Money in fighting

Okay guys, a quick story & then a question
to consider:
Recently I was asked to fight at an amatuer
show - I have never fought professional. I
was lined up for the main event, it would
have been the second time I was in a main
event for this type of show. Prior to
training for the fight I had six months off
due to persistent back pain. I had six weeks
to get in shape for this fight.

So my body is breaking down with a variety of
injuries due to my lack of condition & my
preparation is crappy. I consider pulling
out of the fight. But there's pressure
from the promoter & my own trainer to fight.

Now I'm thinking... My body is not prepared.
They want me to fight... it would be cool to
fight and win but I don't like the fact I
am being pressured.

The real issue is - the promoter stands to
make money from me fighting and I get dick.
I mean this guy, all he does is make some
calls and match guys up and organise the
show. But the fighters put on the show, and
down here he would stand to make between
$10,000 - $30,000 from the event depending
on the crowd it pulls. The fighters are the
ones doing all the training and all the
bleeding in the ring.

I ended up pulling out of the fight and
feeling pretty annoyed at the whole

Now I know I'm not a pro fighter. I DO NOT
THAT GOOD. But this one guy takes all this
money away from the event and everyone
else walks away with bruises and some pride.

How does this work where you guys are based?
Why don't the sanctioning bodies take the
profits from their events and then
distribute it around their clubs? Or the
clubs that supply fighters for an event
share the profits on a pro-rata basis? I know
some of you guys promote shows - what's
the story??

OK the promoter deserves something - pay him
a % for his services. But I've become very
cynical about the whole "fight for pride
and self improvement" thing while someone
else walks away with a big bag of cash.


Even though I understand your sentiment, I think that this particular promotor just happened to get under your skin and piss you off.

Here's my experience. I've tried to work hand-in-hand with a promotor to put on a kickboxing event. There are a lot of considerations regarding the money.

In most cases, the promotor has to rent out a venue of some sort. I have fought in Armories, American Legion Halls, High School Gymnasiums, Hotel Ballrooms, Restaurants, and even a Nightclub. Though I'm not familiar with the exact cost of renting a place like that out, it cannot be cheap.

Then, you have to pay to advertise. What good is renting the auditorium out if no one shows up? This includes signs and banners, and commercials on the local radio and TV channels. I doubt that's cheap either.

OK, we've got the place set up, and we're advertising. Well, you need to pay the people who come to officiate your match. There are sanctioning fees and who knows what other fees.

Lets not forget having a ring doctor. That doesn't come cheap.

Oh, and you usually need to have your State Athletic Commission involved, so they're going to want their cut of the action too.

OK, so we've got all of that. Now, what about the ring itself? OK, chances are you have a connection to "borrow" a ring, but if not, that's even more money.

How about lighting? You have to set up special lighting in many of these places. Not always, but in many cases "yes".

How about all the seats? In certain venues, not a problem. In others, you may need to rent all the seats. (folding chairs, usually)

How about the staff to run the event? These are the people outside of the officials who make sure people get to their seats, who are liasons between the officials and fighters. OK, admittedly, the bulk of them will be volunteers, but not all of them.

Now lets talk about the fighters themselves. In most cases, you have to bring fighters in from outside of the local area to fight. I have found that in most cases, one local area does not support enough fighters to promote an event, so you need to bring in people from out of the area.


Now, moving on to your level (and mine!) we fighters and coaches are a demanding bunch. We want hotel rooms, reimbursement for *some* travel expenses, and we're going to try to get at least one meal out of you. Even if you set up the fighters at the local motor lodge with a continental breakfast, this still is not cheap!

Now, I'm in agreement with you regarding the fact that when alls said and done, the promotor is the one making money, and the fighters and coaches don't see dick of that money (unless you're a pro fighter!). But you also have to realize that the promotor is fronting a lot of the money in the first place to get the event started. If the event does not draw a good crowd, then he loses money. But, if he makes money, more power to him because he was the one assuming all the risk and putting his ass on the line to promote the event in the first place.

I think that this is why you get promotors who often seem like they don't give a shit about the fighters. All they want is a warm body to get in the ring and fight a little. They become very focused on earning their own money back, and turning a profit. Some promotors handle themselves well and are still good to deal with, while others end up treating you and your fighters and coaches like shit.

I'm willing to bet that lkfmdc is learning about all of this in spades right now! I'm not sure if he's the actual promotor, per se, but he is heavily involved in the promotion of the NYC San Shou/Muay Thai/Full Contact Event on Sept 8th. It's pretty damn stressful. I know that me and my folks have been bugging the shit out of him regarding fight arrangements and attempting to get a room for the night.

Anyway, I just want to make sure that you can see both sides of the story. Even though it looks like the promotor is just sitting back and letting the money roll in, it really doesn't work like that. Now, if the promotor is being a jerk and too pushy, then fuck him. Don't fight. I feel that way too. At least the promotor is likely to make some money off of the event. For a coach and his fighters, we are paying out of pocket to come fight, and RARELY do we get any of it back.

