Friday, May 18, 2007

Boxers Earn What They're Worth

MMA fighters make less. It's not the popularity of the sport, it's the way UFC pays its fighters. Oscar De La Hoya won $25 million fighting Floyd Mayweather. How does that square with the puny amount of money earned by MMA fighters, especially considering the UFC's huge yearly draw? I like boxing because fighters who put butts in seats and persuade people to pay money for Showtime, HBO, and PPVs get a fair slice of their worth. There's no star quarterback, star shooting guard, or star designated hitter who earns disproportionate amounts of money for little parts of team sports. Some sports franchises are pure toys for their owners, but boxers are in the game for their own money, and earn exactly what they're worth. MMA fighters show the same courage and determination as boxers, but appear to be servants to the owners of their promotion. There might be some under-the-table funding for MMA fighters, but that bill would have to be pretty damn hefty to pull UFC fighters even with their boxing counterparts. Apparently, the UFC is better at making money from its fans, but a lot worse at paying the most important parts of the business, the fighters. I'll continue to watch both boxing and MMA for the quality of character shown by both sports' participants, but if boxing dies or takes a second seat to MMA in the public eye, I'll always remember that boxers pay their promoters, not the other way around.

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