Kevin Iole has an interesting article over at Yahoo Sports in which he compares the recent salaries from a boxing and UFC event(s). With all the scuttlebutt stemming from the Randy Couture lawsuit and other deposed fighters, it's interesting to see how the two stack-up.
I called the Nevada Athletic Commission and got the payment verification sheets for the last two major boxing shows (Bernard Hopkins-Joe Calzaghe on April 19 and Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15) as well as for the last major UFC show in the state, UFC 81 on Feb. 2.
According to state records, Hopkins and Calzaghe were each paid $3 million for their work. The next highest-paid fighter on that card was Audley Harrison, who made $20,000. There were nine fighters who made $5,000 or less, including two men, Marcos Mendias and Jermell Charlo, who made but $1,500. Pacquiao made $3 million and Marquez $1 million for their epic rematch, but there were five fighters of the 14 on that show who made $3,500 or less.
At the UFC show, the lowest base pay for any of the 18 fighters on the card was the $4,000 that Kyle Bradley made. The UFC also paid out $60,000 bonuses that night for knockout of the night, submission of the night and fight of the night. Plus, most of the fighters had bonuses for winning, so the opportunity was there for them to double their pay, which was not for the boxers.
It's interesting to note that aside from the main event, the lower-tier salaries don't seem to be much different. In fact one can argue that the incentive-based bonuses may actually push the UFC ahead of boxing in terms of salary for undercard fighters.
To read the entire article click here.