Floyd Mayweather has lived up to his ‘Money’ nickname well by dominating the list of highest-grossing boxing fights of all time.
The pay-per-view king divided opinion during his 50–0 career, but always produced results in the ring, both in terms of performance and pay checks.
Heavyweight legend Mike Tyson was also well compensated through his up and down campaign – around £400m in total.
And here, SunSport brings to an end the most fascinating bouts of all time.
1. Mayweather v. Pacquiao, May 2015
Fans’ five-year wait for the two-pound kings, known as the ‘Fight of the Century’, finally came to an end in 2015.
Unfortunately, the bout didn’t deliver anything in terms of enthusiasm, despite a long-lasting build-up – but it did in revenue.
Mayweather’s tactical masterclass as he outpointed Pacquiao and sold a record 4.6m PPV and recorded the highest gate in history.
His wallets were also phenomenal, as the fight turned out to be the richest ever.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao Breakdown
PPV – £333m
Gate – £58.7m –
Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m
Pacquiao’s purse: £122m
2. Mayweather vs. McGregor, August 2017
After announcing the UFC star McGregor would cross to face Mayweather, it was quickly dubbed ‘The Money Fight’.
And it lived up to its name as the figures show.
But it could not manage to surpass the PPV and gate records set by Mayweather and Pacquiao two years ago.
Mayweather, who won round ten, matched the purse he built against Pacman, while McGregor’s net worth skyrocketed following his commendable boxing debut.
Mayweather vs McGregor Breakdown
PPV – £325m
Gate – £44m
Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m
McGregor’s purse: £70m
3. Mayweather v Canelo, September 2013
When Canelo took the pound-for-pound No. 1 challenge, boxing fans tuned in to see if the puzzle of defeating Mayweather could finally be solved.
But Money nonetheless came out on top with a one-point decision and laughed all the way to the bank as the fight broke a then PPV record with 2.2m sales and £120m revenue.
The gate for the headliner brought in only £20m, despite packing over 16,000 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Yet it ranks as the third richest fight in boxing history, with Canelo becoming a star of his own since the humble defeat.
Mayweather vs Canelo Breakdown
PPV – £120m
Gate – £20m
Mayweather’s purse: £65m
Canelo’s purse: £9.7m
4. Mayweather v De La Hoya, May 2007
When Mayweather switched to light-middleweight to defeat De La Hoya—it was the last time he would do so as a B-side fighter.
The victory cemented the flamboyant American known at the time as ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ – the sport’s No.
It initially broke box office records and Mayweather later adopted the nickname Money.
Although a lucrative rematch failed to materialize, it was one of several mega-money payouts 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 was outboxed and stopped Tyson for the heavyweight title in 1996, it set off a lucrative rematch the following year.
But it will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, as Tyson cut Holyfield twice before being disqualified in round three.
Later known as ‘Bight Fight’, it bought 1,990,000 PPV – still the highest number ever bought for a heavyweight fight.
His purse formed the highest combined figure for any fight until it was disbanded 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 eventually set the score in 2002 – but it was too late.
Tyson was a fading heavyweight, while Lewis reigned as the undisputed champion, winning in the eighth round.
Expensive ticket sales eventually reached 15,000 and broke 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