Biggest earning boxing matches ever, including Floyd Mayweather’s £678m fight with Pacquiao to Mike Tyson’s £146m bout – The Sun
FLOYD MAYWEATHER has well and truly lived up to his ‘Money’ nickname by dominating the list of highest earning boxing fights of all time.
The pay-per-view king divided opinions throughout his 50-0 career but always delivered results in the ring – both in terms of performance and pay cheque.
Heavyweight legend Mike Tyson was also well compensated through his up and down campaign – earning roughly £400m in total.
And here, SunSport runs down the most lucrative fights of all time.
1. Mayweather vs Pacquiao, May 2015
Dubbed ‘Fight of The Century’, fans’ five-year wait for the two pound-for-pound kings to meet finally ended in 2015.
Unfortunately, despite the longwinded build-up the bout did not deliver in terms of excitement – but did so in revenue.
Mayweather’s tactical masterclass as he outpointed Pacquiao sold a record 4.6m PPVs and recorded the highest gate in history.
Their purses were also unprecedented, as the fight became the richest of all time.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao breakdown
PPV – £333million
Gate – £58.7m
Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m
Pacquiao’s purse: £122m
2. Mayweather vs McGregor, August 2017
After it was announced UFC star McGregor would cross over to face Mayweather, it was instantly called ‘The Money Fight’.
And it lived up to its name as the figures show.
But it did not manage to surpass the PPV and gate record previously set two years before by Mayweather and Pacquiao.
Mayweather, who won in ten rounds, matched the purse he made against PacMan, while McGregor’s net worth skyrocketed after his commendable boxing debut.
Mayweather vs McGregor breakdown
PPV – £325m
Gate – £44m
Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m
McGregor’s purse: £70m
3. Mayweather vs Canelo, September 2013
When Canelo challenged the pound-for-pound No1, boxing fans tuned it to see if the puzzle to beating Mayweather could finally be solved.
But yet again Money came out on top with a points decision and laughed all the way to the bank as the fight broke a then PPV record with 2.2m sales and £120m in revenue.
Despite over 16,000 packing into MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the gate for the headliner only brought in £20m.
Still it ranks as the third richest fight in boxing history, with Canelo going on to become a star of his own since the humbling defeat.
Mayweather vs Canelo breakdown
PPV – £120m
Gate – £20m
Mayweather’s purse: £65m
Canelo’s purse: £9.7m
4. Mayweather vs De La Hoya, May 2007
When Mayweather stepped up to light-middleweight to beat De La Hoya – it was the last time he would do so as the B-side fighter.
The win cemented the brash American – then known as ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ – as the sport’s No1.
It initially broke box office records and Mayweather adopted the Money nickname afterwards.
Although a lucrative rematch failed to materialise, it was one of many mega-money paydays for Mayweather.
De La Hoya vs Mayweather breakdown
PPV – £110m
Gate – £15m
De la Hoya’s purse: £42m
Mayweather’s purse: £20m
5. Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson II, 1997
After Holyfield outboxed and stopped Tyson for the heavyweight title in 1996, it set up a lucrative rematch the following year.
But it would be remembered for all the wrong reasons, as Tyson twice bit Holyfield before being disqualified in round three.
Later known as the ‘Bite Fight’ it raked in 1,990,000 PPV buys – still the highest number bought for a heavyweight fight.
Their purses made up the highest combined figure for any fight until it was broken ten years later.
Holyfield vs Tyson 2 breakdown
PPV – £81.4m
Gate – £11.6m
Holyfield purse: £28.4m
Tyson purse: £24.3m
6. Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson, 2002
Lewis and Tyson finally settled the score in 2002 – but it came too late.
Tyson was a fading heavyweight while Lewis reigned as the undisputed champion, going on to win in round eight.
Highly-priced tickets finally managed to sell with 15,000 attending the fight and breaking box office records.
Despite selling less than Tyson’s rematch against Holyfield, it still raked in £90m in PPV sales.
Lewis vs Tyson breakdown
PPV – £90m
Gate – £14.2m
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