Fighting professionally comes with a fair amount of physical risk. You are putting yourself in danger of injuries to which all athletes are prone, as well as the potential of injuries caused by your opponent. While the media sometimes overstates the extent of the danger, there is no doubt the possibility exists. Furthermore, even non-injurious fighting can cause long-term health issues.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t step into the ring, of course. However, it is only prudent to ensure that you are not left destitute by medical expenses over the years. Risk of injury correlates with financial risk, and if fighting is your main source of income, you may struggle for years to pay for care for a career-ending injury.
The key is to cover yourself financially before you even step into the ring. This involves assessing your risk, getting the right insurance, and saving when you can.
Here are some of the steps you should take.
Assess your financial risk
It may seem difficult to attach a number to the financial risk you are taking each time you step into the ring. But the reality is that because so many fighters have come before you, there are actuarial experts you can speak to who have done the math. They can give you an overarching idea of the financial risk you face in each fight, over your career, and through the rest of your life.
Finding the right person to help you with this may be as simple as asking your manager or promoter, or speaking to other fighters at your gym. The problem is that most professional fighters do not know to ask.
Get professional insurance
Having a ballpark figure of how much you are risking financially will help you choose the right professional insurance. There are many different insurance plans that have been designed for boxers and other types of professional fighters. They will cover your medical expenses and loss of income while injured. They may also provide liability cover for injuries caused to other fighters or legal fees, if the other fighter has cause to claim against you.
Insurance is going to be an expense you will take on for your entire career. While the ideal scenario is that you never have to claim (and you would therefore never see returns on your payments), the possibility that you will have to claim huge amounts is too high to ignore.
Get renters insurance
If you are renting the home or apartment in which you are living, your possessions are not covered by the landlord’s homeowners insurance. As a professional fighter, you likely have lots of expensive equipment that you cannot afford to lose. Renters insurance will cover your possessions, for a relatively low monthly fee.
If you’re thinking about getting renters insurance in New York, the cost will depend on your particular needs, but the average renters insurance policy costs less than $20 per month and can be as little as $5 per month! It is well worth these premiums to ensure that possessions you cannot manage without are covered in case of damage or loss.
Open an interest-earning savings account
In any professional sport, the length of a career is far shorter than most professions. While there are a range of options for professional boxers and fighters after retirement, such as coaching and punditry, you should be prepared to earn far less once you have hung up your gloves.
This is why it is particularly important for every fighter to open a savings account that accrues interest every month. You should put as much in this account as possible, so that you are earning as much interest as you can. If you are a savvy investor, or have access to an expert who you trust, you can make your money grow at a far greater rate than it would if you were only relying on interest.
Professional fighters need to prepare financially before stepping into the ring. It is crucial that you are covered by the right insurance policies and that you are putting away money that will keep you solvent long after you hang up your gloves for the last time.