When two of the world’s top boxers meet in the ring, generational wealth is often just 12 rounds or less away.
Boxing promoters are experts at building hype and anticipation for the sport’s biggest events, with fans waiting months, or sometimes even years, for top-tier bouts. For example, Floyd “Money” Mayweather and his longtime bitter rival Manny Pacquiao traded barbs on social media for years before they ever traded punches in the ring.
Before major matches, representatives for each fighter negotiate terms on a split of revenue from pay-per-view orders, ticket sales, sponsorship deals and other sources of revenue. Each of the sport’s four richest fights in history have a common theme – they all included Mayweather, who retired with a perfect record of 50-0.
FOX Business breaks down the richest boxing purses in history below.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, Aug. 2017
Mayweather’s take: $275 million
McGregor’s take: $85 million
The exhibition bout between Mayweather and brash UFC champion McGregor drew unprecedented fanfare, attracting casual fans and diehard combat sports enthusiasts alike. While Mayweather was guaranteed a $100 million and McGregor guaranteed $30 million at the fight’s outset, PPV buys and other sources of revenue pushed their final haul much higher.
The fight drew 4.3 million PPV buys, the second-most in history. Mayweather won in the 10th round via TKO.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, May 2015
Mayweather’s take: $250 million
Pacquiao’s take: $150 million
A years-long feud between Mayweather and Pacquiao came to a head in this fight, which was billed as the “Fight of the Century.” The match shattered records for PPV buys with 4.6 million, but was considered a largely dull affair by viewers. Mayweather won by unanimous decision.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Sept. 2013
Mayweather’s take: More than $80 million
Alvarez’s take: Roughly $12 million
Mayweather and Alvarez each entered this 2013 match without a loss on their record, with the lineal light middleweight title on the line. Mayweather won via majority decision after 12 rounds and collected a much larger paycheck than his rival. However, Alvarez received his own record windfall years later, when he signed an exclusive fight deal with streaming service DAZN worth $365 million over five years.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Oscar de la Hoya, May 2007
De la Hoya’s take: $52 million
Mayweather’s take: $25 million
This clash between Mayweather and “The Golden Boy” was the biggest fight of its era, setting records for PPV buys and revenue that lasted for nearly a decade. Mayweather won by split decision in 12 rounds and earned the WBC light middleweight title in the process.