Broke ex-fighters who have fallen on hard times is unfortunately a common occurrence. It has almost become a cliche. Too often it is a case of rags-to-riches-to-rags. The boxing champions who have lost the fortunes made during their primes are too numerous to mention. When the lights are bright and the hangers-on many, temptation is great to live like the big pay cheques are never going to end. However, for the few who make it, the stay at the top of the sport is often brief and the money along with the entourage can disappear quickly.
This is something that Golden Gloves want to change.
About three years ago, the company set up an Old Mutual investment fund for their contracted fighters. “A pre-requisite for any fighter signing with Golden Gloves is that ten percent of their purse gets deducted and invested in the fund. It stays there for a minimum of five years before they can touch it,” explains promoter, Rodney Berman.
Golden Gloves will now expand their plans of providing some form of financial security for their fighters, with life cover next on the list. “Policies will be taken out for the fighters in our stable and Golden Gloves will pay the premiums for the first five years. Thereafter, it is up to the fighter to take over the payments. It is not only limited to in-ring injury. It also extends to incidents outside the ring, like car accidents, for example.”