High-level boxing is easily one of the most exciting sports to follow, it’s up there with the NBA and NFL games. So it’s not really surprising that it’s also one of the highest-paying sports. World-renowned professional boxers make enormous money, and so do broadcasters. If you’re interested in how much exactly, here’s the list of the most expensive fights in boxing history.
Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson (1997). Source: New York Post
Boxing ain’t cheap
Boxing is for sure one of the biggest money-makers in the sports industry. Aside from the money made from views (which is a lot in itself), boxing is also big among sports bettors. Along with the casino providers that accept US dollars, betting sites offer quite easy and fun entertainment that can be enjoyed anywhere, even without a need to leave your house.
As to the tickets and PPV (pay-per-view), boxing is indeed on the more expensive side. To compare, you can get a decent ticket to an NBA game for about $200 but should be ready to pay $400 and more if you want to attend a high-level boxing fight om a decent seat. Even watching online isn’t really an affordable solution. For example, access to the live broadcast of a recent Teofimo Lopez fight cost as much as $49.99. So, let’s get back to the list of five popular fights that are considered to be the most expensive so far.
#5 Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson (1997)
The fifth most expensive fight in boxing history was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It was the second time Evander Holyfield faced Mike Tyson. The first was in 1996, and Holyfield won that time. He won the rematch as well after Tyson was disqualified for biting his opponent’s ear.
The fight grossed over £11 million at the gate and £81 from PPV. Together with Holyfied’s and Tyson’s prizes, it exceeded £145 million.
#4 Floyd Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya
The next three fights on this list all feature Floyd Mayweather, who is number one among the richest boxers in the world. Mayweather faced Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in May 2007. At the time, Mayweather was the underdog. It was this fight that put him on everyone’s radar after he won and earned the WBC super welterweight title. Counting the gate proceeds, PPV, and Mayweather’s and De La Hoya’s purses, the fight totaled £187 million.
#3 Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez
The fight between Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez in September 2013 was yet another win for Mayweather. Unsurprisingly, it also took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It was one of Mayweather’s most spectacular wins, and it made him about £60 million (against Alvarez’s modest £10 million). Together with the gate proceeds (£20 million) and PPV (£120 million), the fight totaled more than £214 million.
#2 Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor
The second most expensive fight ever happened between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. This comes as no surprise, seeing as both were already huge names in boxing by August 2017, when the fight took place.
It was one of the most anticipated fights in history. Mayweather defeated McGregor and made a record-breaking £223.5 million. Gate proceeds were £44 million, and PPV were £325 million. Overall, the fight totaled over £662 million.
#1 Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao
Finally, the top position on this list belongs to the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao held in May 2015 in Paradise, Nevada. By 2015, Mayweather and Pacquiao had been planning to face one another for over five years.
So, needless to say, boxing fans were thrilled to finally see their fight. Sadly, most critics agree that Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao (2015) was a bit of a disappointment. Nonetheless, with Mayweather’s £223.5 million, Pacquiao’s £122 million, about £58 million from the gate, and £333 million from PPV, the fight totaled £678 million and earned the title of the most expensive one in boxing history.