15 Highest-Paid Boxers of All Time (2024 Edition)

Most people don’t get into boxing for the money, but some of the most elite boxers have made an astonishing amount of money. It’s great to see how their hard work in the sport has earned them riches and propelled them to legendary status. Today, we’ll be discussing the highest-paid boxers of all time.

Highest paid boxers of all time featured image

We’ll be ranking the richest boxers based on how much they’ve made from multiple sources of income related to their boxing career.

List of the Highest-Paid Boxers

15. Muhammad Ali – $60 Million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Muhammad Ali: The Documentary

Career Length 31 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 56 wins, 5 losses
Net Worth: $60 million

Would any list of boxers truly be complete without mention of Muhammed Ali, one of the all-time greats in the boxing ring and beyond?!

Muhammed Ali is famous for his hard work inside the ring and out – including his passionate activism for black civil rights and humanitarian work. Inarguably, Ali is deserving of every penny there is to his name.

Ali was born on January 17th, 1942, in Kentucky. From a young age, Ali was ready to stand up for himself. The roots of Ali’s career can be traced back to a red and white Schwinn bicycle.

In October 1945, when Ali was 12 years old, his bicycle was stolen. When reporting the incident to police officer Joe Martin, Ali vowed that he would pummel the culprit. Martin, a boxing trainer himself, took Ali under his wing, and six weeks later, the young Ali won his first bout via split decision. In 1960, Ali won his first Olympic gold medal.

The legendary fighter was not always known as Muhammed Ali. Ali’s birth name, Cassius Clay, was honored by a white abolitionist. His last fight under the name Cassius Clay also happened to be his first big title fight.

In that fight, Ali defeated Sonny Liston, becoming the new WBA, WBC, NYSAC, and The Ring heavyweight champion and, shortly after, taking the name Cassius X. In 1964, Muhammed Ali renamed himself again, paying homage to his Islamic spiritual teachings.

Ali was a dominant champion until 1967, when he was banned from boxing and stripped of his titles because of his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War.

According to Ali, the Vietnam War conflicted with his spiritual beliefs, and he is quoted saying, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.” Despite his banishment from the ring, Ali’s impact on American society continued to grow. Ali’s inspiring message of black pride and black resistance against white supremacy made him a leading figure in the black civil rights movement.

Ali returned to boxing in 1970 and quickly reminded the public what they had been missing. He had a few wins before challenging Joe Frazier to a big-money fight, a.k.a. the “Fight of the Century.”

Unfortunately for Ali, he lost via unanimous decision after 15 brutal rounds. In the aftermath, Ali won his next 10 fights, 8 of which were against world-class opponents. Displaying a champion’s mindset – gritty, resilient, and courageous – Ali accepted the rematch against Frazier, which Ali won by unanimous decision after 12 rounds.

Ali’s other notable fights include the “Rumble in the Jungle,” where he challenged George Foreman for numerous heavyweight titles. Ali won by knockout in the 8th round and walked away with the $5 million fight purse.

The “Thriller in Manila” was the 2nd rematch between Ali and Frazier and was then considered to be the greatest prize fight of all time. Frazier’s corner threw in the towel after 14 merciless rounds. Ali made a guaranteed $4.5 million from Ali vs Frazier 3, a considerable amount at the time!

By the end of his career, Ali had come to be known as “The Greatest.” He was made a member of the inaugural class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. Ali made over $60 million from boxing and had a net worth of $50 million at the time of his death.

14. Bernard Hopkins – $60 Million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Bernard Hopkins Greatest Hits (HBO Boxing)

Career Length 28 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 55 wins, 8 losses, 2 draws
Net Worth: $60 million

A dominant middleweight champion, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins made $60 million during his time in the ring. With a name like “The Executioner” and a fight record of 55 wins to 8 losses, you can see why many of his opponents feared facing him.

However, drawn in by the promise of a glorious fight and a heavy winnings purse, many opponents did face Hopkins during his professional career from 1988 to 2004. Much to their dismay, the majority of Hopkin’s opponents were ‘executed’ by his quick and ruthless approach.

Hopkins was born on January 15th, 1965, in Philadelphia. Growing up in a neighborhood rife with criminal activity, a.k.a. The Raymond Rosen Housing Project, it was almost inevitable that Hopkins was exposed to petty crimes at a young age.

