I heard on the news this morning that the big fight last night will pay around $300 million to the two guys who fought. I also heard that some folks paid $10,000 and up to attend this fight. I’m speechless.
I’m not a sportsy person, as you may know. I don’t really follow sports, and I admit to having a chip on my shoulder about the salaries paid to sports figures. That aside, though, I am still ruminating on this whole fight thing. Spoiler alert: I’m going of on another of my sports figures make way too much money rants.
My first thoughts center around how these two guys reached the status point at which their fighting is worth that kind of cash. I remember as a kid, my dad following the sportsy things, and watching tidbits of fights with him. Muhammad Ali was the big name back then, and even he only made a paltry $8 million for his big fight with Larry Holmes in 1980. Since I don’t follow fights, or fighters, I have no idea as to how famous either of the two who fought last night are, but I’m guessing neither of them comes close to the level of fame of Muhammad Ali.
And what about those people who filled the arena, at over $10,000 a pop? Who ARE these people? How are there that many people that have an extra $10,000 laying around? I saw some of them on the news, and they didn’t even look like they were anyone famous…just average folks, it seemed. But it was obviously worth it to them to lay down over $10,000 to watch this fight in person. That’s quite a chunk of the average person’s budget, I’d imagine. I wonder what they went without in order to afford those tickets? And that doesn’t even include all the people who watched it on Pay Per View, or who placed bets on it.
Next, my mind turns to the concept of “earning” $180 million dollars in an hour or so. Yes, fighting can hurt. Black eyes, broken noses, bloody lips, lost teeth, cuts, bruises…I get it. And yes, I’m sure there was a good amount of training for this fight. But come on…$180 million dollars for one fight? And I hear it wasn’t even that exciting of a match.
Then there’s the understanding of what $180 million dollars looks like. I know it’s a lot. Really a lot. But do any of us average Joes have any idea how much money that really is? Or how it might change your lifestyle. You can buy a LOT with $180 million dollars. A whole lot. Cars, houses, pools, vacations, clothing, jewelry, food, politicians, drugs. But then what? MORE of these things?
This brings me to the last part. How is it that we’ve come to this? Some guys who hit each other for a while rake in $300 million to split between them. Lots of people spent lots of money on this fight. And yet, we have huge numbers of hungry and homeless people all around us. There are people all around the world who need food, water, medicine, homes, and shoes. There are lots of people who work hard every day, and can never dream of making anywhere near that much in their whole lives. There are zillions of great organizations and causes out there trying to make a go of it and do good things who can’t ever hope to raise even a tiny percentage of that purse. How many of those fans do you think have also donated $10,000 to a charity this week? How much of the purse do you think those fighters will donate to support a great nonprofit doing good work? How did we come to this?