Thursday, April 18

13 Biggest Payouts In Boxing History, Ranked By Earnings

Highlights

  • Professional boxers can earn massive payouts, with some reaching up to $280 million for a single fight.
  • Anthony Joshua earned $25 million for his bout against Andy Ruiz Jr. despite losing his titles.
  • Saudi Arabia has become a hub for high-profile boxing events, with Jake Paul earning $30 million for his fight against Tommy Fury in the country.



The world of professional boxing is a wild one. While boxers aren’t the highest-paid athletes overall, at the top level, they’re up there. Famously, Floyd Mayweather became one of the wealthiest athletes of all time by becoming a hated draw who picked fights with some of the biggest names in the sport.

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However, ‘Money’ is far from the only one to get much of that in his boxing career. These ten payouts are among the biggest in the sport’s history and reflect the contests’ enormity. Win, or lose in the ring, these fighters scored a victory in their bank account.


13 Anthony Joshua (vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.)

Reported Payout: $25 Million


  • In 2019, Anthony Joshua was set to face Jarrell Miller.
  • ‘Big Baby’ was replaced by Andy Ruiz Jr. after several drug test failures.
  • ‘AJ’ lost his titles to Ruiz Jr., but still walked away with $25 million.


In the summer of 2019, Anthony Joshua was set to face Jarrell Miller in his United States debut. However, ‘Big Baby’ failed a drug test, and was pulled in favor of the lightly regarded Andy Ruiz Jr. As a 25-to-1 underdog, ‘The Destroyer’ shocked the world.


Ruiz Jr. wound up scoring a knockout win over the British boxer. But, it wasn’t all bad for Joshua, as he reportedly walked away with a $25 million purse for the bout.

12 Jake Paul (vs. Tommy Fury)

Reported Payout: $30 Million


  • Saudi Arabia has begun handing out massive payouts for boxing events.
  • Last year, they brought over Jake Paul and Tommy Fury to fight.
  • ‘The Problem Child’ lost, but walked away with $30 million.


In case you missed it, Saudi Arabia is now the home to most high-profile boxing events. Last year, they brought over Jake Paul, for the first time to face an actual professional boxer in the form of Tommy Fury.


The bout saw ‘TNT’ largely just dominate Paul with his jab to secure a decision victory. Still, it wasn’t all bad news for the YouTuber, who revealed that he earned $30 million from the event.

11 Mike Tyson (vs. Evander Holyfield) 2

Reported Payout: $30 Million


  • Mike Tyson’s 1997 rematch with Evander Holyfield was massive.
  • The event generated $180 million dollars in revenue.
  • ‘Iron Mike’ was disqualified, but earned $30 million.


The two-fight series between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield is still one of the craziest rivalries in boxing history. While their first outing saw ‘The Real Deal’ claim a knockout win in 1996, their rematch the following year was even crazier.


‘Iron Mike’ was famously disqualified in round three, for biting off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear. While his second straight loss saw him suspended for quite a while, it wasn’t all bad for Tyson. He reportedly made $30 million dollars that night.

10 Canelo Alvarez (vs. Sergey Kovalev)

Reported Payout: $35 Million


  • In October 2018, Canelo Alvarez signed a $365 million deal with DAZN.
  • The following year, he faced Sergey Kovalev for light-heavyweight gold.
  • Alvarez reportedly made $35 million from the bout.


In 2019, Canelo Alvarez decided to venture up to light-heavyweight. The Mexican superstar was looking to make history as a three-weight world champion and faced Sergey Kovalev. For those who remember, this was around the time that Alvarez signed his massive deal with DAZN.


As a result, he wound up making $35 million against Kovalev. To top it off, he scored a highlight-reel knockout win over ‘The Krusher’ to make history.

9 Evander Holyfield (vs. Mike Tyson) 2

Reported Payout: $35 Million


  • Evander Holyfield first defeated Mike Tyson by knockout in 1996.
  • That first victory saw him earn a larger split in their rematch.
  • ‘The Real Deal’ earned $35 million dollars, and a second win over Tyson.


Yeah, so Evander Holyfield got a chunk of his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson in their 1997 rematch. However, it wasn’t all bad news for the former cruiserweight, as he reportedly earned $35 million that night.


‘The Real Deal’ reportedly earned more due to winning their first bout, and being the reigning heavyweight champion. While Holyfield and Tyson were a part of some big fights, they never earned more than when they faced each other.

8 Canelo Alvarez (vs. Gennadiy Golovkin) 3

Reported Payout: $45 Million


  • This fight was made prior to Canelo Alvarez’s upset loss to Dmitry Bivol.
  • Instead of a rematch at light-heavyweight, he went through with the trilogy bout with ‘GGG’.
  • The historic third bout saw Alvarez earn $45 million dollars.


