Boxing is one of the greatest sports ever, but it’s also a form of entertainment for those of us that like to tune in. Over the years, the theatrics in boxing has escalated. Costumes have gotten flashier. The trash talk has gotten trashier. Entrances have also gotten crazier. We’ll never forget when former British professional boxer Naseem Hamed entered the arena wearing a Halloween mask, while dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. That’s just an example of the theatrics that Hamed is notorious for. Naseem Hamed hasn’t been inside a boxing ring for over 15 years now, but he still maintains a net worth of $33 million. We’re going to take a closer look into how Hamed accumulated that much and how he’s been able to maintain it over the years.
Hamed was born in 1974 to Yemeni parents. He was born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. Hamed learned to box under famous Irish trainer Brendan Ingle’s tutelage, and he became an instant boxing star as soon as the world caught wind of his skills, his style, and his antics. In 1992, Hamed started boxing professionally; he was only 18 years old. At the time, he competed at the flyweight division. He quickly rose through the weight divisions, and by the time he was 20 years old, he was competing in the bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions. That year in 1994, Hamed won both the European and WBC International titles in each respective division. During this time in his career, Hamed began to accumulate a cult following because of his displays of brash behavior and unorthodox style.
The rest of his boxing matches were competed in the featherweight division. Out of a total of only 37 professional bouts, Hamed actually only lost 1 fight. Many boxing analysts have regarded Hamed as one boxer that probably had the greatest potential. However, Hamed largely disliked the training that went along with being a professional boxer. Throughout his 10-year professional career, Hamed didn’t nearly compete enough for his body to remain adjusted. Later on towards the end of his career, the difference in fighting style became completely noticeable. At this point, Hamed had already established such a solid legacy that it became safe for him to retire without the fear of getting forgotten. In fact, many boxing organizations see Hamed and see a living legend. World Boxing ranked Hamed as Britain’s 11th greatest boxer of all time, while The Telegraph ranked him at number 10. The Ring referred to Hamed as the 46thgreatest puncher ever in the history of the sport. In 2016, ESPN referred to Hamed as number 22 out of the 25 best pound for pound boxers in the last 25 years.
His boxing career, although short, was his primary source of income. At the time of his prime, Hamed was making over $6 million per fight. It’s not a bad purse, especially for the 90s. During the 90s, Hamed was considered a true cultural pop icon in Britain. He’s been referred to in a few pop references, but that’s not how else he made money. In 2000, Hamed licensed a sports fighting game, Prince Naseem Boxing. He got money for that for sure, but not many people play this game today. He also had few endorsements that got him some serious money and products. Naseem was sponsored by big brands such as Adidas and Sony—there was money in those too.
After he retired from boxing, Naseem Hamed began to think of other options for income. Hamed opened Naseem Hamed Enterprises, which had net assets of over $3 million USD back in 2010-2011. After that, he still involved himself in boxing and started to work with fellow boxer Callum Johnson. Johnson was a heavyweight star, and Hamed worked as his manager. That relationship didn’t last very long, and Hamed left Johnson on December 2011.
Aside from his company and from managing or coaching other boxers, Hamed also owns a lot of property. In fact, he owns all the houses in one street. That’s quite an achievement—even if his family since had occupied the entire street. His property portfolio alone is evaluated at over $93 million. Nothing is sure at this point whether Hamed charges his family for rent, but we know that he’s provided this to them because he could.
There were many theories as to why Naseem Hamed left the game while he was still on top. It’s arguable that he did it because it’s always better to leave while you’re on top. Many people believe that Hamed simply got tired of boxing and the demands it took. By 1997, Hamed already had an annual income of about $14 million per year, which included fight purses and endorsements. At one point in 2001, Hamed had a reported net worth of roughly $75 million; but of course without boxing today, he’s not making the same amount of incoming money. His biggest purse was $8.5 million against Barrera in 2001. He’s named as the second richest British boxer—second only to Lennox Lewis, the great heavyweight champion.
In 2015, Hamed was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Despite having fought for only a short amount of time, Hamed’s legacy had been solidified. Had he continued to fight the way he was fighting, we’d probably see a different path for Hamed. He’s still young today at 45 years old, but he’s certainly made enough money to make it last his lifetime and his family’s lifetime. Hamed just spends and enjoys his time now with his wife, Eleasha.
Written by Liz Flynn
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