Fights do not always come off according to plan. Injuries are something that are common during the rigorous training camps, and they can delay the fight date. When the fight gets postponed there are several financial drawbacks. The tickets need to be refunded, the event fee gets refunded, the television date needs to be rescheduled, and the promotional cycle needs to be started again. Each of these actions can have large financial implications for both the fighter and the promoter. In a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, Lance Pugmire documents some of the recent high-profile injuries and their financial impact.
One of the recent examples is the Super Six final between Andre Ward and Carl Froch. Andre sustained a nasty cut during a sparring match, which would require surgery. The cut was so bad that the fight had to be postponed. This was a terrible situation for the promoters Goossen and Hearn. They had a big group of Brits who had bought non-refundable plane tickets, so they could not reschedule for the latter date. Also, there was a fair bit of momentum that both Froch and Ward had coming into the original October 29th date, which translated into brisk ticket sales. They had sold $600,000 in tickets with six weeks left before the bout. Estimations had them selling about $1 million in ticket sales, which would have been a sizable amount. But the fight got postponed and the promoters only managed to get $600,000 in sales. In terms of ticket sales, revenue dropped $400,000. This does not take into consideration the amount of promotional materials and events that would need to be redone because of the new date.
Other stories from the article include Bob Arum losing around $1 million because Vitali Klitschko pulled out a week before fighting Hasim Rahman with an injured thigh and Gary Shaw losing millions of dollars from a site fee when Lennox Lewis's opponent tore a muscle. Promoters can lose significant amounts of money on these fights, but it doesn't make me sympathize with them. If this risk becomes a major obstacle in getting fights signed I might start caring. Right now it is simply a financial risk that the promoters and fighters must bear.