The world of combat sports is renowned for its blockbuster fights and mind spinning pay-outs for the biggest names around. Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather didn’t earn his nickname for being undefeated, but for negotiating many of the biggest purses in history.
Those fighters at the top of their game have to make every fight count, only scheduling a few bouts a year to maximise the ROI for the toll their bodies go through before, during and after bouts. But which fights had the most on the line? Who’s always making bank? And who are some of history’s biggest earners?
To find out, Parimatch has analysed the biggest boxing purses through the decades, adjusting them for inflation, and laying the finances bare.
Boxing Purses By Weight Class
Looking across 100 years of boxing, Parimatch explored some of the most iconic bouts from all corners that make up over £2 billion in adjusted purses.
The list contains fights from all eras with legends such as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Leonard joining the roster, alongside more modern champions with the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Tyson Fury, and Anthony Joshua.
Additionally, the research includes exhibition and catchweight fights featuring competitors from the world of mixed martial arts and the emerging YouTuber scene with new wave superstars KSI, Logan Paul and Jake Paul all making their way to the ring. Bringing with them a much younger and newer audience to ringside.
While professional fights accumulate most of the collective prize monies across the eras, exhibition and non-sanctioned bouts are becoming increasingly popular, with purses totalling £262 million since 2018.
Welterweight championship fights were found to have the biggest boxing purses, with Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao in 2015 boasting the biggest purse in boxing history. However, only three Welterweight bouts made the list. Whereas the high paying heavyweight bouts occurred almost ten times as frequent.