How Does a Purse Bid Work in Boxing?

Published 02/26/2021, 9:58 AM EST
DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 04: Promoter, Eddie Hearn speaks to the media during the Clash On The Dunes Press Conference at the Diriyah Season Hospitality Lounge on December 04, 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


Boxing is a historic and lucrative sport that has amused and enthralled the audience for over a century with its unparalleled entertainment. Putting their lives at stake, professional pugilists do everything they can to thrill the fans. That said, they are fortunate to be blessed with heavy financial numbers. But who decides the pay-roll and how does the sport run, dealing with such big monetary amounts?

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There’s a simple solution to that, ‘Purse Bids’. But, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are several protocols that promoters and the management need to follow while bidding their value. While boxing has turned out to be a global sport, purse bids are an inevitable part of it. Here’s everything about how it works.

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Purse bids in boxing

The root stage of any pro boxing bout is its purse bids, involving the promoters and management of both sides. The involved persons can bid their favorable amount of the purse for one particular bout. It’s the total finance that a fighter will receive for his/her appearance.

Akin to any other auction, the highest bidder bags the right to stage the fight under their banner. Meanwhile, the bidder must produce a percentage (10% mostly) of the entire amount before a scheduled date, just to gain the security holdings.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 11: Top Rank Founder and CEO Bob Arum speaks during a news conference for the heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Otto Wallin at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on September 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wallin and Fury will meet in a heavyweight bout on September 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

However, the system is different in championship bouts under any of the sanctioning boxing bodies (WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF). In such cases, both the promoters come under a term to settle the purse bids of both the fighters.

If they fail, the governing bodies can handover the fight to any other promoter with the right price. Purse bids can only happen if the promoters cannot agree with each other. If they do, there’s no place to bid purses.

For instance, in the Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury collision in 2015, both the management teams decided their pay scale and agreed to each other’s terms. So, the bout required no purse bid.

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Purse bids and a few more rules of boxing

A bidder can reduce the price of the purse at any stage, but it won’t be applicable for the fees payable to the WBC sanctioning body. The promoters will have to pay the same fee, based on the original price because of the governing body’s role in promoting the bout.

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Often boxing bouts have to witness single purse offer bids, where one individual promoter bids the purse. In that case, the promoters get the sole right to stage the fight, unless WBC sees the offer to be significantly low. The governing body can take over the entire procedure to raise the purse offers on such cases.

The WBC President also has an important role in the whole act and can have the final say if a bout is being held under the governing body guidelines. They can resolve any purse bids if it doesn’t fall under the ethical codes and it would take away all the rights from the involved promoter.

While the complexities of monetary issues keep growing, this is the basic structure of how a purse bid operates in professional boxing bouts and under certain governing bodies. No wonder it is such an important survival kit for the sport.

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Raj Sarkar

1697 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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