With the announcement that Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is finally going to happen, many thought about how much this fight will generate. Answer: A lot! It will shatter all boxing financial records. With the help of CBS and Showtime, Mayweather could earn up $120 million for 12 rounds, if that, of boxing, while Pacquiao will make around $80 million. Boxing depends so much on pay-per-view sales and will continue to do so, but this time it’ll be at a premium price come May 5. Only if Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson were fighting today, they could probably beat Mayweather records. Here are boxing’s richest fights.
5. Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield – June 28, 1997 – $100.2 million
In probably the most talked-about boxing match ever, Mike Tyson racked in $30 million after biting part of the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield. It was the rematch after the Holyfield put a beating on Tyson for 11 rounds in the first bout. It was a huge upset, and as a result, Holyfield v. Tyson II became highly marketable. Tyson made $30 million, while Holyfield collected $33 million as the champion. In addition to 1.9 million pay-per-view buys, the fight made $100 million with tickets sales. Many fans felt ripped off as the fight ended in the third round when Tyson got a piece of Holyfield’s ear.
4. Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson – June 8, 2002 – $112 million
If a heavyweight fight involved Mike Tyson, the bout would make a ridiculous amount of cash. In his final heavyweight fight, champion Lennox Lewis of the UK kept his title belt after knocking out Tyson in the eighth round after taking a heavy right hook. The fight had nearly 2 million pay-per-view buys and the Pyramid in Memphis (host) charged $2,400 per ticket, generating $112 million.
3. Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. – May 5, 2007 – $136 million
After Mike Tyson got into some trouble and left boxing, Floyd Mayweather started to build his reputation as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Mayweather took over the WBC light middleweight championship from Oscar De La Hoya on May 5, 2007, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where it generated $19 million in ticket sales and beating the record of $16.8 million set by the heavyweight championship rematch between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson at the Thomas & Mack Center. HBO had a record 2.4 million pay-per-view buys at $55 each.
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul Alvarez – Sept. 13, 2013 – $150 million
In 2013, Mayweather hit the jackpot. Mayweather and CBS/Showtime signed a six-fight deal that could pay him over $250 million, depending on pay-per-view sales. Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez (the One) was the second of Mayweather’s six-fight deal, which generated $150 million. The fight won by Mayweather became the second-largest pay-per-view event in boxing behind De La Hoya vs. Mayweather. Mayweather alone made $41.5 million in 12 rounds of boxing.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao – May 2, 2015 – $250 million
The much-anticipated bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will finally happen May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This fight is going to drown in money. It is expected to shatter every financial record in boxing. Mayweather could earn $120 million, while Pacquiao’ s split of the purse will likely be around $80 million. According to some reports, the pay-per-view fight could cost households $100 and $110 for the HD signal. MGM is also expected to make $20 million in ticket sales, so expect a single ticket to be in the thousands. Oddsmakers expect Mayweather to prevail, making him a 2 1/2-1 favorite in the scheduled 12-round bout.