“Anybody who knows me knows that I don't just love this sport, I am in love with it. I am really in love with this sport. I am obsessed with boxing. I eat, breathe and sleep it. You know, I do it all; this is my life. This is not a hobby for me. This is a lifestyle for me, and I address it accordingly. I take it very, very seriously.” - Deontay Wilder
Boxing is one of the most complete sporting disciplines. It’s also becoming increasingly popular. It’s this popularity that is behind a 10.2% rise in sports clubs in the UK with an estimated 6,587 clubs operating in the UK.
2018 was the fifth successive year for growth in the sports club sector. That said, you don’t need to be a heavyweight champion to start enjoying the benefits of boxing.
However, if you’re good in a boxing ring, why not try becoming a professional boxer?
In this article, we’ll look at how you can do it.
The Struggles of Becoming a Professional Boxer
There aren’t enough jobs for global demand. This has resulted in a lot of youth unemployment. Furthermore, there are economic and social factors that can hinder young people’s likelihood of finding work.
Can you find work as a professional boxer?
There’s a big gap between practising in a boxing club and becoming a world titleholder! Very few professional boxers live off their earning. While there are many physical and mental benefits to boxing, it’s a small minority of professional boxers who earn the big bucks.
Like with top-level athletes across all sports, there are very few who earn their living professionally. If you want to earn thousands from fighting, you need to be gifted right from your first fight. You also need to be patient and put the effort in. Additionally, you need a licence to practise boxing professionally.
You can get this from the British Boxing Board of Control or an international federation such as the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF, or APB. These licences require you to never use boxing techniques outside of a boxing club.
If you use boxing techniques in self-defence, you can end up in hot water for the use of excessive force. Some boxers have been imprisoned for using their skills outside of training or the ring. Don’t be one of them!
The Disadvantages of Boxing Professionally
Let’s look at the disadvantages of boxing professionally.
One of the biggest disadvantages of boxing is the risk of injury either during training or during a fight.
Whether you do traditional boxing, kick-boxing, savate, or Muay Thai, you need to be aware that you run the risk of:
- Black eyes
- Cut eyebrows
- Fractured jaws
- Brain damage
Of course, these are the risks to professionals. If you’re boxing just for fun, there’ll be very little physical contact and you’ll be boxing against a punching bag or pads.
Normally, a professional boxer will regularly practise defending. They’ll learn how to keep their guard up, move around, and dodge their opponent’s attacks. However, everyone makes mistakes.
Even with all the protective equipment such as mouth guards, cups, boxing gloves, and hand wraps, injuries aren’t uncommon among boxers. A blow to the head can knock out any boxer and injuries often occur when a boxer makes a mistake.
That said, certain weight categories wear helmets during fights.
Find out more about becoming a professional boxer.
Time Spent Training
In boxing, you have to train a lot. Just like with other combat sports and martial arts, there are a lot of techniques to learn. There are many things that each fighter needs to work on:
- Cardiovascular system and cardio performance
- The precision and power of your attacks
- Knowing your limits
Through training and experience, you’ll form useful habits that you can use during a boxing match. To form a habit, though, you’ll need to regularly practise for a long time. The sacrifices boxers have to make is enough to put even some of the most determined competitors off.
Other Disadvantages of Boxing Professionally
A boxer needs to find opponents so that they can climb the rankings and increase their earnings.
They need to run their career like a business and employ a team that will prepare them for fights and manage their training. They’ll earn their money from fights, sponsorship, pay per view money, etc., but they’ll need to constantly be at the top of their game. Losing a fight can lose money and potential earnings.
Even after a defeat, though, a boxer can learn from their mistakes and set their sights on winning the next fight. Boxers wanting to win a title will be constantly looking for stronger opponents.
With the help of their team (coach, personal trainer, physiotherapist, sports doctor), they’ll need to register with a professional boxing federation. After all, before you can box professionally, you’ll need a boxing licence.
You’ll need to defeat increasingly difficult opponents to maximise your earnings. Unfortunately, boxing follows the rule of supply and demand, which means most boxers don’t become millionaires from fighting.
However, there are multiple weight classes (flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight) and it’s not uncommon for boxers to move up or down a weight category.
Another disadvantage is that only the most famous boxers get any media attention. This attention is what gets them sponsorship deals, increasing their earnings. High-level athletes can earn a lot of money as ambassadors for brands.
Find out more about starting a professional boxing career.
The Advantages of Boxing Professionally
There are many benefits to boxing both in terms of your physical and mental health.
Boxing is also great for your self-confidence. Professional boxers are also in great shape. You use almost every muscle in your body when you box, which is great for losing weight. Just have a look at some pictures of famous boxers. Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Frazier, Klitschko, Cissokho, Stevenson, Michel Soro, Gatti, etc. all have fantastic physiques.
Additionally, boxers also improve their:
- Reflexes and endurance
There’s also the prestige that comes with being a world champion or titleholder. Boxing is also an art form. The way boxers move is like dancing and it’s hardly surprising that boxing is also known as the Noble Art.
Boxing develops agility, improves your cardiovascular system, and increases your lung capacity and endurance. Professional boxers can also use boxing as a way to alleviate stress and improve their self-confidence. Boxing is a complete sport and a lifestyle that can help you both physically and mentally.
Are you tempted by the idea of becoming a professional boxer?
The first thing you should do is look for your nearest boxing club and join it. Perhaps in a few years, you’ll be competing professionally. If you dream of becoming a world champion in boxing, kickboxing, Thai boxing, mixed martial arts, or any other combat sport, find the best tutors pound for pound on Superprof to help you with throwing punches, preparing for bouts, sparring, etc.
Before you pick your private tutor, there are several things that you'll need to carefully think about. Firstly, no two tutors are alike and you need to pick the one that'll help you to get the most out of your training and set on you on the path to glory. Secondly, there are three main types of tutorial available from the tutors on Superprof, face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials, and you need to pick the one that's right for you.
Face-to-face tutorials are between you and your tutor or coach. They'll work alongside you, tailor the sessions to you and your goals, and give you their undivided attention. They'll often also work outside of your sessions on planning and preparing your training. Of course, all this extra work will come at a cost and while face-to-face tutorials are often the most cost-effective type of private tutorial, they also tend to be the most costly per hour.
Online tutorials tend to be cheaper than face-to-face tutorials since the tutor doesn't have to travel to each of their students or clients and can schedule more tutorials per week. However, these types of tutorials tend to be much better for academic subjects than sports and while you could very easily get started with boxing through online tutorials, you may reach a stage where you'll need to have the tutor or coach there in the room with you.
Finally, group tutorials have the coach teaching several clients at once. Unlike the other two types of tutoring, you won't have your coach's undivided attention. However, you will be dividing the cost of the tutor between yourself and the other attendees.