Maybe you’re a newbie. Maybe you’re a seasoned fighter looking for certainty and stability. No matter who you are, the average career span pro boxer is worth your attention once you’re staying in the game. Here we will discuss how long a pro-boxer can remain in the game based on various factors, so let’s get into it!
How Long Do Pro-Boxers Usually Have?
What’s the average career span pro boxer in this decade? From data gathered and analyzed t by the World Boxing Association (WBA), this span is roughly 16.7 years.
This article plans to consider all these attributes to give you an accurate idea of how a pro-boxer can shorten or lengthen his career.
What Factors Affect The Average Career Span Pro Boxer?
Which Weight Class Has The Longest Career Span?
Let’s first take a look at weight classes and their frequency of fights.
|Weight class||Average career span||Fight/year|
|Heavyweight (unlimited)||19.1 years||3|
|Cruiserweight (91 kg)||17.3 years||3|
|Light Heavyweight (79 kg)||17.9 years||4.1|
|Super Middleweight (76 kg)||12.7 years||3.7|
|Middleweight (72.5 kg)||18.3 years||4.8|
|Light Middleweight (70kg)||19.8 years||3.5|
|Welterweight (67 kg)||18.5 years||3.7|
|Light Welterweight (65.5 kg)||18.7 years||3.6|
|Lightweight (61 kg)||20.4 years||6.2|
|Super Featherweight (59 kg)||20.8 years||3.4|
|Featherweight (57 kg)||13.8 years||6|
|Super Bantamweight (55 kg)||14.1 years||3.1|
|Bantamweight (53.5 kg)||15.6 years||4.6|
|Super Flyweight (52 kg)||12.3 years||3.3|
|Flyweight (51 kg)||14.3 years||5.1|
|Light Flyweight (49 kg)||11 years||3.6|
|Strawweight (48 kg)||14.7 years||3.4|
This applies to both male and female boxers.
From what we can observe from this table, the opposite of common sense is true. The Lightweight and Super Featherweight classes have the longest careers of over two decades, but the Super Featherweights’ fight frequency is half that of the Lightweights.
There are no correlations between how much a boxer fights per year and their career length. The number of years a boxer actually competes and their career, however, is related.
This fact was proven with the so-called Golden Years of Boxing in America – 1920’s. Renowned pioneers like Jack Britton and Archie Moore had short careers. However, they participated in nearly 100 fights, with a frequency of 7 fights per year.
These boxers had to compete for a living since they didn’t get paid much. But nowadays, top-boxers don’t need to compete as frequently. Such created the difference between the average career span of a pro-boxer in the past and now, and also their frequency of participation.
How Boxing Style Affects Your Career:
There are currently 4 main styles of boxing:
- Swarmer (ex: Julio Cesar Chavez): fight by overwhelming opponents with punches
- Slugger (ex: George Foreman): focus on knock-outs rather than sustained combat.
- Out-boxer (ex: Muhammed Ali): focus on techniques and finesse.
- Boxer-puncher (ex: Sugar Ray Leonard): focus on both knock-outs and techniques.
As we can see from this list, swarmer and sluggers are more prone to taking damage due to their preference to close combats. These boxers have shorter careers.
On the other hand, out-boxers and boxer-punchers tend to have longer careers. They take less damage from their opponents and are able to last longer as a pro-boxer.
How A Boxer’s Health Affects Their Career:
It’s a universal fact. You can do all the maths you want, but a sudden injury can fast-forward your career straight to the end. The average career span of a pro-boxer is also influenced by a boxer’s health, as mentioned.
Such was the case for many, like the fight between Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton, aka The Battle of East and West. The battle forced Hatton into retirement.
A boxer has to take care of themselves out of matches as well. This is true for all athletes since, without their health, they will be weaker physically and easier to be injured in their respective sport.
There are a lot of career-shortening factors a boxer can’t actively control. A boxer’s pre-existing health conditions can hinder them from fighting as well as a boxer who doesn’t have that disadvantage. A life-threatening injury can occur at any time, pushing a boxer to the very end of their occupation. Self-awareness is key to all careers.
The average career span pro boxer rounds up to about 17 years, but that number doesn’t tell you much. It’s the boxer’s knowledge of their abilities, their fighting strategy in the ring, and how they care for their health that really matters when we consider longevity.