Examining The Financial Net Worth's And Situations Of Current fighters such as Roy Jones Jr, James Toney & Bernard Hopkins shows why boxing needs a retirement fund for former fighters.
Some fighters continue to fight for the love of the sport with money not an issue. Others need every cent they can generate from their remaining fights after spending millions throughout their long and lengthy careers. This article isn’t judging any fighters, the sport of boxing is tough and a lot of fighters take a lot of punishment which effects them physically & mentally, which contributes to poor decision making in relation to finances.
Let’s start with Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins has a net worth of over $50 million. Leading boxing expert Dan Rafael has often stated that Bernard has saved every cent he has ever made from boxing. Hopkins has been smart with his money. He has a wide range of stable financial investments and he’s also senior in Golden Boy, a highly successful promotions company. Hopkins is a clear example of a fighter who still has a passion to fight and a desire to entertain, regardless of how much money he's making.
Then we look at the sad cases of Roy Jones Jr and James Toney. Now it’s widely reported that Roy Jones Jr has lost a lot of money in the music game. Signing and promoting rappers. This music industry has huge costs and solid investments can unravel quickly. I’m unsure how much Roy has lost in this, but Roy is still fighting because he needs the money. Roy isn’t overly desperate though, he’s still probably worth $5 million or so. Roy also has a solid promotional company and he earns well by commentating major HBO boxing bouts. Roy is also paid to attend shows in Russia, however his fight purses are nothing compared to what they have been in the past. It’s hard to imagine Roy is earning more than $100 000 per bout for his recent club fight circuit tour.
Then we look at James Toney who is in a very unfortunate situation. He’s fighting because he clearly needs the money. This isn’t just because of poor financial decisions, this is because James gave so much to boxing. Sparring thousands of rounds and fighting hundreds of amateur fights and then over 50 pro fights, takes a physical toll. James can no longer speak well and I’m not sure how he gets cleared to fight by various commissions. James can’t go into a commentating job because he’s hard to understand after decades of tough fights. He’s left with little and he’s required to fight on the club circuit for purses as little as $10 000 or lower. Boxing has left James Toney with nothing and this is another reason why a boxing retirement fund needs to be established. So often major promoters and managers earn huge money from bouts and only a small portion of fight revenue needs to be set aside for a retirement fund. It could be as little as 0.2% of total fight revenue.
These financial estimates are all that, estimates. But I doubt my financial guesses are far off. This article isn’t about judging fighters who have fallen on tough times. It's about boxing waking up and looking after all their stars who have entertained the masses and then fallen on tough times.