With college graduation season coming to a close, this year’s seniors are already competing strenuously for undercompensated work to pad their resumes in the hope of cashing in at some unspecified future point. It’s safe to say that not one of the recent graduates I know from my courses, young people who despite the debt they’ve incurred enjoy every advantage that an expensive education can provide, will be turning pro as a boxer. And yet boxing offers a useful perspective on the job market they’re entering.
The boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. tops the annual list of highest-paid athletes recently released by Sports Illustrated, which estimates that he’ll make at least $90 million this year, and possibly a lot more, from just two bouts. Mayweather, who also topped the list last year, is one of the few fighters who figured out how to beat a system that typically exploits them without mercy. Having won his financial independence from promoters and TV networks, he has made it pay off handsomely.