Its not uncommon for professional athletes to want to change sport down in their career. One of the most unual is when Gerwyn Price transitioned from Rugby to Darts.
But in combat sports, it’s not as uncommon, as many of the skills may be used in other disciplines.
In kickboxing, kickboxers practice the same punches as a boxer, yet only with kicks, and more and more fighters are now transitioning to boxing,
So, why are many professional kickboxers turning to boxing?
In short, Fame and fortune.
It hasn’t always been this way as in the 90’s, after films released like Kickboxer, everyone wanted to be part of this increasingly popular sport. In the 2000’s everyone wanted to be a MMA fighter, and now, over the last 10 years, boxing is probably as big as it has ever been.
At the moment, boxing is huge. With the rivalry between heavyweight stars like Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, boxing is increasingly gripping to watch and read the latest news about.
Additionally, its not just big names that are making the sport as popular as it is today, it is also promotions like Matchroom Boxing which is giving fighters a world class platform as well as a purse that we would probably all take a punch off Joshua for!
Boxing is easier than kickboxing
That heading may ruffle a few feathers. Boxing and kickboxing are equally as gruelling when it comes to the grit and determination in both training and fighting. However, there is more to learn and master in kickboxing than boxing.
A kickboxer needs to be able to punch and kick simultaneously, and If a kickboxer finds themselves more of a boxer with a few kicks, boxing could be a more suitable choice.
Kickboxers also need to defend against kicks too. Let’s face it, a round housekick or knee to the chops is going to hurt more than any punch.
What do kickboxers earn per fight?
Many pro-kickboxers have fought for an international-level title fight and just banked £1500. To live a fighters lifestyle doesn’t come cheap. With diet, travelling, kickboxing equipment and kickboxing classes, all of these expenses mount up.
So, it is easy to see why kickboxers are thinking of transitioning to boxing for the money benefits alone. The biggest promotion for kickboxing is promotions with companies like Glory Kickboxing.
Glory had their own kickboxing superstar, Rico Verhoeven, who is equivalent to Anthony Joshua of kickboxing and has also made millions. However, Glory can pay fighters yearly contracts starting at just £35,000.
Can a kickboxer become a boxer?
Yes, of course!
Some kickboxers surprisingly can have better hands than a boxer, but if a kickboxer is more dependent on their legs, switching to boxing may not be the best option. Also to be a top level boxer earning millions you also need to be a formidable character like Tyson Fury to get the audience and the pay packet too.
It may seem the grass in greener on the other side, but a pro boxer may experience the same issues as a kickboxer if they are not cutting it on the big stage.
The bottom line is to be a fighter, you must be passionate about the sport and not as interested about the money, as much as we would all like our name shining bright in lights.