How Much Money Do Boxing Referees Make? A Comprehensive Look at Referee Salaries in Boxing

Boxing referees are an integral part of the sport, ensuring that the boxers follow the rules and regulations and protecting them from harm. However, their salaries are not as well-known as those of the boxers. This article will delve into the world of boxing referees and their salaries.

The article will cover the different types of boxing referees, including amateur and professional referees, and how much they earn. It will also highlight the highest-paid boxing referees, such as Kenny Bayless, Tony Weeks, and Jack Reiss, and explore the different ways that boxing referees get paid.

How Much Money Do Boxing Referees Make?

Boxing referees can make a range of salaries, depending on their level of experience, the level of the fight they are officiating, and other factors. In general, referees at the amateur level do not receive pay for events, while professional referees can make a significant amount of money per fight.

Amateur Referees

Many amateur boxing referees do not receive pay for events, as their main goal is to gain the necessary experience to become a professional referee. However, entry-level boxing referees can lose money due to licensing requirements and opportunity cost. In many American states where boxing does not have a large presence, referees must travel hundreds of miles per fight to gain experience.

Professional Referees

Professional boxing referees can make a significant amount of money per fight, depending on the level of the fight and other factors. According to BoxRec, Kenny Bayless, one of the most popular boxing officials in America, oversaw 14 fights in 2022. Assuming he received a base salary of $250k, a match fee of $1k per undercard fight, and a match fee of $10k per main event or title fight, his salary is estimated to be at least $300k or ~$20k per fight.

It is important to note that this figure has a margin of error, as it does not include pay from promoter contracts, sponsors, or other sources. Additionally, official compensation for professional referees can vary widely depending on the level of the fight, state regulation, and other factors.

Overall, while the salary range for boxing referees can be wide, professional referees have the potential to make a significant amount of money per fight, especially if they have a high level of experience and are officiating high-profile bouts.

Who Are The Highest Paid Boxing Referees?

Kenny Bayless

Kenny Bayless is the highest-paid boxing referee in the world. With decades of experience, he has officiated many high-profile fights in Nevada and around the world. In 2022, Bayless made at least $300k according to estimates. He has refereed some of the most notable boxing matches, including Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez.

Tony Weeks

Tony Weeks is another top-paid boxing referee. He made $300k in 2022 according to estimates. Weeks is also a familiar face to Las Vegas audiences and has officiated many high-profile bouts. He has appeared in the boxing movies Southpaw and Creed III. Some of his notable appearances include Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley Jr.

Jack Reiss

Jack Reiss is another world-class referee on the professional circuit. According to our estimates, Reiss’ pay was $300k in 2022. He has officiated many notable fights, including Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder and Gervonta “Tank” Davis vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa.

In conclusion, these three referees are among the highest-paid boxing referees in the world and have officiated many notable fights. Kenny Bayless is the highest-paid boxing referee and has officiated some of the most significant boxing matches in history. Tony Weeks and Jack Reiss are also top-paid referees with many notable appearances in high-profile bouts.

How Do Boxing Referees Get Paid?

Boxing referees receive a base salary determined by their state commission, as well as predetermined match fees per fight. Referees at the highest level can travel worldwide for a fight or add a lower-level match to their schedule. For high-profile fights, referees may work the title fight and an undercard match on the same night. Additional pay can come from promoter contracts, sponsorships, and even movie appearances.

In addition to their salaries and match fees, referees can also receive revenue from Pay-Per-View events, which can include a percentage of the revenue generated from the event. Match officials can earn up to $25,000 per match for a high-profile fight, and some referees, such as Joe Cortez and Kenny Bayless, can make up to $350,000 a year because they usually officiate the main events of big PPV events.

Boxing organizations and national governing bodies place a high emphasis on safety and fair play, and therefore, referees must adhere to strict regulations and rules. Referees must ensure the safety of the boxers in the ring, prevent illegal moves, and enforce the rules of the sport. Referees are also responsible for examining the boxers before the fight and ensuring they are in good athletic condition. Accommodations and travel expenses are usually covered by the promoter or the boxing organization.


Boxing referees have a challenging job that requires a high level of dedication and skill. While the top-tier referees can earn up to $25,000 for high-profile matches, beginners usually earn between $350 to $500 per match or fight. The salary of a boxing referee depends on various factors, such as their professional or amateur status, experience level, and location.

Despite the lower salaries of beginner referees, it is essential to remember that these officials have trained for years to reach the main event stage. Like boxers, referees must be committed to their craft to earn their salaries.

If you’re looking to get into boxing, it’s essential to have the right equipment. Check out these articles for information on the best boxing jump ropes, gloves, hand wraps, headgear, shoes, and groin protectors to help you get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average annual income for a professional boxing referee?

According to TFG, the average annual income for a professional boxing referee is around $25,000 to $350,000. The income varies depending on the level of the bout, experience, and location.

How much does a boxing referee earn per bout?

A boxing referee can earn between $100 to $25,000 per match, depending on their experience and the level of the bout. The amount includes PPV share, TV loop market value and streaming shares, sponsorship, earnings from product sales, and travel expenses, as per SportsEst.

Who is the highest earning referee in professional boxing?

As of 2024, the highest-paid referee in professional boxing is not publicly available. However, according to TFG, the highest-paid referee in boxing in 2023 was Tony Weeks, who earned an estimated $500,000.

What are the steps involved in becoming a boxing referee?

To become a boxing referee, one must first have a passion for the sport and a deep understanding of the rules. The next step is to attend a referee training program, which typically lasts several months and includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training. After completing the training, the individual must pass a written exam and demonstrate their skills in a live match. Once licensed, referees must continually update their skills and knowledge to maintain their license.

Are there different pay scales for referees at various levels in boxing?

Yes, there are different pay scales for referees at various levels in boxing. Referees for amateur bouts typically earn less than referees for professional bouts. Additionally, referees for high-profile main events or title fights earn more than referees for lower-profile undercard bouts.

How does the income of boxing referees compare to those in other professional sports?

The income of boxing referees is generally lower than that of referees in other professional sports such as basketball, football, or soccer. However, the income varies depending on the level of the bout, experience, and location.

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