Interesting question which I have always wanted to know. I think being a boxing commentator is one of the best jobs in the world. You get paid to watch a great fight from ringside and you get paid to talk to other boxing analysts about the fight you are watching. So instead of paying to see a fight in the sport you love, you are getting paid.
Here is what I came up with from the research I have done (This is all based on estimates, but hopefully they are accurate).
- I expect major commentators who have been legends of the game such as Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman & Larry Merchant all consistently comfortably made over $1 million per year as commentators.
- I expect A list fighters and legends and half of famers who also do guest commentary get paid in the range of $20 000 per appearance. This could be a little higher. This is for fighters like Andre Ward, Bernard Hopkins & Roy Jones Jr who are often asked to provide expert insight into the fights.
- I expect Paulie Malignaggi makes a little more than that to be an expert commentator. Out of all the past and current boxers he seems the most talented at boxing commentary.
- I expect the ESPN commentators such as Teddy Atlas makes in excess of $100 000 per year. Could be closer to $200 000.
These are all estimates but I think they could be rather accurate. This is based on various internet articles and general chat. But they could be a little out. For instance I have heard Michael Buffer gets paid a minimum of $30 000 plus first class air fare and accommodation to announce ‘Lets get ready to rumble’. I expect Jimmy Lennon Jr would get a little less.
Take into account commentators and ring announcers get all airfare and accommodation covered, which is technically a business expense.