Retiree fighters’ pension?

By Christopher Jason Young - 01/29/2019 - Comments

The plight of professional boxers at end of their careers are many. They face potential brain damage along with a myriad of other medical challenges. However, the most glaring is their financial ruin. Many face being homeless, working in janitorial services and isolated. Many fighters make millions throughout their careers and are highly celebrated. Fighters, such as the likes of Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya, and Floyd Mayweather.

During their career they made wise fiscal decisions regarding their earnings. Thus, enabling them to completely embellish the lifestyle afforded them courtesy their outstanding money management. Their financial management afforded them a continued star lifestyle post their boxing career. However, the greater majority of fighters end up on skid row taking a gigantic drop from their days of fame and glory. Then there are the many who never get the opportunity to make a big pay day? They still suffer from the ill effects of their professional, choice. How about the boxers who were possibly screwed over by their management, promoters, or other entities? The aftermath is indeed, grim. They are forgotten, and put aside to conceal, this horribly ugly side of the boxing game. Many such warriors possess no other redeemable career skill sets. Thus, sealing their fate. But, their fate should concern all of boxing and humanity.

Here’s a thought, what if the boxing organizations, boxing commission, boxing promoters, a percentage of the pay per-view buys, and the boxer’s purse would place 15% in a fund for boxers who have retired after a minimum of 10 years with 20 professional fights or boxers who had to retire due to life altering injuries they suffered in the ring.

When You observe the plight of such great warriors, Hall of Famers such as, Wilfred Benitez, Gerald McClellan, and Riddick Bowe, to name a few, I’m concerned, are we as a-whole doing the best we can to help these warriors. Wilfred Benitez, however, receives $200 a month pension from the World Boxing Council, but even in the dark ages, it’s not enough to cover his gas bill to and from his Doctors. It falls short in all capacity of human care. Fighters give each other black eyes, but this black eye, comes from the boxing world.

Currently according to Boxrec.com there is over 22,000 active boxers and majority of those boxers receives low to modest pay at best. I would like to see the Association of Boxing Commission or another powerful and influential entity create a pension system for these warriors

This type of system would be based on the boxing organizations, boxing commissions, boxing promoters, pay-per view buys, and the boxer’s purse contributions per event. The benefits would go to the retired or medically retired boxers depending on how much he/she has contributed in the system. Not to get too technical but the 15% would be broken down as follows:

5% would go towards the boxer’s annuity.

5% would go towards the boxer’s medical assistance for boxers who have permanent injuries due to boxing.

5% goes towards funding a thrift savings plan or a 401K

I know that some people would say that the boxer should be responsible for their finance but let’s be honest. Most of our warriors comes from impoverish backgrounds and may not have the knowledge of how to invest properly. So, what happens the boxer end up depending on somebody else’s to protect their finance and set aside their taxes.

Fighters like Sam Langford, Joe Louis, Leon Spinks, Iran Barkley and many others would have benefit if such a system was in place. I know the idea is more complex, but I would like to ignite the brain and hearts of the boxing associations to create something to assist these warriors in their time of need. How many Prichard Colons or Adonis Stevensons in the professional fight world have to happen before we realize that something needs to be done to assist in taking care of these warriors that go out to entertain us. Just a thought.

Last Updated on 01/30/2019