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It's time to look at the difference in the main event and undercard fighter's purses


Anyone that watches boxing knows that the big fights get the big paydays. Main Event fighters by and large make a decent living in the right while many undercard fighters get paid amounts that can vary dramatically. Today we will look at a few cards from last year just to give you an idea of just how wide of a discrepancy there is between undercard fights and Main Event fights.

First, let's take a quick look at the January 7th edition of Friday Night Fights from last year. The Main Event saw Mauricio Herrera take a 12 round unanimous decision against Ruslan Provodnikov. Herrera took home just $8,500 for winning the fight and Provodnikov $10, 000 in the loss. While that isn't heavyweight championship money, that is still pretty good for fighters that are really just getting themselves established. Hopefully they did not play casino games and blow their purse. Paydays that stick out as dramatically low is Lonnie Smith who came in at 11-2 against a 3-4 Albert Herrera. Smith won the fight by KO in the first round, but only took home $800. Gomez took home $1,800, more than double Smith's winning purse.

HBO's World Championship Boxing showed another huge difference in paydays. The Main Event saw Nonito Donaire take home $350,000 after a TKO in the 2nd round against Fernando Montiel. Montiel took home $250,000 for his loss. The low men on the card in regards to pay were Ignacio Garcia and Carlos Musquez. Garcia won a four round split decision against Armando Dorantes and took home $2,200. Musquez was the loser in a 6 round fight against Yordenis Ugas and took home just $2,500. These paydays were 1% of the Main Event loser's purse.

The March 12th Showtime PPV Main Event between Miguel Cotto and Richard Mayorga may be the biggest difference between the winner and loser of a Main Event fight. Cotto stopped Mayorga via TKO in the 12th round and took home $1 Million. Mayorga walked away with just $50,000. Of course, that pales in comparison to Richard Bryant who lost by TKO in the first to Tommy Zbikowski. Zbikowski took home $50,000 for the win while Bryant just received $1,500, or about 3% of that of his opponent.

While all the low salaries of undercard fighters seems horrific, they aren't actually the worst example. Hiromitsu Miura won his match against Ramiro Bueno Jr. on the February 26th of Showtime Championship Boxing. His prize was a meager $600. Bueno took home $1,500 for his loss. Brandon Rios, the Main Event winner took home $125,000.

As you can see from the examples above, undercard fighters get paid very little for the time, dedication, and risk they take to get into the ring and fight. In some ways, boxing in an undercard fight can involve greater risk than playing roulette at the casino. At least there they don't have to go under physical abuse and train for months to participate.

Unfortunately, this is the nature of the beast with boxing. People don't pay their money to watch undercard fights. For those of you considering taking up boxing as a career, realize that unless you really make it far in the sport, the big paydays will not be there. Some boxers claim they would fight for free, and in the instance of fighting an undercard fight, many nearly do.