Mayweather, McGregor, Tyson, Pacquiao, Joshua: Boxing's biggest fight purses

Mayweather, McGregor, Tyson, Pacquiao, Joshua: Boxing's biggest fight purses

Back in 2015, Floyd Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao was known for being the biggest contest in the history of the sport in terms of finance.

But would it still take top spot with inflation taken into account for older fights? Or will it be usurped as the biggest purse in boxing history?

The Mirror have compiled a list of the top 10 fight purses, taking the price of inflation into account to get a more accurate perception of some bouts pre-millennium.

10. Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko – 2017 – Inflation Value: £35,511,000

Kicking off the list we have Anthony Joshua, one of the biggest names in British boxing, with arguably his biggest win to date.

In front of a packed home crowd at Wembley, Joshua picked up the win after both fighters were downed by the other in a top quality contest.

9. Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin – 2018 – Inflation Value: £37,094,400

While arguably not as big of a win as that over Klitschko, Joshua’s fight a year after actually brought in a bigger pay check, with the added TV deals from his success bumping up the revenue.

Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 22: Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin trade punches during the IBF, WBA Super, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on September 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Once again at Wembley, the home favourite put on a show for his crowd, dominating the fight and stopping the Russian in round seven, handing him his second career defeat and first stoppage.

8. Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez – 2013 – Inflation Value: £56,322,000

Coming in at number eight, we have Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather entering the fray. With a name like that, it’s no surprise he’ll dominate a list like this!

Arguably the greatest boxer of all time, Mayweather took on a raw Canelo Alvarez in 2013, winning the fight by a majority decision after 12 rounds.

7. Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson – 2020 – Inflation Value: £66,858,000

A YouTuber vs basketball star makes it onto the list, interestingly, it wasn’t the main event on the night.

Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 28: Jake Paul reacts over his knockout victory against Nate Robinson in the second round during Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at Staples Center on November 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Triller)

The pair fought on the Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr undercard, with the YouTube sensation dispatching of his opponent with ease in two rounds.

6. Logan Paul vs Floyd Mayweather – 2021 – Inflation Value: £76,958,000

Another Paul makes the list in one of the strangest bouts in history. Logan Paul taking on the man many deem as the greatest boxer of all time?!

The exhibition fight was bought on pay-per-view by over a million fans, with Paul managing to hang on for all eight rounds against Money.

5. Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney – 1982 – Inflation Value: £152,510,000

This Las Vegas blockbuster saw 29,000 fans enter Caesar’s Palace to see this heavyweight title clash, with inflation showing us the true purse of the fight.

Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney
NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 05: Boxing legends Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney attend the premiere of “Lights Out” at Hudson Theatre on January 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

We know this fight would’ve made over £150 million if it happened today, with Larry Holmes defeating Gerry Cooney in a classic.

4. Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield 2 – 1997 – Inflation Value: £153,671,500

Mike Tyson’s second fight with Evander Holyfield will always be known for that crazy disqualification for Iron Mike, who bit a chunk of his opponent’s ear off!

However, after losing the first bout, Tyson’s second chance saw him make mega bucks after a huge purse is estimated with inflation.

3. Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor – 2017 – Inflation Value: £154,219,000

No surprise to see Mayweather back on the list, this time against UFC star Conor McGregor. Arguably the two biggest names in their respective sports, this had all the makings of a financial classic.

Mayweather vs McGregor
LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 26: (R-L) Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws a punch at Conor McGregor during their super welterweight boxing match on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

That’s exactly what it did, over 4.3 million people paid for the fight branded ‘The Money Fight’ which saw an unsurprising result as Mayweather took the W as expected.

2. Roberto Duran vs Sugar Ray Leonard 2 – 1980 – Inflation Value: £336,438,000

Another old school classic takes home the silver medal in this list. The second meeting between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard was their biggest financially.

It was revenge for Leonard, who avenged defeat in the first clash, by famously forcing Duran to quit while sat in his corner, saying ‘no mas’ to the referee.

1. Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao – 2015 – Inflation Value: £366,060,000

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s history-making Las Vegas fight saw them both make hundreds of millions from the bout.

It’s ‘Money’ who fittingly took the plaudits from the fight, winning via unanimous decision from the judges.

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