• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ten biggest boxing prize money in history

Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao

Boxing prize money varies greatly depending on several factors such as the level of the bout, the fighters’ popularity, the promotion involved, and the location of the fight. In high-profile matches featuring top-tier boxers, prize purses can reach millions of dollars. For example, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao bout in 2015 generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, with each fighter earning over $100 million.

Here, BusinessDay makes a list of the 10 biggest paydays made by fighters in boxing history.

Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao

Prize Money: $250m

Year: 2015

The Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao fight is renowned as the most expensive bout in boxing history, with the two fighters sharing an estimated prize money of $250 million. Originally projected at $200 million, the purse saw Mayweather slated to receive $120 million, leaving the remainder for Pacquiao. However, with the fight amassing half a billion dollars in revenue, the fighters would likely split at least $250 million, with Mayweather expected to take home 60% of that sum.

Mayweather’s lucrative fighting career has propelled him to the top of Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list in 2018. Throughout his career, he has amassed significant earnings by facing off against some of the world’s best boxers, including Pacquiao.

After approximately six years of buildup and contention, Mayweather and Pacquiao finally collided in a mega fight that captivated audiences worldwide. The bout generated approximately $500 million in pay-per-view revenue, solidifying its status as a monumental event in the realm of boxing.

Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

Prize Money: $100

Year: 2017

Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

The Nevada State Athletic Commission disclosed that Mayweather’s guaranteed purse for the fight was $100 million, while McGregor’s guaranteed purse stood at $30 million. However, their actual earnings far exceeded these amounts once pay-per-view profits were factored in.

Ultimately, Mayweather reportedly pocketed around $300 million in total from the bout, whereas McGregor’s earnings totalled approximately $100 million.

The highly anticipated clash took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, marking one of the most significant crossover fights in history. Mayweather, also known as ‘Money,’ extended his undefeated record to 50-0 with this victory.

Despite facing defeat, McGregor, a former UFC champion, received a substantial paycheck of around £23 million. This figure excludes his share of over $400 million in pay-per-view revenue generated by the event.

Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz 2nd Fight

Prize Money: $60

Year: 2019

Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz 2nd Fight

Anthony Joshua’s first fight in Saudi Arabia proved to be one of the most financially rewarding bouts of his career. Not only did he exact revenge on Ruiz, but he also received a substantial paycheck of $60 million on the night, largely attributed to the site fee secured by Eddie Hearn for the fight in Diriyah. Reportedly, this site fee amounted to approximately $24 million, as stated by The Independent, with Ruiz also earning over $12 million before pay-per-view sales.

The rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr promised to be another lucrative event, with both fighters set to receive career-high fight purses. Following Ruiz’s unexpected victory over Joshua in New York in June, discussions of a rematch quickly generated hype and anticipation.

Joshua’s defeat in the first bout ultimately led to a significant financial gain for him, as he more than doubled his previous career-high payday in New York, which stood at $24 million.

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou

Prize Money: $50m

Year: 2024

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou

Anthony Joshua is set to earn approximately $50m and the purse does not include pay-per-view money when he meets the former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in the ring on Friday afternoon.

It is one of the biggest paydays of his career and he is likely to take home a lot more than that, depending on how many PPV sales this fight does.

Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou

Prize Money: $50m

Year: 2023

Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou

According to reports, Tyson Fury reportedly earned $50m before PPV sales for his ‘Battle of the Baddest’ fight vs Ngannou.

It was a testing fight for the Manchester boxer, though, who was knocked down by the UFC champion Ngannou during what was a thrilling exhibition of boxing that saw the Cameroonian establish himself in the WBC rankings.

Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez

Prize Money: $50m

Year: 2013

Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez

Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez collided in a huge match-up in 2013, with the pair squaring off at a 152-pound catchweight.

Mayweather was guaranteed $41.5m before the fight, with Alvarez taking $5m before the fight, according to The Guardian.

Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev

Prize Money: $35m

Year: 2019

Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev

This was a huge bout for the WBO light heavyweight championship, with Kovalev failing to retain his belt after he was knocked out by the Mexican fighter in the 11th round at the MGM Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada.

Alvarez also picked up a pretty nice paycheck on the night, taking home $35m before factoring in PPV sales.

Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson 2nd Fight

Prize Money: $30m

Year: 1997

Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson 2nd Fight

Holyfield and Tyson stepped into the ring for the second time in 1997, re-igniting their much-anticipated feud, after the former had come out of retirement to shock Tyson and secure victory.

Holyfield was guaranteed $30m for the fight, while Tyson took home £$15m before PPV sales.

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3rd Fight

Prize Money: $28m

Year: 2021

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3rd Fight

Fury called an end to his long-standing feud with Wilder after securing an 11th-round knockout in what was hailed as one of the standout fights of 2021. The electrifying showdown between the two pugilists earned the prestigious accolade of Fight of the Year from Ring Magazine.

Both fighters emerged from the bout with substantial earnings, as the event garnered approximately 900,000 pay-per-view sales worldwide. According to The Sun, the Gypsy King was guaranteed a base purse of $28 million for the fight, along with 60% of the pay-per-view revenue. Wilder, on the other hand, also walked away with a significant payday of $11 million, in addition to his share of the pay-per-view proceeds.

Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin

Prize Money: $25m

Year: 2018

Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin

Anthony Joshua defended his heavyweight belt against Povetkin in 2018, knocking the Russian down twice in the seventh round of their bout to claim a TKO victory.

The fight took place at Wembley Stadium in London, with the British fighter netting $25m) before PPV sales, according to The Express.

Povetkin went home with a nice paycheck of $7m for the fight.