In his early years, he was involved in minor crimes and eventually joined a gang that led to him committing more serious offenses. Hopkins wound up in jail at age 17 for an armed robbery offense.

However, prison might just have been Hopkins’s saving grace. When Hopkins was 21, the prison initiated a boxing program which Hopkins joined and from which he discovered his love for the sport.

Hopkins made his professional debut at 23 years old against Clinton Mitchell. Unfortunately for Hopkins, his professional debut did not go as planned as he lost the match by a round 4 majority decision. However, that loss only added fuel to the fire within him, and Hopkins went on to maintain a winning streak of 22 fights, no easy feat.

Beating Jean Pascall in an epic display of boxing talent, Hopkins won the WBC light heavyweight title.

Not only did Hopkins stake his claim to the WBC title, but he was also recognized as the oldest boxing world champion, surpassing George Foreman’s previous record. During his career, Hopkins also won the IBF middleweight title and the WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles.

A fight that helped solidify Hopkins as one of the highest-paid boxers of all time was his match against Oscar De La Hoya for the undisputed middleweight championship on September 18th, 2004.

In the most lucrative fight of his career, Hopkins certainly put on a performance that was worthy of a big payout.

Over the course of his career, Hopkins has earned himself over $60 million, as well as championship titles in two weight classes and an induction into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

13. George Foreman – $65 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

George Foreman | The Most Powerful Boxer In History

Career Length 18 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 76 wins, 5 losses
Net Worth: $65 million

A champion boxer made and a household name, George Foreman has lived a career more interesting and varied than most. Foreman has traveled far and wide over the course of his career, showing up to fights both as the underdog and the dominant champion.

George Foreman was born in Texas on January 10th, 1949. Initially, Foreman had a passion for football and only later set his sights on boxing (much to the pleasure of us George Foreman fans!).

In the early days of his boxing career, Foreman went the Olympics route, competing in the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City. If calling yourself an Olympian is not impressive enough, Foreman also returned to the United States with the heavyweight gold medal, plus the moniker “Big George.”

After turning pro in 1969, Foreman won 13 fights in his first year, 11 of which were knockout victories. Foreman began to receive widespread attention in the lead-up to his fight against Joe Frazier for the WBA, WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles.

Despite entering the fight with a perfect record, superior to Frazier’s, and a more impressive size and reach than Frazier, Foreman was considered the underdog by commentators and audiences alike.

The eye-catching event became one of Foreman’s early shining achievements, as the “Big George,” the underdog, wowed audiences and won the fight.

Foreman defended his titles two more times before his next big “payday.” On October 30th, 1974, Foreman put his titles on the line to fight against none other than the great Muhammed Ali in a fight that went down as one of the most famous in boxing history.

Foreman and Ali’s fight was known as “The Rumble in the Jungle” as it was held in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and each fighter was guaranteed a purse of $5 million.

Ali utilized a strategy that would eventually be known as the “rope-a-dope.” Unfortunately for Foreman, he lost the entertaining fight to Ali’s rope-a-dope technique and said goodbye to his titles. Foreman retired from boxing in 1977 after losing to Jimmy Young.

However, Foreman’s first retirement was not the end of his boxing career. After being ordained as a Christian preacher and spending ten years spreading God’s word, Foreman shocked the world by returning to the ring after his so-called “hiatus.” Foreman won the heavyweight world title at the age of 45, making him the oldest boxing champion at the time.

During his illustrious boxing career, Foreman amassed over $65 million. Interestingly, a majority of Foreman’s wealth has come from the George Foreman Grill – a household appliance that joins many families for Fourth of July celebrations and summer barbeques. The ex-boxer is now sitting on a net worth of $300 million.

12. Felix Trinidad – $85 to $90 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

He Built A Terrifying Style Around One Punch - Felix Trinidad Technique Breakdown

Career Length 18 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 42 wins, 3 losses
Net Worth: $85-90M

A formidable boxer with a devastating left hook, Felix “Tito” Trinidad is another fighter who has made himself millions in the ring.

Born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, on January 10th, 1973, Trinidad had a fighter’s spirit from early on, fuelled by the Puerto Rican fire in his veins. Trinidad trained in boxing in his youth and turned pro at age 17. Trinidad’s youth record alone warrants a round of applause, as he won 42 fights and lost only 3.

Despite his recognition as an up-and-coming national icon, Trinidad did not compete in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics because of a dispute with the President of the Amateur Boxing Federation. This led to Trinidad turning pro.

