I’m a ‘Ring Girl’ for boxing – this is how much I earn

by Ana Lopez

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Apollonia Llewellyn, a 23-year-old model and influencer from England. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

I’ve been in the modeling industry since I was 14. I had a lot of friends older than me who did a lot of promotional work. One of my older friends was a ring girl, the girl who holds up a sign during battles that says which round comes next. When I was about 16 or 17, she helped me get into it.

I started working at local competitions called Ultimate White Collar Boxing, a charity boxing night held all over the UK. I remember being paid £100 for one evening. That was a lot of money at that age.

I did regular ring girl gigs at local competitions until I was about 19, when I quit to focus on modeling and building my social media presence. I made more as an influencer – ring girl was never a full-time income.

I got the ring girl job for another boxing night this summer through an agency

I worked at an Instagram and modeling agency for about six months. The agency had announced a few other ring girl jobs, but they weren’t suitable or I was busy. I hadn’t been a ring girl in a few years.

This summer, the agency spread the word about a chance to be a ring on a new boxing night called Misfits. It is a promotion from the influencer KSI. I applied on a whim.

Apollonia Llewellyn in the ring at a Misfits boxing match.

Apollonia Llewellyn in the ring at a Misfits boxing match. Apollonia Llewellyn

Within a day I had the job. My first fight was scheduled for the following weekend. It all happened very quickly.

As a ring girl, you are usually expected to attend two events: the weigh-in and the fight itself. The fights are usually on Saturday night and the weigh-in is on Friday night. On Fridays, the ring girls take the stage, but that only lasts for an hour or two. On fight days you usually have to be at the ring from 5pm to 11pm when the fight is over.

The Misfits boxing matches only happen once every eight weeks, so I can still spend most of my time working as an influencer and model. I post two Instagrams and three TikToks every day. During the week I have model shoots.

I’ve done three matches with them so far and one more is coming soon. The first time I was charged £300 through the agency, which isn’t great. I wouldn’t normally work for that amount of money, but I thought the exposure was worth it.

Now I work directly with Misfits because they want to keep the same girls for every fight. I get paid about £900, which is about $1,100, per game. They have also said that they will give us a salary in the future.

Taking on this ring girl gig paid off almost immediately. I advertised the first Misfit fight I did on Instagram and TikTok and my follower count increased by almost 10,000 on both platforms.

I’ve also noticed that when I post photos in my ring girl outfits, they get more interaction and usually they’re KSI fans in the comments.

Misfits fights are definitely different from local charity matches

Misfits is a boxing promotion for vloggers, TikTokers and celebrity gamers. These internet celebrities have huge fanbases that draw large crowds – I didn’t realize what I was getting into.

There were about 20,000 people in the crowd at the first fight. When I used to do it locally, there were usually a few hundred people in the crowd, so this was a big leap forward. It was also televised, which is much more crowded, but also more fun.

Logan Paul, an American YouTube influencer, was at the first Misfits fight for which I was a ring girl.

Llewellyn trails Logan Paul and KSI at the first Misfits game.

Llewellyn trails Logan Paul and KSI at the first Misfits game. Apollonia Llewellyn

When you enter the ring for the first time in a match you always get a good reaction

It’s so loud and there are people whistling. When I was younger, I often received negative comments, especially from girls. But after the Misfits fights, I’ve had nothing but positive reactions – women even came up to me after the fight and said, “you did a really good job.”

There are usually between two and four ring girls for each match. Some do full-time promotional work, some are models, and some have never done it before and have normal jobs.

Apollonia Llewellyn, far left, and three other ring girls working at a Misfits fight.

Apollonia Llewellyn, far left, and three other ring girls working at a Misfits fight. Apollonia Llewellyn

There is no plan for what ring girls should do during a match other than hold the flag for the main event. We’ll just figure it out between ourselves before the fight starts. Usually we wait on the ring side and practice walking from one side of the ring to the other between rounds while everyone gets ready.

Sometimes we get a dressing room backstage, but not always. Waiting for the ring and practicing can be very helpful for the girls who have never fought before.

I don’t get nervous before a fight because it’s similar to modeling. While in the ring I just switch off and don’t think about anyone watching.

KSI and his fan base add a new dimension to my experience as a ring girl

The strength of KSI’s fanbase has also influenced my recent experiences as a ring girl. The fans will ask to have their picture taken with me after a game, even if I’m only holding the ring card.

My brother watches all these guys on YouTube and told me to buy a bottle of Prime – an energy drink brand owned by KSI and Logan Paul – when I was there. I took a picture with the bottle and now Prime has sent me 10 boxes. I have a feeling there will be a lot of brand deals coming out of this work as well.

My family was very supportive of my ring girl performances, especially my dad as he loves all things sports. My nephews were allowed to stay up past their bedtime to watch the games on TV.

I love being a ring girl because it’s so different from modeling

No one labels you as an influencer. Everyone I work with is very normal – there are no strict diets or bitchiness. It’s like being at home.

My tips for someone breaking into it is to sign with an agency because they can help you get the contacts you need. I would start with the small charity fights. This is how I learned the tricks of the trade and prepared myself for the bigger battles.

Social media really helps too. I know a lot of girls post when they are a ring girl and it can boost their following.

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