A successful professional boxer can make and spend an unimaginable amount of money getting to the top, only to find his or her career may be brief, and sometimes deadly. One punch and it’s over.
Adrian Clark is a case in point. The 31-year-old graduate of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi boxed as an amateur in two Golden Glove tournaments before starting his career as a certified sports agent with the National Basketball Association. Clark met professional boxer, Jerry Belmontes, in 2010. The two quickly became friends.
“Jerry turned pro my last year in the amateurs,” Clarke said an article penned by this writer on www.maxboxing.com. “He saw me get knocked out. Top Rank had dropped Jerry from his promotional contract. His manager also quit. He asked me to come watch him work out at the gym.”
Belmontes made Clark an offer he couldn’t refuse. He needed a new manager, and Clark was the man he wanted.
“I remember driving back to my hotel. I couldn’t stop smiling,” said Clark. “I knew I had to get prepared because I didn’t know anything about the boxing business. I knew how to fight, but not the industry.
“I get what fighters go through,” Clark said on the most recent airing of The Ringside Boxing Show on thegruelingtruth.net. “Being a fighter is an emotional rollercoaster. You have to prepare yourself to get hit.”
Clark jumped into the boxing business headfirst. In 2012, he formed AC Sports Management and signed up to represent middleweight James de La Rosa. Soon after, he wrote a book titled Protect Yourself At All Times: A Guide for Professional Boxers. Each of the 12 chapters explains the financial pitfalls boxers may encounter and how to navigate them
“The most important reason for writing the book was the desire to educate fighters and protect them,” said Clark. “I took my experience of being in the ring, going through battles and the structure of how associated sports protect their athletes. I wrote everything down on a board and thought, ‘Wait, I have a book that I can benefit from’, but most importantly, the fighters could benefit from.“
A boxing manager can name his own percentage. Clark was stunned when he found out how much money managers can earn.
“Your max is four percent in the NBA,” Clark said. “And they’re (NBA) regulated. In boxing, managers can get thirty-three percent. Some guys get forty percent. They can do it because there’s no regulation. They can put a fighter under any kind of contract.
“In boxing there is nothing put in place to protect the athletes. Boxers are their own company. Not many see it like that. I want them to know everything about their own business, and be able to make executive decisions in regards to the business.”
Clark is in the process of working with Everlast on a podcast.
“My podcast will probably air in July,” said Clark. “It will be very brash and harsh, and I’ll get straight to the point. It will be entertaining. I’ll have special guests on. It will be cool. I hope to have everyone tune in and learn and be informed about the business of boxing.”
You can hear the entire interview with Adrian Clark on thegruelingtruth.net.
John J. Raspanti is chief lead writer for www.maxboxing.com and co-author with Dennis Taylor of Intimate Warfare: The True Story of The Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy, currently on Amazon’s Bestsellers list. He’s also a regular on The Ringside Boxing Show on thegruelingtruth.net.