Becoming a boxing manager is a difficult profession, but this article will discuss everything you need to know. Boxing managers are a highly unique brand of people who can apply professional business acumen to their long history and deep understanding of the sport.
How to become a boxing manager? No certifications or licenses are necessary. What all good boxing managers need is a deep understanding of the sport and business of boxing, a network of valuable connections, and business acumen to be successful.
Managing boxers is a business, and managers are entrepreneurs. Like any entrepreneur, you don’t need a fancy degree or license to get started. You just need to start. If you listen to any successful entrepreneur’s advice, they will tell you that the most important thing in becoming highly successful is to start today simply.
Don’t worry about failure; just start. And if you do fail, learn from it and keep moving forward.
Here are some important things you will need to become a successful boxing manager:
A Deep Understanding and Love for the Sport of Boxing
Often boxing managers are former boxers themselves. Through this experience, they have developed a love for the sport and deep understanding of its inner workings.
Passion is extremely important. Someone could have all the technical understanding of how to box, but without passion, they may never become successful.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a passion for boxing itself. You could have a passion for helping people reach their full potential or a passion for sports management and contract negotiation.
Passion is what gets you back on your feet when you get knocked down. Passion is what gets you up in the morning and keeps you up at night. It’s what pushes you through the hard times.
Do a deep dive into yourself and discover what you really want and then apply this passion to boxing.
A Technical Understanding
You will need to understand the techniques and skills required to be a successful boxer as well as how to create beneficial matches.
You might ask yourself:
- What style does my boxer have?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How do potential opponents stack up against my boxer?
- What kind of training program is necessary to prepare for the next fight? Diet? Volume or diversity of training? What will make them most prepared?
Knowing the answers to these questions requires boxing managers to deeply understand the technical skills required to become a successful boxer. Many managers are or were boxers themselves and inherently understand what boxing skills are necessary. The art of management is adapting this knowledge to serve each boxer as best as you can.
Passion for and technical understanding of the sport of boxing is the baseline for boxing managers. These two points are important to reflect upon before getting started in the industry, which brings us to the next piece:
Getting Started in Business
Some managers learn the business side of things on the fly. They have the baseline knowledge, and passion and simply can dive right into the business.
a great example is Adrian Clark (AC). AC was a boxing amateur who decided to get into boxing management without knowing anything about the business.
He was able to take advantage of a bit of luck to get his first client and simply figured it all out from there. Now, he is disrupting how managers traditionally operate and helping a lot of boxers in the process.
Not everyone has the same luck as Adrian. They have to start deliberately. Here are some strategies for getting immersed in the business of boxing and building your network.
- Start going to gyms to meet boxers, trainers, managers, and simply start to ask questions. Build rapport with these people and volunteer your time if necessary. This stage is all about exposure and building relationships.
- Become an intern or assistant to a boxing manager. Some of the best managers can always use help, and the experience will be worth your time. Focus on learning the business, making connections with promotors, boxers, and trainers in the process. Keep your eye out for that diamond in the rough who could be the first to launch your career.
Like I mentioned before, this stage is about simply getting started. Immerse yourself in the business any way you can and learn as much as you can.
Some very important things to pay attention to are:
- Who makes the decision of whether or not boxers get a fight? Pick this person’s brain. What are they looking for? What information do they need? How do you make your fighter’s stand out?
- How do managers negotiate and secure contracts? Contact your local athletic commissions to see if they can provide examples of contracts. Read articles and learn as much as you can about protecting you and your fighter with paperwork.
- What are the ways my boxers and their teams get paid? Do boxers expect their money from their manager or promoter? Find out how everyone likes to do business and write and negotiate contracts that are agreed upon by all parties.
- How do I get sponsors? A sponsorship is a great way to boost your boxer’s and your income each fight. It is important to find the right sponsors that are good for your fighter and are right with the level of exposure each fight may bring.
All of these things are about observation and experimentation if you don’t know how a piece of the business works, start asking around until you find the right answer.
Put everything you learn in your memory bank and put every contact you make in your address book.
Continually Learn and Grow
Entrepreneurs are always learning.
Outside of boxing, there are tremendous resources to build your business skills and pursue any opportunity that allows you to grow.
Don’t you know to account? Take a course at your local community college or find an online course.
Don’t know how to open and manage an LLC to legally protect your business? To some research online and contact your local business authorities.
Here are a few resources on Amazon that have been praised by business leaders and athletes alike for helping them advance their careers:
Finding new ideas and ways to solve problems is important for any business. Boxing is no different.
Learn and grow so you can help your boxers reach their full potential.
When you find your First Boxer
Having a boxer under your management is exciting because you now officially represent someone!
However, be careful jumping right into an agreement without protecting yourself and your boxer.
Contracts and Written Agreements.
It is important to have a written management agreement upfront with your fighter. They may ask for things like special favors or more money so you will need to lay out all of your responsibilities up front, so everyone is on the same page.
Bring their most important relative to the table and their trainer, so make sure everyone agrees.
Boxers can have egos at times. They make unreasonable demands and may accuse you of not working hard enough for them. Provide examples of how you have positively helped them when they are stuck on a negative.
And when they may still be unreasonable, the contracts help you lay the groundwork so you can be sure everyone understands legal ramifications and remedies to tough situations.
Develop the Team First.
One of your responsibilities as a manager will be to help put the right people around your boxer. This can mean the right trainer, the right physical therapist or dietitian, and even the right friends and family.
This is where your people skills will come to play. You may need to play the father figure, the coach, the therapist, or friend at times. Managing a fighter is managing a unique person with unique needs, emotions, and desires.
This also plays back into contracts – get the right people involved, get everyone on the same page, put it on paper, and have everyone agree.
Be Diligent and Research your Opportunities.
You have to find your boxer fights, which aren’t easy to do. Promotors are bombarded with fighting tapes all the time so you will have to stand out.
Be diligent in sending follow up letter, emails, phone calls, and even knock on doors. Get contact lists for people in the industry and ask around. Making your presence felt will increase your chances of getting a first fight or the best fight for your boxer.
Every opportunity for a fight should be researched. Researching the opponents will help you pick the best fights and build the right training strategies.
And researching new contracts will ensure you and your fighter get the best deal. You will need to understand the agreements, purses, and fine print for anything you sign your fighter up for.
Again, your job is to represent your client’s best interests honestly and fairly.
Trust and Respect
It has been mentioned before, but the most important aspects of becoming a successful boxing manager are the trust and respect you can build with everyone you meet.
Trust and respect are earned through knowledge, hard work, experience, and always doing the right thing by your client.
Be transparent and honest at every opportunity, and you will earn anyone’s trust. Just be careful to protect your interests as well.
Becoming a boxing manager starts with a passion for and knowledge of the sport of boxing.
From there, you need to do everything you can to gain experience. Interact with people at every opportunity and build your network early and often.
And when you do finally represent someone, keep their interests at the forefront to build respect, but always be sure you are protecting yourself in the process.
Don’t give into egos, understand the business, and work hard. Good luck!