Just the sheer hype that surrounded the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight should inform us that boxing is amongst the most lucrative sports in the world.Championship matches generate revenues to the tune of billions of dollars and the boxers too take home fat cheques in the wake of these highly publicised matches. Mayweather, in the run-up to the Welterweight Championship match against Pacquiao had already made a whopping 105 million dollars, putting over the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods in annual earnings.Let us take a look at ten of the highest paid boxers in history.
#1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. (USD 179 million)
It had been over four decades since the famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, a slugfest that had featured Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, in what was called the ‘Fight of the Century’. Among the other memorable fights in the 20th century were the contests between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield among others. However, the 21st century was still awaiting a contest worthy of the sobriquet ‘Fight of the Century’.
The Floyd Mayweather Jr.– Manny Pacquiao match put an end to that weight. Pacquiao was a two-time welterweight champion heading into the match while Mayweather Jr. was yet to lose even a single match in his already illustrious career. Mayweather Jr. had, in fact won the Featherweight, Welterweight, Middleweight championships on multiple occasions heading into the match.
In what was probably one of the most widely-watched sporting contests in recent times, the revenue from the encounter was of astronomic proportions. Conservative estimates pegged the overall revenue from the fight at 500 million (USD).
In a riveting match, Mayweather Jr. prevailed over Pacquiao (Mayweather scored 116 points to Pacquiao’s 112) to earn a staggering 179 million USD from the fight. In 2012, Mayweather Jr. earned the biggest guaranteed purse when he fought Miguel Cotto for the Middleweight championship.