The Biggest Money-Making Fights in Boxing History

Combat sports have always been a center of prime entertainment across cultures. The primal action and bloodied mess always seem to rile up even the most pacifist and anti-violent people to get a feel of the action. That said, it is no surprise that any significant combat sport today racks up cash by the millions.

This article will discuss Boxing and its history of big cash grabs and historical feats. Read more below and see what “Big cash” means in the world of sweat, blood, and gloved fists.

1. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao – 2015

(Photo credit: Isaac Brekken/Associated Press)

When you say Manny Pacquiao, you may associate his name with Boxing’s greatest, his fight against Oscar Dela Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, for a good reason.

For those who don’t know, Manny Pacquiao is considered one of the best boxers in the whole sport, and he has both knocked out contenders and racked up accolades in his years. That said, Floyd Mayweather also bears the same prowess and fame, and with their heads clashing together in 2015, their bout was amply named the “Fight of the Century” or “Battle for Greatness”.

The historical 2015 fight profited off sports betting odds and Pay Per View streams like a bee on honey. It was a long-awaited matchup with years of anticipation and beef between the fighters. While most say that the fight was anticlimactic at best, the overall revenue for this fight alone totaled almost 860 million USD in revenue sales, with each fighter taking no less than 100 million.

2. Floyd Mayweather vs. Connor McGregor – 2017

(Photo Credit: ESTHER LIN / VOX MEDIA)

Nicknamed the “Money Fight,” this fight answers, “Who would win? One of the greatest boxers ever or the biggest star in MMA?”(at the time) With some rumors and social media beef raking up, the hypothetical fight ended up coming to fruition in August 2017 at the T-Mobile arena in Nevada.

McGregor temporarily laid off his profession as a mixed martial fighter to become a boxer and ushered Mayweather’s fruitful professional career. Suffice it to say, the fight was a blast for everyone, with Mayweather taking the win and ending up in good spirits with McGregor.

After all, who could feel sad then you’ve pocketed at least 50 million USD for both fighters, with Mayweather taking a quarter of a billion.

The fight lasted ten rounds, ending in a TKO and earning up to 800 million USD in revenue sales.

3. Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield 2 – 1997

Just like Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather, the name Mike Tyson is closely linked to Boxing, and when Tyson comes to fight, there’s money flowing around the stage.

In 1997, Mike Tyson was a household name for many titular fights, such as his bout with Evander Holyfield in the MGM Grand. The fight in question was a rematch, and one could say it was epic for the wrong reasons.

This fight also damaged Tyson’s career as a professional boxer, precisely when he bit Holyfield’s ear twice and instantly was disqualified from the fight. Although the bout was far from satisfying, the revenue and earnings were staggering.

Major news and sources say that the combined revenue from PPV and door sales amounted to 180 million USD, with both fighters still taking a good chunk despite the controversy.

4. Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson – 2002

(Photo Credit: PA:Press Association)

It’s another Tyson fight without the ear-biting stint. But this time, he took the fight to Lennox Lewis, Britain’s undisputed heavyweight champion of the time.

In a thrilling showdown between two heavyweight titans, Lewis and Tyson faced off in a fierce battle that had fans on the edge of their seats. Round after round, the tenacious Tyson traded blows with Lewis, igniting the arena with anticipation. However, it all came to a dramatic conclusion in round eight when a relentless assault from Lewis led to a TKO, declaring him the triumphant winner of the epic bout.

As expected, door sales and PPV gain were on the roof with 164 million USD.

5. Floyd Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya – 2007

(Photo credit: HBO)

Another Mayweather fight on the list, but this time it’s against Oscar De La Hoya. At this point, it shouldn’t be surprising to see Mayweather taking much cash in his fights.

However, it was Oscar’s turn to rake in more cash than Mayweather in his historical matchup despite Mayweather winning.

The fight was incredible, and many felt awesome, especially both fighters, taking in 20 million for Mayweather and 50 million for De La Hoya.

This was a turning point for Floyd in becoming ‘Money Mayweather‘.

6. Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez – 2013

(Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sport)

Canelo Alvarez was an upcoming fighter with much promise back in 2013. Before getting his big chance to put him on the map against Mayweather.

Interestingly, this fight turned out to one of Mayweather’s greatest performances. Giving Alvarez a complete boxing lesson as he tried to work out the boxing master in Mayweather.

Nevertheless, the event was a success, with overall sales coming up to 250 million USD above, with Canelo taking 11 million USD and Mayweather pocketing 79 million USD—still, a great fight between professionals and even more excellent pay.

Final Thoughts

Against many sports leagues and tournaments today, Boxing remains a primal sport for many sports fans and a world of money for fighters and organizers. With each punch thrown, that’s a million added in potential earnings. Win or lose, every fighter on the list leaves the stage with smiles, and the jackpot wins.

Be reminded that the figures mentioned are based on several public sources and not the official records of boxing organizations and promoters. Nevertheless, seeing the earnings can mean that every punch is worth it.

You may suffer bruises or even be knocked out, but top fighters know it’s worth it for a hefty payout. Although it can be tough and painful, experienced fighters understand that the reward is worth it. Even if they endure some bruises or even get knocked out, the payout can make all the difference to their future and family.

Hope you enjoyed this boxing list. Make sure to check out more similar related articles below or sign up for my boxing newsletter and get 5 Free discounts! 

Jamie - Boxing Life

I'm a boxing analyst, amateur boxer, and blogger looking to pass on my boxing experiences and passion to anyone looking to learn or find out more about the sport of boxing. Whether that be gear reviews, fighter analysis, news, training tips, or my own personal journey, I'll be covering it on 'Boxing Life'.

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