Mike Tyson

“That would be my training expenses”- Mike Tyson reacts to Francis Ngannou’s $600k fight purse

Mike Tyson is not impressed by the amount of money the UFC paid Francis Ngannou in his last fight.

In a new episode of Tyson’s Hotboxin’ show, UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya was asked about pay issues in the UFC, and while ‘Stylebender’ said he was very happy with the new deal he just signed, there were some fighters like heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou getting woefully underpaid.

Adesanya said:

“Shout out to my boy, my big brother Francis, he kicked the door down and said ‘Look, this is what’s happening. They’re paying me this much and I’m this guy.’ He put it all out there. Mike, imagine at the height of your career, you’re fighting and you’re getting paid the equivalent of $600k to fight. That would be atrocious.”

‘Iron Mike’ put things into perspective, replying:

“Listen, that’d be my training expenses. That’s my training expenses.”

Watch the full Hotboxin’ episode with Mike Tyson and Israel Adesanya below:

Adesanya went on to say he wasn’t speaking out on fighter pay for himself, but for the athletes just getting started in the UFC. He said:

“The guys who are making their debut … they should be able to just get paid, and then not have to work at all during their training camp. Because a lot of fighters do. They work. Imagine having a second job. Get paid, pay management, pay training expenses, then have enough to live off of.”

The current entry level contract in the UFC is $10k to show / $10k to win, which hasn’t increased since 2015. With many fighters getting two fights per year, even a successful new UFC fighter could end up making just $40k before taxes and expenses.

Mike Tyson made over $10 million for his last fight against Roy Jones Jr.

Mike Tyson wasn’t joking when he said $600k would only cover his training expenses. The heavyweight legend is used to a much higher level of pay.

‘Iron Mike’ made over $375 million from his fight purses, and countless millions on top of that via sponsorships and endorsements. In 1997 he was paid a record setting $30 million dollar guarantee ($53 million in 2022 dollars) for his second fight with Evander Holyfield.

Even in his 50s, Mike Tyson is still capable of pulling in massive purses. For his 2020 exhibition bout against Roy Jones Jr., Tyson was supposed to be paid $10 million flat plus a percentage of the pay-per-view proceeds.

Francis Ngannou is hoping to make something similar if a fight against Tyson Fury comes together in 2023. Fury is another big earner, reportedly making over $25 million for his next fight against Dillian Whyte.

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