Boxing Referee Salary Revealed
Being a boxing referee is not just a side job but rather an occupation. In fact, it has reached such a level of importance that any boxer who loses due to incompetent officiating may be deemed worthy of the world title. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that boxers and promoters alike will go to great lengths to ensure that the officials for about are the best available.
For top championship fights, three of the four men in the ring will have been carefully vetted before being selected as competent and capable enough to handle such an important assignment. In many cases, their pay will be determined by their status as much as by the stature of the fight itself.
Table of Contents
How Much Money Do Boxing Referees Make?
The following list includes the basic salaries (in U.S. dollars) and other compensation that famous boxing referees receive for their services:
Kenny Bayless – $15,000 (Unified and minor non-title HBO fights) plus a hotel suite and a limo ride to and from the venue.
Robert Byrd – $7,500 (HBO Boxing After Dark) plus flight and hotel expenses.
“Big” John McCarthy – $5,000 (HBO Boxing After Dark) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Joe Cortez – $5,000 (HBO Boxing After Dark) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Tony Weeks – $3,000 (ESPN2 Friday Night Fights) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Plus the same paycheck given to any other fighter on the broadcast (i.e., $10,000 for main event; $5,000 for co-main event; $3,500 for non-title fight).
Keith Walker – $3,000 (Showtime Championship Boxing) plus flight and hotel expenses plus $500 for each round worked (i.e., $1,500 per fight).
Robert Madrigal – $3,000 (Showtime Championship Boxing) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Mark Nelson – $2,750 (NBC Sports Network Fight Night) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Jay Nady – $3,000 (Showtime Championship Boxing) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Jay Solis – $2,500 (ESPN Friday Night Fights) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Victor Loughlin – $3,000 (NBC Sports Network Fight Night) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Who Is The Highest-paid Referee In Boxing 2023?
Kenny Bayless is the highest-paid referee in boxing 2022 – $15,000, a hotel suite, and a limo ride to and from the venue.
How Much Do British Boxing Referees Get Paid?
Referees from countries such as the UK, who are not considered world-class in their officiating skills, only receive around 2,000 to 3,000 (UK Pounds) per fight. This is a little more than half of what some of the lesser-known American referees earn.
However, it should also be noted that they don’t have to spend as much as their American counterparts because of the lower cost of living in their country.
Do Boxing Referees Have Other Jobs?
Many of the referees who work for less than $10,000 per fight also have other jobs in addition to officiating boxing matches.
For example, Robert Byrd works as a correctional officer when he is not refereeing professional fights. This makes him an exception among his peers because most boxers are paid more than prison guards in the U.S.
Are There Good Boxing Referees Who Only Get Paid $3,500?
Some of the worst boxing referees are also some of the highest-paid in the game because they tend to get more assignments than their peers. However, no fighter is willing to risk his career by speaking out against incompetent officials for fear of not getting another opportunity to fight.
Example: Mike Ortega – $3,500 (HBO Boxing After Dark) plus flight and hotel expenses.
Amateur Boxing Referee Salary
Amateur boxing is not as profitable as professional boxing, so amateur referees do not receive the same kind of compensation that their professional counterparts receive.
For example, they are typically paid between $100 and $250 per fight. They also get reimbursements for their expenses during the event.
How Much Do Olympic Boxing Referees Make?
While Olympic boxing referees typically receive between $250 and $1,000 per fight, the expenses that they incur for travel and lodging are paid by the event organizers.
So, Is It Worth Being A Boxing Referee?
The short answer is: “No!”
Boxing referees usually don’t get paid what they are worth, and they also have to put up with a lot of abuse from the fans, so you better take it into consideration before becoming a boxing referee.
However, as mentioned, there are some referees like Kenny Bayless who make more than $15,000 per fight and also receive perks such as hotel suites and limo rides.