With decades of huge boxing events in stadiums all around the world and huge venues like Madison Square Garden and the MGM Grand, it’s safe to say boxers have earnt a few dollars over the years. In this article we look at who the ten highest paid boxers in history are.
The list includes the likes of George Foreman, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao and of course Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
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10 Highest Paid Boxers Of All Time
Counting down from 10 to 1, here are the the ten highest paid boxers of all time including fight purses and outer-ring business ventures…
10. Wladimir Klitschko – $65.5 Million Net Worth
Wladimir Klitschko is a former heavyweight boxer who competed from 1996 to 2017. The Ukrainian was a two-time heavyweight champion of the world, holding the IBF, WBO and WBA-Super titles at one stage or another.
Klitschko is highly regarded as one of the best heavyweights of all time, and retired in 2017 after a huge Wembley Stadium showdown with Anthony Joshua, in which the then 40-year-old was defeated by 11th round knockout.
However, Klitschko reigned supreme at heavyweight for over nine years and was standing tall at the heavyweight summit for quite some time. ‘Dr Steelhammer’ will go down in history as one of the greatest heavyweight ever and it comes as no surprise to see him kicking off our top 10 here.
9. Anthony Joshua – $96 Million Net Worth
Coming in at number nine is the two-time heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua. ‘AJ’ has had some monumental nights in his boxing career, from winning a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics to his huge nights at the likes of Wembley Stadium, Madison Square Garden, The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and those two fights in Saudi Arabia.
Despite having three losses on his resumé now, Joshua remains the biggest pay-per-view star in Britain. Joshua’s biggest pay day supposedly came in his rematch with Andy Ruiz in 2019 in the Saudi Arabian desert, where he reportedly earnt almost $70 million.
Of course, net worth is just an estimate based on earnings, so don’t be surprised if Joshua’s actual worth was a lot higher than $96 million.
There are still some huge fights out there for the Watford man, that is for sure. If he does end up fighting the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, don’t be surprised to see his name right up near the very top of this list when he eventually retires from the sport.
8. Tyson Fury – $113.5 Million Net Worth
In at number eight is Joshua’s fellow British heavyweight and potential opponent one day, Tyson Fury. Fury has made a heap load of cash since his return to boxing after his long absence, including the trilogy with Wilder and the Wembley showdown with Dillian Whyte.
Last time out in his fight with ‘The Body Snatcher’ Fury reportedly earnt a career highest payday of £30 million. Of course other big purses have come along the way with the Klitschko fight back when he first won the heavyweight title in 2016, and the money Fury has earnt in the WWE amongst other business ventures too.
There has been much talk of a fight with ‘AJ’ being made for the back end of this year, so if that is the case, Fury’s worth would catapult him right up this list. That and a potential crossover fight with UFC heavyweight king, Francis Ngannou, could see ‘The Gypsy King’ break into the top five for sure.
7. Sugar Ray Leonard – $120 Million Net Worth
Known as one of the four kings, Sugar Ray Leonard comes in at number seven and is highly regarded as one of the best fighters to ever grace the boxing ring.
Leonard won world titles in five weight division from welterweight all the way up to super-middleweight, as well as a gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics to add to his long list of achievements.
The American had a plethora of big paydays against the likes of Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Donny Lalonde. Leonard’s highest payday came against Roberto Duran in their trilogy but, where he reportedly earnt north of $15 million.
Of course, if ‘Sugar Ra’ was about now in this era, he could well be right up there with the likes of Floyd Mayweather, but there was less money in boxing back in his day. That doesn’t stop him from making the top 10 highest earning boxers of all time though, in at number seven.
6. Lennox Lewis – $140 Million Net Worth
In at number six and the highest earning British boxer of all time is none other than Lennox Lewis. Lewis fought the who’s who of the heavyweight division, earning huge paydays against the likes of Evander Holyfield, Frank Bruno and Shannon Briggs.
Lewis’ biggest payday was against worldwide boxing superstar, Mike Tyson. This fight reportedly generated $112 for the British heavyweight, with his huge purse and over two million pay-per-view buys increasing this number. Tyson vs Lewis still makes history today, and is the fifth most bought PPV event of all time.
Again, Like Sugar Ray Leonard, if Lennox Lewis was around now, he’s be right up there contending for the number one spot on this illustrious list. Lewis was an animal in the ring and certainly earnt his money.
5. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez – $164 Million Net Worth
As we embark on the top five of the highest paid boxers of all time, the name ‘Canelo’ was sure to pop up at some stage. Along with Fury and Joshua, Canelo is the last boxer on the list who is still active within the professional environment.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fought Floyd Mayweather back in 2013, which so far has been the most lucrative of his career with over 2.2 million PPV buys. Canelo still has a multi-fight deal with streaming giants DAZN, so will continue to climb this list as his career evolves until he eventually retires.
The Mexican has had three fights with Gennady Golovkin, as well as huge bouts with the likes of Dmitry Bivol, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto and Sergey Kovalev. It comes as no surprise at all to see Canelo’s name in the top five highest paid boxers of all time.
4. Manny Pacquiao – $190 Million Net Worth
In at number four is one of the most entertaining and likeable boxers of all time. Manny Pacquiao’s net worth stands at approximately $190 million, with the Filipino retiring from the sport just last year.
Like a lot of the names on this list, Pacquiao’s biggest payday came against Floyd Mayweather, with the fight reportedly generating an astonishing $600 million as well as becoming the highest grossing pay-per-view event in history.
‘Pac-Man’ won world titles in a record eight division, from flyweight all the way up to light-middleweight. He fought all of the biggest and best names throughout his career, earning huge paydays along the way against the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Marco Antonio Barrera and many more.
Pacquiao is now the Senator of the Philippines, and has used his millions to help the less fortunate people in his home country. Just missing out on a podium finish, but a shoe in for a top five spot here.
3. Oscar De La Hoya – $200 Million Net Worth
Kicking off the top three highest paid boxers of all time is the self proclaimed ‘Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya.
De La Hoya is a former six-division world champion, who fought the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Felix Trinidad and Bernard Hopkins as well as many more great boxers. His highest purse recorded was supposedly one of the last fight of his career against Mayweather, where he earnt $52 million.
The Mexican has continued to earn huge money in boxing circles and is now a promotor, setting up ‘Golden Boy Promotions’ and working with some huge names in today’s boxing. Vergil Ortiz Jr, Jaime Munguia, Gilberto Ramirez and Ryan Garcia are just some of the name De La Hoya has worked or continues to work with.
Again, the fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2007 was the biggest payday for ‘Golden Boy’, like a few of the other fighters on this list who shared a ring with ‘Money’. This is just one of the reason De La Hoya ranks so highly on this list and gets us started on our top three highest paid boxers of all time.
2. George Foreman – $300 Million Net Worth
In at number two and perhaps a shock inclusion to some people due to the fact his career ended in 1997 is George Foreman.
Foreman has 81 fights in his professional boxing career, including fights the likes of Evander Holyfield, Joe Frazier and the great boxer to ever live, Muhammad Ali. ‘Big George’ has certainly cemented himself as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, and it comes as no surprise to see him on this list if you think of his career after boxing.
Foreman has made over $200 million alone from his George Foreman grill, with the culinary item earning him far more money than what he earnt inside the ring. Again, if Foreman was around in today’s heavyweight era where boxers generally earn far more, he could make a case for being first on this list.
Foreman sits as the richest heavyweight on this list, and can continue to grill sandwiches or steaks to his hearts content, knowing that he is one of the richest boxers of all time.
Now for the highest paid boxer of all time…
1. Floyd Mayweather – $560 Million Net Worth
In at number one and certainly no surprise to the vast majority of boxing fans, is the money man himself, Mr Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Mayweather is nicknamed ‘Money’ for a reason. He has earnt stacks of cash from professional boxing, exhibitions, WWE appearances, sponsorships and of course his promotional company too, Mayweather Promotions.
The now 45-year-old gifted many of his opponents their biggest paydays, as you have seen after reading this list. As well as this, Mayweather has been involved in the four most bought pay-per-view events of all time.
The famous fight with Pacquiao in 2015 saw Mayweather earn upwards of $250 million, not to mention how much he likely made through sponsorship and the PPV gate.
Since retiring, Floyd has continued to make serious amounts of money through exhibition bouts against the likes of YouTube sensation, Logan Paul. Mayweather retired with an unblemished 50-0 record, with his last win earning him an absolute fortune too, beating the UFC star, Conor McGregor, to bring up that illustrious 50th win.
Floyd Mayweather himself believes he is the best fighter to ever grace the planet, and you’d not want to argue with him. At the end of the day, who else was it ever going to be right at the top of this list?