How do women live in the Mexican professional boxing? Low salaries and few sponsors

Mujeres en el box profesional

It is nothing new, for several years that women have raised their voices to demand equality in the sports industry, and the question is natural, how do women survive in the Mexican professional box ?. This, when the salary is not equitable, they do not have the big bags or fight in Las Vegas, as it happens with men.

On LEFT PUNCH We elaborate a little more on the subject to answer a couple of questions, what is the process that women go through to reach the professional box? And why are wages not equal to those received by men?

“I have made twice the Canelo and I do not earn the same for being a woman, “denounced the Barby juarez a few months ago. “I have had renowned rivals, I have won my things as they had to be. I am a three-time world champion, I do not underestimate him, because he is a boy who at the end of the day has known how to take advantage of things. Maybe he is not to blame, he has simply worked and earns things, but I think that is where it gives a little, not a little, it gives a lot of courage “,

If anyone knows what it is to suffer in a ‘male-dominated’ sport, it is Mariana “Barby” Juárez, who had to beg promoters to pay him more than 12 thousand pesos per fight. She was one of the first to detonate her image to get an extra income, because the boxer’s salary is not enough.

Women in the box: the path to the professional

The process for women in professional boxing is faster than for men. They are not favored, and the problem is that there are not so many female boxers to be fond of amateurism and they jump to the professional to have a better chance of finding a rival.

“They wanted to make my debut a year after starting training (16 years), but the dates never aligned and I ended up debuting many years later,” he says. Diana ‘Violenta’ Ferrer, a boxer who is just starting out as a professional and spoke to LEFT PUNCH.

In the amateur sector there is no pay, the female boxers train, they wait for a rival in a way and when the trainers think they are ready to make the leap, they look for a fight to debut.

The voice of Diana she sounds choppy, she’s nervous. Take some time and breathe in. Explain that he trains with Ayala, very close to Deportivo Leandro Valle in Mexico City. She remembers that when she was told that she was going to make her debut as a professional boxer, she was excited and immediately started looking for the equipment, “everything that helps me to look pretty.”

“I like to save money, I started to get the skirt and top with a design that I liked and saw on Facebook,” she recalls. Ayala. “The truth is that in my debut I spent more money than they paid me, for that fight they gave me three thousand pesos.”


Requirements to debut:

  • Medical and pregnancy tests
  • License
  • Clothing

To meet all the requirements, Diana he spent 5,000 pesos, they paid him 3,000, and in the end he lost money. “But it’s an investment, it’s something I like and that’s how it starts,” he accepts. Ferrer.

The Violent Ferrer He knows that for now they will not pay him much, so he works managing a parcel company and divides his day to be able to train.

“Men and women win the same when we start in the professional until 8 rounds,” he explains. Ferrer. “When you start fighting 10 rounds, the pay differences start. They pay me well in Boxing LAZThey have told me about other promoters who pay 500 pesos or less per round ”.

At 23 years old, Diana says that boxing is a sport full of men who prefer to see men and not women “because they are delicate and pretty.” Although he also says that female boxers give a better show.

As a woman, making a living from boxing is complicated by the disparity in wages. However, Violenta knows that she has to use other tools.

“I am an athlete and I prepare to be the best,” she explains. Ferrer. “But you also have to take advantage of the image, it is another way to get an income.”

Do television stations and brands care about women’s boxing?

On the other side of the boxers are the promoters. One of them is Village Promotions which is headed by Oswaldo Kuchle and spoke to LEFT PUNCH about the women’s boxing industry.

Kuchle He is a business man. They respect him, he knows what it’s like to recruit talent, and what to sell a fight. The cobbled path of getting sponsorships and how complicated it is to organize a fight between women for all that it encompasses.

“A boxer who has talent, you sign her from when she fights 6 rounds, you take all her process until she is a world champion,” she explains. Kuchle. “We see many of them at events we organize, someone recommends them to us or we hire them for a single fight and they put on a good show.”

Village Promotions has 12 years promoting the women of professional boxing and is the company that manages the career of Mariana “Barby” Juárez.

Oswaldo is blunt in saying that the big problem is that neither the brands nor the television stations are interested in promoting a women’s boxing match.

“It is very complicated, there are many questions from television stations and sponsors so that in the end they tell you that they are not interested,” says the promoter. “Look, women fight 10 rounds of 2 minutes, which means the fight is over in 20 minutes, it has to be filled with men’s fights. Another factor is that not so many tickets are sold, it is complicated, but it is not only in boxing ”.

Oswaldo Kuchle says boxing is a market full of men who want to see men’s fights.

“We realize it because we are the company that has mounted the most women’s world championships,” he says. Kuchle. “In 2019, we organized 22 events, all of them had female fights.”

Women in the professional box
Photo: Barby Juárez (Instagram)

Why do women earn less than men in the box?

That television stations and brands are not interested in women’s boxing is a problem. However, another factor is that their championship defenses are made in Mexico and not in the United States. “In Las Vegas there is no interest,” says the promoter.

Oswaldo explains that a boxer is paid three times less to fight in the United States than in Mexico. In the end, Mexican women end up spending more because they have to pay for the visa, the trip and everything that goes to the country implies.

The expenses to prepare a championship fight in women:

  • 100 thousand pesos the cost of preparation
  • Medical analysis
  • Health insurance
  • Lodging and per diem

The rule of three: of the prize won, women have to give 30% to the manager, 10% to the promoter and pay taxes.

Is women’s boxing a profitable business?

“It is not, we have tried to make it but no”, Oswaldo respond immediately. “We have tried to work with television stations that tell us no. With brands we are very creative with the issue of advertising and they tell us that they do not sponsor events where two women are hitting each other ”.

Village Promotions He believes that there will not be a change on the part of the sponsors and television stations, because they already have a mentality. On their side they work with him World Boxing Council (WBC) to promote women’s boxing, which in Mexico is very good in minor divisions.

So far, the Barby She is one of the few (perhaps the only) boxers who have received 800 thousand pesos for a championship fight. Women in boxing consider that at least 500 thousand should be paid in this area.

Diana Ferrer and Mariana Juarez agree on something. “We have to fight for what we deserve, we have to get to have good bags, that there is equality.”

Meanwhile, the path of women in professional boxing will continue to be complicated, until television stations and companies think that boxing is also for women.

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