Only a year later, in 1993, Trinidad fought his first title fight, beating Maurice Blocker by knockout and taking home the IBF welterweight title. Not competing in the Olympics might only have fanned Trinidad’s flame and desire to win fights as he went on to beat 3 Olympic gold medal boxers.

One of the Olympians Trinidad triumphed over was Oscar de la Hoya, considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time. The fight with De La Hoya earned Trinidad the WBC welterweight title, the title defense of his IBF welterweight title, and a guaranteed sum of $8.5 million plus a share of $11 million in prize funds.

After the de la Hoya fight, Trinidad was given a hero’s welcome upon his return to Puerto Rico. 100,000 Puerto Ricans greeted him at the airport, and the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Rossello, cheerfully declared all public workers would have the afternoon off work.

Trinidad went on to defend his titles multiple times before facing Bernard Hopkins for the undisputed middleweight championship. Up until the Trinidad vs Hopkin fight, Trinidad had a perfect record of 40-0, but Hopkins handed him his first defeat.

By the end of his career, Trinidad had an impressive record of 42 wins and 3 losses and had amassed $85 to $90 million.

11. Wladimir Klitschko – $110 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Greatest Hits: Wladimir Klitschko (HBO Boxing)

Career Length 21 years
Origin Country: Kazakhstan
W/L Ratio: 64 wins, 5 losses
Net Worth: $110 million

Up next on the list is Wladimir Klitschko. Boxing fans and commentators might not have considered Klitschko’s boxing style to be overly flashy or exciting, but it certainly was effective. Klitschko put his opponents to sleep in a clinical, merciless fashion, meaning that the Eastern European was a menace in the ring.

Klitschko was born in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, U.S.S.R., now known as Semey, Kazakhstan, and he holds Ukrainian citizenship. Klitschko’s early idol in the ring and in life was his older brother, Vitali Klitschko.

Wladimir Klitschko followed in his older brother’s footsteps, taking up amateur boxing. When Vitali Klitschko was not able to represent Ukraine at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta due to personal steroid use, Wladimir Klitschko took his place. Without a doubt, the younger Klitschko brother made his country proud by taking home the super heavyweight Olympic gold medal.

Klitschko’s amateur record shows he triumphed in 134 fights out of 140 fights. In 1996, the Eastern European boxer made his professional debut, fighting on the same fight card as his own brother.

Despite having a love for his mother country, Klitschko only fought once in Ukraine throughout his entire career. On home turf, Klitschko fought Ross Puritty, in an unsuccessful attempt to defend his WBC international heavyweight title.

After his loss to Puritty, Klitschko would go on to have several good fights and win the WBA, and WBO, and then vacated WBC heavyweight titles. However, the up-and-down rollercoaster ride of a fight record only continued as subsequent losses to Corrie Sanders (2003) and Lamon Brewster (2004) threatened to derail Klitschko’s career.

Klitschko’s losses to Sanders and Brewster motivated him to switch tracks and reevaluate his training tactics. Klitschko sought out the help of an American trainer, Emanuel Steward, who helped Klitschko maintain a 22-fight undefeated winning streak spanning 10 years.

Klitschko fought the likes of David Haye, Alexander Povetkin, avenged his loss to Lamon Brewster, and defended the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring heavyweight titles.

The last two fights of Klitschko’s career were big-money fights. Klitschko fought Tyson Fury in 2015 and Anthony Joshua in 2017. While Klitschko might have hoped to end his career with a bang, his final opponents proved their mettle. Klitschko lost to Fury by unanimous decision and lost to Joshua by TKO.

On the whole, Klitschko led an impressive career and earned himself circa $100 million in the ring.

10. Sugar Ray Leonard – $120 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Sugar Ray Leonard Highlights

Career Length 20 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 76 wins, 3 losses, 1 draw
Net Worth: $120 million

His name may sound as sweet as candy, but anyone on the receiving end of his fists would agree that in the ring, Sugar Ray Leonard was anything but sweet.

Sugar Ray Leonard was born on May 17th, 1956, in North Carolina. Sugar Ray Leonard was named after the African American R&B singer Ray Charles, and like his namesake, would go on to live an illustrious career in the spotlight.

Boasting an amateur boxing record of 145 wins to 150 losses, it was clear to many that Leonard was an up-and-coming star. Still fighting as an amateur, Leonard garnered two National Golden Glove championships and a gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games.

