Billion dollar baby: Boxing’s richest fights list shows exactly why they call Floyd ‘Money’

Floyd Mayweather has well and true lived up to his ‘Money’ nickname by dominating the list of richest boxing fights of all time.

The pay-per-view king divided opinions throughout his 50-0 career but delivered results in the ring – both with his performances and pay cheques.

Heavyweight legend Mike Tyson was also well compensated through his up and down campaign – earning roughly £400m in total.

Here SunSport lists the highest grossing fights of all time.

Get your sport fix on Kayo ahead of live games returning soon – classic match replays, documentaries and the latest news & announcements. New to Kayo?

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.

PPV – £333million

Gate – £58.7m

Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m Pacquiao’s purse: £122m

Total: £678m ($A1.23 billion)

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.

PPV – £325m

Gate – £44m

Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m McGregor’s purse: £70m

Total: £662.5m (A1.2 billion)

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.

PPV – £120m

Gate – £20m

Mayweather’s purse: £65m Canelo’s purse: £9.7m

Total: £214.7m ($A389m)

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.

PPV – £110m

Gate – £15m

De la Hoya’s purse: £42m Mayweather’s purse: £20m

Total: £187m ($A340m)

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.

PPV – £81.4m

Gate – £11.6m

Holyfield purse: £28.4m Tyson purse: £24.3m

Total: £145.7m ($A265m)

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.

PPV – £90m

Gate – £14.2m

Lewis: £14.2m Tyson: £14.2m

Total: £132.6m ($A241m)


Related articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share article

Latest articles


Subscribe to stay updated.