Khun Kao Charuad; SuriyaSak/SitSuriya Muay Thai


Don't get me wrong, I'm a former foighter and trainer of Amatures and Pros......

But if you think a promoter "only makes a few calls" then you clearly have NO IDEA what it takes to put on a show.

The promoter takjes HUGE financial risks - HUGE !

I know a guy who has to put up his house in order to finance his shows.

If it rains - the crowd is smaller - if it snows - YOU'RE BROKE.

If the president desides he has something to say - maybe your show doesn't make it on the air.

Dealing with the Boxing commissions is a NIGHTMARE.

EVERYONE has something to bitch about ......

... and we Kickboxers are the worst.

Many promoters are dropping kickboxing and going to MMA. There is more money and less BS.

The promoter is SUPPOSED to make mony. That why he does it !

I'm more worried about making sure than my fighters will have medical coverage, a fair match up, a GOOD ref, etc - as long as my fighters are taken care of - I hope the promoter makes a million bucks.

When my Pros have a huge gate value - I'll get some of that money for them !

In the mean time - there are fewer and fewer shows for my guys to fight at.


Okay, sorry for simplifying the role of the promoter
to the point where he does next to nothing. Yes I
realise there is lots of leg work in organising a
show and dealing with trainers & sanctioning bodies
could sometimes be very difficult.

I did acknowledge the promoter should make some
money, just not ALL of it. Also I did say that I am
not worth paying as a fighter.

BUT, I reckon for every hour a promoter spends organising a show where I fight, I have spent at
least that many hours training for it.

It appears the economic factors involved in organising
a show are totally different in the USA to here
in Australia. I can see why you think I'm sticking it
to you.

Here, a crowd of 300 would be a really crappy event.
Expect around 600 for your average show and between
1,000 - 2,000 for a well organised show. Those
bigger shows would probably fly in a couple of
fighters from Thailand or somewhere which has costs
associated. A well organised & promoted show would
need 200-250 through the door to break even and the
rest is in the bank.

Last year my trainer promoted a show which had 14
fights, all local fighters, he got 1,100 people
through the doors and walked away with around
$20,000 clean profit.

It looks like there's plenty of fat to go around down
here but you guys do it tough trying to get a show
to turn much profit.


You also have to take into account your location vs. our location.

In the business world, the three main keys to success are location, location, location.

You are in Australia, which is one of the "hotbeds" of kickboxing. Your close proximity to Thailand helps quite a bit. The general public is much more exposed to, and knowledgeable of kickboxing in its various forms.

But, Joe Stagner, David Ross, and I are all located on the East Coast of the U.S. Not exacly what I would consider a hot scene for kickboxing. We struggle out here. The general public doesn't know American Kickboxing from Muay Thai from San Shou. They have seen a few Jean Claude Van Damme movies and that is the extent of their knowledge of the arts.

Plus, we get MAJOR resistance from the Boxing Commissions, State Athletic Commissions, other Martial Art organizations, and other kickboxing organizations. One of the first promotors of Muay Thai events in the state of VA had to hire lawyers to find loopholes in the state law that would allow him to get away with promoting Muay Thai matches, amateur rules only.

Its a major uphill battle for us. Hopefully, the public will become more educated and back our sport more, so that we can put on more events and promoting will become a lucrative business.

But for now, promoting events in our area has more to do with your love of the sport than it does with making money.

Khun Kao

"all he does is make some calls and match guys up and organise the show."LMFAO! If you think that we just "make some calls" you have NO CLUE. Making matches is a nightmare, a 24/7 job. And fighters drop out, don't make weight, don't return calls, don't show up..."he would stand to make between $10,000 - $30,000"Dillusional. In what universe do you think we make that sort of money?A pretty big kickboxing show in my area may pull in 300 people at $20/head. That is $6,000. Now take away sanctioning, insurance, rental, paying judges, printing, blah blah blahYou think you make the promoter money? Do you? How many tickets to you sell? Professionals get paid because they usually sell at least what they are earning. Moti Horenstein sold THREE TIMES what I paid him recently in tickets for me (and made 1/3 for himself, making it a good day all around)What we do is a HUGE headache and most of the time you are lucky to break even. So when people wine and complain it sucks royally, something to think about

Yeah, point taken Khun Kao & Ikfmdc.
Joe - I think that was me!
I wish you had belted crap out of me 'cos she turned
out to be a real pain in the ass!

Where were you living down here Joe?


Aussies LOVE of good fight.

I lived down undewr for a couple years.

My FAVORITE Aussie quote.

Drinking on a friday night - nothing happening -

Guy turns and says with a smile - "Hey Mate, Fight you for my girlfriend ?? :)


I lived outside Bendigo in Castlemain.

(Home of Tripple X, though I was a Carlton Man Myself - Vic Bitter in a pinch.)