Boxing has seen some amazing fights throughout its existence as a professional sport. Most boxing fans will probably have a collection of their own top fights of all time. From the “rumble in the jungle, all the way back to the “fight of the century” pitting the “greatest” Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, there have been some unforgettable bouts in the sport. But despite the hype and entertainment generated by such fights, the money part of things has just been as astounding, with some fights generating insane amounts of money.
But the highest money fights have been more recent. The success of pay-per-view and the growing number of celebrity fights has meant that some boxing fights can now generate hundreds of millions of dollars. But perhaps the biggest celebrity fight in recent times was the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight. But where does it rank among the highest money boxing fights in history? Let’s find out, shall we?
- Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao – May 2015
This one was also dubbed “fight of the century” by fans of the sport. Until we see another like it, this remains to be the most moneymaking fight to ever take place. As you might have guessed, the fight, which happened in 2015, profited highly from the expectations of the boxing fans who were dying to see the two boxing geniuses (at the time) step onto the ring together.
Despite the hype and the excitement surrounding it, the fight did not live up to the billing. Many fans were left disappointed after the 12 rounds of little to no drama. Mayweather’s tactical masterclass proved too much for Pacquiao’s almost nonexistent brawling skills. Mayweather won the fight on points.
Despite the somewhat anticlimactic event, it generated a whopping $410 million in pay-per-view revenue. Mayweather took home $250 million while Pacquiao’s bag had $150 million. The Pay-per-view record for ticket sales was also shattered with 4.6 million tickets sold.
- Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor – August 2017
This one was called “The Money fight” mainly because a UFC fighter was crossing over to boxing. It’s another fight that generated quite some hype before the two fighters even stepped up for a weigh-in. It also turned in a huge revenue for the record books.
The fight itself went according to expectation as Mayweather forced a TKO in the 10th round against a gassed rookie boxer. McGregor looked to be putting on an unexpected show in the first few rounds with a flurry of punches that looked to be missing but exciting to the packed T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. However, by the 8th round, the “notorious” Scottish fighter looked out of gas and Mayweather only needed one more round to end the fight.
Despite the loss, Mcgregor took home $85 million, a sum way above his UFC paygrade. Mayweather took home $275 million. The fight generated $396 million in Pay-Per-View revenue and up to 4.3 million PPV tickets were sold.
- Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez – September 2013
At this point we have to admit that Mayweather has quite a cv as a moneymaking boxer. Something guys at best cv writing service UK know a lot about. But others may argue that Canelo wasn’t half the fighter we know him to be today. Nonetheless, the fight was big enough to generate revenue for the record books. Both fighters went into the bout with zero losses on their records.
Mayweather won the match on points, easily beating his under-par opponent. Despite the loss, Canelo took home his highest paycheck thus far, pocketing up to $12 million. Mayweather again took home the bigger bag with up to $80 million. The PPV revenue was $150 million with 2.2 million tickets sold.
- Floyd Mayweather vs Oscar De La Hoya – May 2007
Another money-spinning fight involving Mayweather. This time, however, the other boxer was holding the better cards and perhaps the better chances of winning the fight. Oscar De la Hoya was the bigger name back then. However, when the final bell rang, Floyd Mayweather had upset the bigger fighter and announced his presence in the lighter weights. Oscar De la Hoya still took home the bigger check with up to $52 million. Mayweather pocketed his first big check worth $25 million. Pay-per-view generated $136 million with 2.48 million tickets sold.
- Mike Tyson vs Lenox Lewis – June 2002
The fight took place at the Pyramid Arena with Mike Tyson looking to reclaim his status against the then undisputed world heavyweight champion in Lenox Lewis. Lewis went into the fight as the favorite and probably the better fighter. Tyson still had a lot of fans rooting for him. However, the British fighter proved too powerful for the faded Tyson. Both fighters took home up to $19.5 million. The fight generated 112 million in PPV revenue and up to 1.95 million tickets were sold.
- Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson II – June 1997
Five years before the Lenox Lewis fight, Mike Tyson went toe to toe for the second time against Evander Holyfield. Despite going down as one of the most controversial fights, this was definitely not a cheap occasion. You might get some cheap dissertation writing services out there, but this level of boxing, even back then attracted a lot of money. Tyson infamously bit Evander’s ear twice prompting the referee to disqualify him in the 3rd round. In the end though, Tyson pocketed $33 million while Evander went home with $39 million. Pay-per-view generated $100.2 million with 1.99 million tickets sold.
- Mike Tyson vs Peter McNeeley – August 1995
“Peter McNeely took the money and ran…” a boxing news reporter once wrote. This fight was dubbed “He’s Back”, referring to Mike Tyson who was getting back into the ring after a troublesome 3 years of his life. The fight itself was disappointing, at least for the fans who were hoping for some kind of a match. McNeely couldn’t last more than 89 seconds in the ring with the most feared boxer at the time. But he got paid even after that embarrassment. He took home up to $400,000 while Mike Tyson pocketed $22 million. The PPV revenue was $96 million with 1.55 million tickets sold.
Boxing is a sport that attracts a lot of fans and as a result, a lot of revenue is generated from the main events in the sport. But there are some occasions when everyone involved gets to laugh all the way to the bank. These fights will live long in the history of the biggest money fights to ever happen.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Thomas Jackson is a freelance content writer working for buy assignment UK service and has also been writing songs since he was a child. He is actively involved in writing clubs in the New York area and plans to start his own someday. He gets work inspiration from live music concerts, star performers of the past and his friends and family.
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