why does boxing pay more than mma

why does boxing pay more than mma

Boxing and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) are two popular combat sports that have gained significant attention and fan base over the years. However, it is no secret that boxing pays more than MMA. This article aims to explore various factors that contribute to the higher pay in boxing compared to MMA.

1. Historical Significance

Boxing has a long-standing history that dates back to ancient times, making it one of the oldest sports in existence. The sport has been popularized by legendary fighters like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather Jr., who have achieved worldwide fame and recognition. This rich historical significance has resulted in a larger fan base and more lucrative sponsorship and endorsement opportunities for boxers.

2. Established Promotional Organizations

Boxing has well-established promotional organizations such as Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, and Matchroom Boxing. These organizations have the resources and infrastructure to organize high-profile boxing events, secure lucrative broadcast deals, and attract sponsors. The structure and stability provided by these organizations contribute to higher paydays for boxers.

3. Pay-Per-View Revenue

Boxing events, especially those featuring high-profile fighters, generate significant revenue through pay-per-view (PPV) purchases. The ability to attract a large audience willing to pay for access to these fights allows boxers to negotiate higher purses. In contrast, MMA’s PPV revenue is relatively lower, resulting in lower payouts for fighters.

4. Boxing’s Global Reach

Boxing has a global reach and is widely recognized in countries around the world. This international appeal creates more opportunities for boxers to compete in various markets and attract a diverse range of sponsors and endorsements. The broader reach of boxing translates into higher earning potential for fighters.

5. Longer History of Professionalism

Professional boxing has been regulated and organized for a longer period compared to MMA. This longer history has allowed the sport to develop a more structured and lucrative professional system, including championship belts, rankings, and title fights. The established framework of professional boxing contributes to higher pay for boxers.

6. Limited Number of Weight Classes

Boxing has a limited number of weight classes, allowing fighters to compete in a specific division and establish themselves as champions. This exclusivity creates a sense of prestige and demand for fights within each weight class, leading to higher pay for boxers. In contrast, MMA has a wider range of weight classes, resulting in a more diluted talent pool and potentially lower paydays.

7. Boxing’s Cultural Significance

Boxing has been deeply ingrained in many cultures around the world, often representing a symbol of strength, resilience, and national identity. This cultural significance further enhances the sport’s popularity and generates more financial support from fans and sponsors. The cultural impact of boxing contributes to higher pay for its athletes.

8. Higher Risk and Physical Toll

Boxing is often perceived as a more dangerous sport than MMA due to the focus on striking and the potential for severe head injuries. The higher risk associated with boxing can result in shorter careers and a greater physical toll on fighters. To compensate for this increased risk and potential health consequences, boxers are often paid more than MMA fighters.


Several factors contribute to boxing paying more than MMA. The sport’s historical significance, established promotional organizations, pay-per-view revenue, global reach, longer history of professionalism, limited weight classes, cultural significance, and higher risk all play a role in determining the higher pay for boxers in boxing compared to MMA.

why does boxing pay more than mma

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