Before a single punch is thrown in anger. The promoter better be getting paid.
Boxing like many other sports requires a lot of sacrifice from it competitors.
To fight professionally you have to pass medicals, get your body into a condition where it can take punches and continue to work well enough to allow you to throw them back. You have to make-weight. This may involve seriously low-calorie diets whilst maintaining a heavy training routine. Early morning runs before work are not uncommon and any boxer who isn’t an idiot will be training hard in the boxing gym and maybe even a strength and conditioning gym also. But to a boxer, this is just life. They maybe a grumpy so and so when they can’t have a pizza on a Friday but they know that every bit of sacrifice will help get them into fighting shape. So it’s no surprise that the sacrifices made are not worst side of the sport for most.
It’s ticket sales.
Modern boxing contracts are usually tied to ticket sales. This means that most home fighters will have to sell enough tickets to cover their own purse as well as their opponents with enough profit on top for their promoter etc. to make a killing.
If the designated number of tickets aren’t sold the fighters face potentially not getting paid to fight or not being allowed to fight at all.
Now for big name fighters like Leeds’ Josh Warrington who can sell out his home town arenas easily, a ticket sales related contract may not seem so bad. But for the lesser known fighters who are relying majorly on friends and family, there is a distinct chance that they might not know enough people willing to part with their cash in exchange for a night of watching professional boxing.
Selling tickets isn’t easy.
First of all the fighter has to figure out how many he thinks he will sell. Usually they put the feelers out on social media and ask who wants tickets etc several weeks before a show so they can let their promoter know how much revenue they will be bringing to the promotion.
Unfortunately not everyone who initially wants a ticket can still make it nearer the time. This can be an issue.
If the fighter was relying on selling a 100 tickets and has told his promoter he will be selling 100 tickets he may have to dip into his own purse to cover the shortfall if they are not all sold. Effectively meaning he is now paying his promoter from his cut in order to be able to fight.
About 2 to 3 weeks before the fight the boxer will start collecting any monies not paid upfront. Quite often they can’t get hold of some of those people who have reserved tickets straight away and do not sell them on to others as they had been reserved. Then later they can find that the person who reserved the tickets, no longer wants them and they have missed other chances to sell. Many fighters are repeatedly let down at the last-minute.
The fighter then usually spends his last week, which could and should be used to rest and get ready to fight, instead stressing over collecting of remaining ticket money, organising sometimes hundreds of deliveries and collections and at the same time monitoring their weight to make sure they can make-weight at the weigh-in. Driving all over your home town every night after work trying to clear up sales is not the pre-fight preparation that is needed.
Every pro boxer I know is unbelievably grateful for every ticket bought and is very understanding that not everyone can make it or afford it every time. £30-£45 a pop isn’t cheap by any means if you aren’t really a boxing fan anyway.
Just imagine trying to follow Kris Laight on his 245 pro fights and counting at over £30 a ticket……..
I don’t want to put anyone off, or make anyone feel guilty. I have let boxers down due to not being able to make it myself. They understand. Most of them have families themselves and know the value £30 has when you’re skint.
But it’s frustrating none-the-less and for a boxer, it can often be more worrying than the thought of losing the fight.