Boxing took its share of lumps during the downturn. Lower- and midlevel fights were hit the hardest, but even the big-time matches got roughed up, with the number of Las Vegas bouts dwindling and sponsorships drying up. But lately, the industry seems poised to punch its way back; there are at least eight marquee matchups scheduled at Sin City's biggest venues this year, twice as many as two years ago. Investors looking for a ringside seat might consider buying into MGM Resorts (owner of fight hot spot MGM Grand Garden Arena), which some are calling a value buy, based on its strong Macau operations and the potential revival of the Vegas Strip.
Inside the Ring
Click on the graphic above for statistics on where the big money goes in boxing.
There's also the option to get in a fighter's corner. Larry Army Jr., a Massachusetts lawyer who represents middleweight Edwin Rodriguez, incorporates separate companies for many of his boxers. Investors typically split a third of each purse -- for example, on a $300,000 purse, an investor with a 10 percent share would make $10,000. It's a "very, very risky" investment, Army says, but if you get lucky, "you could have one fight that gets you everything back." Still, the sport is not for the lily-livered, warns Army, who also represents sparring spouses: "Boxing makes divorce law look civil."