Canelo Alvarez’s 2022 trilogy with Gennadiy Golovkin wasn’t exactly the most exciting fight of his career. It took place following a loss to Dmitry Bivol, and it was clear that the bout was little more than a tune-up.

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Alvarez dominated the aging ‘GGG’ that night, winning by a lopsided unanimous decision. Furthermore, he earned a lot of money from this trilogy bout, pulling in a purse of $45 million.

7 Tyson Fury (vs. Francis Ngannou)

Reported Payout: $50 Million


  • Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou took place in Saudi Arabia.
  • The country has recently given out massive paydays to multiple boxers.
  • ‘The Gypsy King’ was no different, earning $50 million.


Much like Canelo Alvarez’s trilogy with Gennadiy Golovkin, this fight wasn’t that hyped going in. However, Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou actually had a very competitive and interesting bout earlier this year in Saudi Arabia.


‘The Gypsy King’ narrowly avoided one of the biggest upsets in boxing history by split decision. However, it’s hard to feel that bad for Fury. He reportedly made $50 million from the Saudis for this event.

6 Oscar De La Hoya (vs. Floyd Mayweather)

Reported Payout: $52 Million


  • Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather was massive.
  • This passing of the torch bout saw ‘Pretty Boy’ win by decision.
  • ‘Golden Boy’ earned a then-record $52 million.


Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather’s 2007 bout was one of the biggest in boxing history. Famously, ‘Golden Boy’ nearly gave ‘Pretty Boy’ the only loss of his career. However, Mayweather pulled out the win by a split decision.


While Mayweather earned $25 million, De La Hoya drew a then-record $52 million dollars for the fight. However, he didn’t hold the record for long.

5 Floyd Mayweather (vs. Canelo Alvarez)

Reported Payout: $80 Million


  • ‘The One’ was the tagline for Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez.
  • ‘Money’ dominated this battle of undefeated champions.
  • He earned $80 million dollars in the process.


In terms of an actual fight, Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez was quite disappointing. ‘Money’ used his defensive prowess to dominate the young Mexican boxer, winning by majority decision.


All in all, it was a really easy night of work for Mayweather. To make it even better, he reportedly earned $80 million dollars on that night in September 2013.

4 Conor McGregor (vs. Floyd Mayweather)

Reported Payout: $130 Million


  • ‘The Notorious’ made his boxing debut in 2017.
  • Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather drew 4.3 million pay-per-view buys.
  • The Irishman earned over $100 million thanks to the massive contest.


One can expect a theme from this entry onwards. Conor McGregor’s 2017 boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather was years in the making. While the Irishman was becoming a star in the UFC octagon, he was teasing a future bout with ‘Money’.

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McGregor didn’t win this fight but provided a much better performance than many expected. To make matters better, he pulled in $100 million dollars, a career-high for him.

3 Manny Pacquiao (vs. Floyd Mayweather)

Reported Payout: $150 Million


  • Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather was hailed as ‘The Fight of the Century’.
  • ‘Money’ won the 2015 bout by unanimous decision.
  • ‘PacMan’ walked away with $150 million.


It turns out that making fans wait for a big fight can lead to a massive payday. In 2015, fans finally got to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight, years after they should’ve. All in all, it was an okay bout, that saw ‘Money’ win by decision.


While it wasn’t that exciting of a bout, it was an incredibly profitable one. For his part, ‘PacMan’ profited $150 million from this ‘Fight of the Century’.

2 Floyd Mayweather (vs. Manny Pacquiao)

Reported Payout: $250 Million


  • Floyd Mayweather had a larger split than Manny Pacquiao did.
  • As a result, he earned $100 million more.
  • Mayweather’s $250 million dollar payout was a then-record.


Floyd Mayweather famously looked at boxing as a business more than a sport. ‘Money’ was willing to take years to get a fight, if it happened on his terms, and would net him more money. That was the case with his 2015 bout with Pacquiao.


Mayweather reportedly pulled in $250 million dollars that night, $100 million more than his opponent. While a huge night for business, it wasn’t even the biggest fight of his career.

1 Floyd Mayweather (vs. Conor McGregor)

Reported Payout: $280 Million


  • Much like his bout against Pacquiao, Mayweather again had a large split.
  • Unlike ‘The Notorious’, the UFC didn’t take a chunk of his purse.
  • Mayweather’s $280 million dollar payout is the largest in boxing history.


Whereas Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao was a fight that had been wanted for years, Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor was a money grab. Everyone knew it, and so did the boxers. They did a worldwide press tour, and tons of press, and it paid off.


Mayweather made $280 million dollars against ‘The Notorious’ in August 2017. While the fight was little more than an exhibition, it was an incredibly profitable one.

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