When Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao finally go head to head on May 2 at MGM Grand Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, history will be made.
Not only will Mayweather have a chance to increase his unbeaten record to 48-0 and finally put a check next to Pacquiao’s name for the history books, but the financial figures of the bout will make this the biggest pay-per-view event in history.
Boxing fans in the United States will fork over between $89.99 and $100 to watch this duo share the square circle and tickets to see the fight live were limited and ranged between $1,500-$7,000 originally. All this adds up to a pair of boxers bringing in somewhere around $280,000,000.
But this isn’t the first boxing event that benefitted from the huge revenues PPV can provide. With the mega fight just around the corner we took a look at the top 10 PPV boxing matches based on total revenues.
Check out our boxing betting page where you can obviously bet on the winner, but also put your cash down on unique props like total knockdowns, winning round, method of victory, PPV numbers and even if Mayweather’s $25,000 mouth guard will be knocked out.
So what were the biggest PPV fights of all time?
The Top Ten List
|September 14th 2013||Floyd Mayweather Junior vs Saul Alvarez||$150,000,000|
|5th May 2007||Floyd Mayweather Junior vs Oscar De La Hoya||$136,000,000|
|8th June 2002||Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson||$112,000,000|
|28th June 1997||Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield||$100,200,000|
|19th August 1995||Mike Tyson vs Peter McNeeley||$96,000,000|
|5th May 2012||Floyd Mayweather vs Miguel Cotto||$94,000,000|
|19th April 1991||Evander Holyfield vs George Foreman||$80,000,000|
|9th November 1996||Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield 2||$77,900,000|
|7th May 2011||Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Moseley||$75,000,000|
|18th September 1999||Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Trinidad||$64,000,000|
Most Prolific PPV boxers
Floyd Mayweather Jr’s ‘Money’ alias is hugely appropriate given his financial clout, but he comes second to Mike Tyson when looking at the top 10 PPV bouts. ‘Iron Mike’ featured in four of the top 10 grossing bouts, ahead of Floyd Mayweather and the ‘Real Deal’ Evander Holyfield who have both featured in three.
Mexican-American Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya has featured in two of the top 10, while Lennox Lewis, Miguel Cotto, Saul Alvarez, Peter McNeeley, Shane Moseley, Felix Trinidad, George Foreman and Manny Pacquiao have all featured in one.
Going the distance?
In optimistic news for fans looking for value for money, six (60 percent) of the top 10 PPV events have gone the full 12 rounds – meaning more boxing for your money.
The four that finished before the distance saw knockouts in Round 1 (Tyson/McNeeley), Round 8 (Lewis/Tyson), Round 11 (Holyfield/Tyson) and a Round 3 disqualification via an infamous ear bite in the rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
PPV fights tend to be close, as you’d expect from great and mostly well-matched rivals. PPV fight nights are rarely without controversy and debate – expect more of the same on May 2.
Purses and punches
Ultimately, the sheer amount of money in the fights can garner more coverage than the fights themselves. So, just how much money are the fighters making per minute and how much are these fights costing fans?
Price Per Minute (Method: Total PPV Gross, divided by unit buys, divided by minutes the fight lasted)
When Mike Tyson was released from jail, Don King’s dollars ensured a return clash against ‘Great White Hope’ Peter McNeeley – an Irish-American brawler with an impressive looking record. Unfortunately, McNeeley was more ‘dope’ than ‘hope’ and was knocked out 90 seconds into the first round that turned out to be the only round.
Though most PPV fans were tuning in to watch this sort of destructive performance from Tyson, the price-per-minute cost made for an eye-watering squeeze on the subscribers’ wallets. With a global audience paying just under $62 per head for the fight, the early finish meant a cost of $41.29 per minute for the viewer – the worst value of any PPV fight.
Mike Tyson is also responsible for the second most economically inefficient fight in the top 10. His constant biting of Evander Holyfield saw him disqualified at the end of the third round, resulting in that PPV event costing the boxing fan $5.59 a minute for the farcical action. Tyson completed a hat-trick of most expensive per minute bouts when he was knocked out in Round 8 against Lennox Lewis. The fight cost the global audience $56.85 to buy, resulting in a cost of $2.47 per minute.
Unsurprisingly, those that go the difference offer a much better value when it comes to price-per-minute. Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Trinidad in 1999 cost a comparatively cheap $45.71 to buy and, in going the full distance, resulted in an affordable $1.27 per minute ratio.
In reassuring news for those looking to purchase Pacquiao/Mayweather, all of the top 10 PPV fights involving these two have gone the distance. Mayweather’s fights featured in the top 10 events have cost the viewer an average of $1.73 per minute, Pacquiao’s fight against Shane Moseley cost just $1.49 per minute.
Of course, the best value of the night will be at Sports Interaction, where the team has a prop bet on the fight to match every star in the audience, prop bets that can be found here. Total rounds, total knockdowns, winning round, method of victory and all the props to do with the PPV figures are all available!