cost. He has the right to audit. He has his lawyer, his accountant, and they’ll look at all the numbers. He knows, having done this model for seven or eight fights, what the numbers should be. If there’s one that stands out, he might say to me, how come that’s so high?

To read more about Eddie Hearn click here.

Don King

Don King

This case is quite the opposite of someone like Don King. The infamous character was known for making fighters purses disappear. While he promoted several of the biggest names in boxing such as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes he also conned and swindled every one of his fighters out of millions of dollars and was sued by almost every one of his fighters.

In 1998, Tyson sued King for $100 million, alleging that the boxing promoter had cheated him out of millions over more than a decade. 

This was not just a case with Mike Tyson, oh no, almost all of his fighters claim Don King stole millions from them over their careers. Some notable court cases against Don King

  • In 1982 he was sued by Muhammad Ali for underpaying him $1.1 million for a fight
  • Holmes sued King claiming he was underpaid by $2 to $3 million.
  • In 1987 Witherspoon sued King for $25 million
  • In 1998, Tyson sued King for $100 million
  • In 2003, King was sued by Lennox Lewis for $385 million 
  • In 2006, Chris Byrd sued Don King for breach of contract

Don King’s Net worth is estimated at around the $150 Million mark. 

This shows you the reason why the question of ‘how much does a boxing promoter make?’ differs from promoter to promoter. 

To read more about Don King click here.

Just how much is that 20 to 25%?

Let’s take the biggest fight in Boxing History as an example. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. This fight was estimated to have an incredible purse of $300 million. 

The purse was split 60-40 with Pacquiao receiving the 40%. So that is $120 million to Manny Pacquiao.

Bob Arum is Manny’s promoter and according to sources, including Floyd Mayweather himself, Pacquiao paid Bob Arum 27% of that 40% ($120 million) which is just over $32million to Bob Arum. Not bad eh.

This left Manny Pacquiao with about $85 million to dissect among his team members such as trainers, management, sparring partners and nutritionists.

A promoter is not a manager

There is a big difference between a Boxing promoter and a Boxing manager and people often get confused between the two and their roles towards the fighter.

A manager’s job is to have the boxer’s best interests. The manager converses and negotiates with the promoter on the business side of things. Below is detailed the roles of a boxing promoter.

How do boxing promoters actually make the money?

It’s a boxing promoters job to put on the show and develop the card. The promotional team match the fighters, organise the event location, date, network details, purse and contact agreements etc. 

The promotional company collects the earnings through ticket sales, sale of broadcast rights to networks, sale of pay-per-views, sale to satellite distribution networks, or sale of a site fee for casinos to host the event.

The promoter then pays the fighters agreed purses. The promoters main job once the event has been organised completely is to promote the fight via press conferences, interviews etc.

A good promoter knows how to sell and hype a fight.

Conclusion

Eddie Hearn

To recap it is difficult to determine exactly what a promoter makes the per fight. In total, a promoter makes a large chunk of change from an event. 

The general rule is 20-25% of a fighters purse however this can differ depending on the fighter, the event and the promoter themselves. 

It could be as low as 15% like Eddie Hearn and Joshua.

It can be as high as 27% like Bob Arum and Pacquiao.

Or it could be like Don King and take 80% of the overall purse.

Hopefully, the days of giant hairdos and million-dollar court cases are long gone in the sport of boxing.

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