Satisfactory Answer: How Long Does it Take to Become a Professional Boxer?


Every professional boxer has overcome many difficulties in their career to get where they are today. How long does it take to become a professional boxer? It depends upon many factors; take a look at this article to find out what they are.

Factors Affect On The Length Of Amateur Career

If we assume an amateur boxer started their career at 16, he must experience 118 fights in over 4 years to become a professional boxer. 

The length of time to reach to professional place depends upon many factors below:

  • How old were they when they started going on boxing path? How are their natural talents?
  • The circumstance and policy of the country they grow up in?
  • What is the era of boxing that they joined in?

Immediate Need for Money

One of the main reasons why boxers start their career at their early age is money. This factor boosts them to find out and develop their own skills in boxing to get out of poverty and support their family.

Julio César Chávez is a prominent example. He grew up in Sonora, Mexico, with his father and nine siblings living in an abandoned railroad. 

Although Roberto Durán was born 11 years before Chávez, he followed the same road. Durán had to make his living since he was a child, growing in the slums of Panama. With his best effort, he became a renowned name in boxing and soon turned pro when he reached the age of 16.

For these examples, money is found out to be a common theme among professional boxers. Besides their natural talents, poverty is the best promotion boosting them to become professional boxers to make ends meet.

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Starting Age And Talent

Another main factor affecting a boxer’s length of amateur career is the starting age and their talent. It is required a huge effort and a tremendous amount of work to become a professional boxer. However, a hard-working boxer may not become a professional one if he does not have a natural talent. 

Starting at an early age can also be as important as hard practicing. Early start means that his career is longer than those who start late, which helps him have more chances to face and overcome barriers in this career path. 

Roberto Durán is known for his gifted talent in boxing. No one can deny his natural talent, but his early start also plays an essential role in his success. 

To escape from living in the slums, he started practicing in the gym at age 8, and then, he soon became a famous boxer. These two factors contribute to his career as a professional boxer today. In his 31 fights, he went 31-0 and reached a record of 103-16 over 33 years chasing his career.

Wilfred Benitez is also known as a young talent beginning his boxing career at 15. Not only did he start at an early age, but he also has a remarkable, gifted talent. Growing up in a boxing family is another factor that makes him love his career. His father was a trainer, and his brothers are professional boxers as well.

Starting a career early, especially in boxing, is vital to shorten the period of turning to become a professional boxer.

The Country They Grew Up In

The country that they grew up in can mean a lot of things to inspire a boxer to start their career. The local rules and regulation in their countries and their own economic circumstances can push a poor kid to become a successful boxer.

Now have a look at Oscar De La Hoya. He is a well-known boxer who was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1973. Contrary to Durán and Chávez, who grew up poor, De La Hoya grew up in a boxing family. 

Before he was born, his family had emigrated from Mexico to California. Besides his natural talents and great support, Hoya had opportunities to reach top-notch facilities in the U.S. A gold medal at the Goodwill Games and Olympic games is a result of all the effort he has made. 

For these examples, a country, whether it is developed or developing, is an important factor that affects a boxer to become professional. Moreover, it is volition and effort that push them to the stage of success.  

Eras of Boxing

Another big factor affecting the length of time an amateur becomes a  professional boxer is the era they participated in

All the boxers analyzed above debuted after 1960. At that time, there weren’t many opportunities for amateurs.

It was not until 1904 that The Summer Olympics held boxing competitions. It was the only opportunity for amateurs to compete and challenge for many years.

Through history:

  • 1930s: The Commonwealth Games started its first game with the participation of mostly European countries.
  • 1951: It was the first time that The Pan-American Games were held.
  • 1986: The Goodwill Games was held the first time 

Three Games above were held to provide opportunities for all the boxers around the world to compete and challenge. It is also previous chances for them to develop themself and be acknowledged as professional boxers. Nowadays, there are more and more competitions held all over the world. It is somehow opportunities but pressure for them to keep practicing their skills.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Professional Boxer? 

For all the examples above, we can see that the length of time to become a professional boxer can vary. It may be about the need for money, their gifted talents, the country they were born, or the surroundings around them. 

To reach the peak of skill in boxing, they had to start from the very first step. From a poor child growing in slums, they kept practicing day by day with their great efforts. As a result of hard work, they reached the place of an amateur. Practice makes perfect, finally, they can be recognized as a professional boxer. 

To develop your own brand as a professional boxer, you should build your own team which includes a manager, an investor, a promoter, and so on. You might find it difficult to choose the appropriate members to join your team, however, your team cannot be lacking a manager as well as an investor. 


How long does it take to become a professional boxer? The answer depends upon a number of factors. Everyone has their own way of getting professional success. We believe that you will soon find your own way.

20 years old is not a milestone of professional debut for every boxer. The length of time also depends on yourself, luck, and the surroundings around you.

Thanks for your reading, and have a good day!

Related: Average career span pro boxer.

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