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A boxing manager is responsible for overseeing many aspects of a professional boxer’s career. A boxer can choose to manage himself or herself, but often there may be too much responsibility for him or her to handle. There are typically many business aspects that go into making a boxer’s career successful, such as setting up matches with opponents, negotiating payments, and promoting the boxer to ensure a high turnout at matches. A boxing manager generally receives a percentage of a boxer’s earnings and therefore, will want a boxer to be as financially profitable as possible.
Supervising training is a major responsibility of a manager. He or she has to make sure the boxer is in top physical condition in order to decide what type of matches to get the boxer involved in. A fine balance must be maintained in the manager’s selection of opponents to ensure the boxer is properly prepared for competition. At the start of a boxer’s career, his or her manager may be more concerned with him or her learning competition techniques and evolving as a fighter, rather than easily winning. A boxing manager may sign a boxer up to fight against seasoned boxers to gain experience for the long-term, even if it means losing some fights.
The most successful boxers tend to be heavily marketed by their managers. To continue to be offered payments for boxing matches, a boxer will usually need a promoter to draw crowds into his or her matches. If a manager makes a boxer well-known through the media or even word of mouth and gets fans to continually pay to watch his boxer’s matches, the promoter will continue to pay the boxer to fight at his or her venue.
Once a boxer begins to gain fans and be offered more matches, his or her manager may negotiate payment prices from promoters. Depending on the fame and popularity of a boxer, a manager can spend weeks or months negotiating payment for a single, high-profile match. If a boxing manager is business-savvy, he or she will be able to get promoters to agree to lucrative payments without alienating the promoters or gaining his or her client a difficult reputation.
If a boxer becomes successful, his or her manager may have to work irregular schedules to keep up with all the responsibilities as they come. A manager is often the voice of a boxer to promoters and media and may also handle financial matters, such as collecting payment from promoters or paying additional staff or expenses, like assistants or office space. Since there tends to be so much responsibility for management, a boxer will need to feel that he or she can trust a manager with his or her money, image, and career.
Is there a more famous boxing manager than Don King? King was the man behind the "Rumble in the Jungle," which took place in 1974 in Zaire, Africa and pitted the older Muhammad Ali against newcomer George Forman. Ali won the fight.