In Kenya, the payment for boxers can vary widely based on several factors, including their level of experience, the type of matches they participate in, and their success in the sport.
According to an article by The Standard, boxers can earn as little as Ksh 5,000 per bout. These low payments are often associated with less prestigious fights or less experienced boxers.
On the other hand, successful and more experienced boxers have the potential to earn significantly higher amounts. Such high earnings are typically associated with international-level fights and successful careers.
These are the highest paid boxers in Kenya as told by WoK:
Okwiri, also known as ‘Boom Boom’, is among the highest paid Kenyan boxers at the moment.
He began enjoying the sweet benefits of his career in 2015 when he was offered $1.5 million (sh 135 million) to fight Onur Sipal of Turkey. At that time, he was already earning sh 450 000 for every pre-ranking fight he took part in, win or lose.
In 2021, the former Africa Boxing Union (ABU) super middleweight champion signed a 5-year deal with an American-based promoter, who would pay him sh 1 million for every non-title fight he participated in and at least sh 5 million for title contests.
Prior to the deal, Okwiri had turned down a monthly sparring deal worth sh 500 000 with the American promoter, citing personal reasons. The 36-year-old is a Kenya Prisons sergeant and a brand ambassador for Finix Casino.
Nick ‘Commander Okoth’ etched his name in the annals of boxing history in 2021 by becoming the first African boxer to win a fight in Russia.
The former national boxing team captain is a 2015 Africa Boxing Championships gold medalist and the 2017 Africa lightweight champion.
He also boasts of other accolades in his legendary career in the ring, which have gained him significant monetary returns. In 2022, he won $5000 (sh 736,500) prize money at the Africa Championships in Maputo.
That was his last fight before the decorated boxer announced his retirement in October 2022 after a successful 15-year career in the ring.
Fatuma ‘Iron Fist’ Zarika is a two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) World Super Bantam Champion.
She is among the three Kenyan women to have ever owned a WBF title, alongside Conjestina ‘Hands of Stone’ Achieng and Sarah ‘Angel of War’ Achieng.
Zarika, who has won over 30 titles throughout her career, has also made some good money. In 2017, according to the Daily Nation, she was paid ‘a seven-figure digit’ in prize money for defending her WBC title. In 2019, she was paid sh 6 million just for appearing in the fight against Mercado Yamileth of Mexico.
Zarika has also enjoyed a lucrative career as the brand ambassador for Sport Pesa and Mizizi Homes.
It was reported that the proceeds from these partnerships contributed to her financial well-being and even allowed her to purchase a 3- bedroom mansion in Kiambu.
Despite these achievements, Zarika describes herself as a ‘poor millionaire’, saying she would be worth much more were it not for mismanagement by crooked promoters.
Benson Gicharu is one of the most decorated amateur boxers in Kenya.
He remains the only Kenyan boxer to win medals in two different weight categories: flyweight and bantamweight. His boxing career includes appearances at two Olympic Games and notable achievements in various international competitions.
In 2014, Gicharu, who was a member of the Kenya Police boxing team, signed a two-year deal with Aiba Pro-Boxing (APB) series, where he would earn sh 2.2 million for every win and sh 440 000 for every loss. Aiba would also cater to all his expenses, including air tickets and accommodation.
Speaking to The Star, Gicharu revealed that he used the proceeds from his boxing career to educate his siblings and pay school fees for himself, among other investments. He retired in 2018.
National Boxing Team
The National Boxing Team of Kenya, also known as the “Hit Squad”, is a group of talented boxers representing Kenya in various international competitions, including African Championships and the Olympic Qualifiers.
In their recent bout in Cameroon in July this year, gold medalists in the team were paid sh 2.1 million, while silver and bronze winners were paid sh 1.4 million and sh 700 000 respectively. This ranks them among the highest paid boxers in Kenya at the moment.