Much to the dismay of his early fans, Leonard retired from boxing shortly after the 1976 Olympics. However, a year later, Leonard returned to the ring as a pro boxer due to financial difficulties at home.

Leonard’s next big fight and spotlight moment was when he won the WBC and The Ring Welterweight titles by TKO. Leonard’s victory was short-lived as he lost his titles to Roberto Durán via unanimous decision in Canada on June 20th, 1980.

However, Leonard knew he was a champion at heart, and his team organized a rematch with Durán only five months after the initial loss. Leonard avenged his loss with an epic TKO victory.

In the last few years of his career, Leonard came in and out of retirement on multiple occasions. Leonard retired from prizefighting in 1982 and again in 1984, but his most exciting comeback by far was his match against Marvin Hagler in 1987. Regarded as one of the all-time great professional fights, Leonard triumphed against Hagler, staking his claim to the WBC and The Ring middleweight titles.

After retiring again in 1991, Leonard reemerged to fight Héctor Camacho in 1997 for the IBC middleweight title. However, there was no fairytale comeback for Leonard in the fight against Camacho, and the North Carolina boxer hung up his gloves for the final time.

Throughout his career, Leonard won titles in five different weight classes: the WBC light heavyweight title, the WBC and WBA super-middleweight titles, the WBC and Lineal middleweight titles, the Lineal super-welterweight title, and the WBC, WBA, and Lineal welterweight titles.

As a boxer who took pride in fighting many big-money fights, it makes sense that Leonard was the first boxer to break the $100 million mark in fight purses. Sugar Ray Leonard is, without a doubt, one of the highest-paid boxers of all time.

9. Lennox Lewis – $140 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

The Legendary Power Of Lennox Lewis

Career Length 14 years
Origin Country: United Kingdom
W/L Ratio: 41 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw
Net Worth: $140 million

Lennox Lewis is one of the hardest hitters in the world of boxing, and he also happens to be one of the highest earners.

Lewis’s nationality is a mixed bag as he was born in England on September 2nd, 1965, to Jamaican parents and moved to Canada at a young age. Growing up, Lewis was a jack-of-all-trades when it came to sports and athleticism, but he ultimately decided on boxing.

In 1978, Lewis started out his amateur career and quickly became known for his Herculean power and strength. Lewis won gold at the Junior World Championships in 1983.

Less than a year later, at only 18 years old, Lewis represented Canada at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and made it to the quarterfinals.

However, Lewis was as tough as nails and determined to prove he was capable of bringing home the gold…. And prove himself he did! Lewis defeated Riddick Bowe at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, becoming the first-ever Canadian boxer to win gold.

Not many boxers start their professional career out with a 22-fight winning streak, but after going pro in 1989, that’s exactly what Lewis did! If his fight record wasn’t enough to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents, then Lewis’s exceptionally large frame would certainly finish the job. Standing at 6 foot five inches and weighing 230 pounds, Lewis was bigger than your average heavyweight.

In fact, Lewis’s reputation and build deterred Riddick Bowe, the then-WBC champion, from stepping in the ring with Lewis a second time. The World Boxing Council (WBC) ultimately stripped Bowe of his title and awarded it to Lewis.

Bowe was not the only fighter hesitant to touch gloves with Lewis. Mike Tyson had to be court-ordered to defend his WBC title against the much taller Lewis, and on this occasion, he chose to surrender the title rather than take the fight.

Among Lewis’s most prominent, a.k.a. big-money fights was his rematch with Oliver McCall for the vacant WBC title. Despite losing to McCall a few years earlier, Lewis won the fight by TKO victory.

Another of Lewis’s most prominent fights was his match against Evander Holyfield for the undisputed heavyweight championship. Lewis versus Holyfield took place at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden, New York, in March of 1999.

In an evenly matched display of skill and ferociousness, the entertaining 12-round fight ended in a draw, and Lewis pocketed a guaranteed $10 million.

The crowds demanded a rematch, and in November of 1999, Lewis and Holyfield fought again. Lewis emerged triumphant and became the last heavyweight to hold the undisputed title to this day.

It’s impossible to sum up Lewis’s boxing career without mentioning what was arguably the most exciting matchup in the history of the sport, Lewis versus Tyson.

In 2002, Lewis defeated Tyson by KO in the 8th round, and that fight became the highest-grossing event in pay-per-view history before being surpassed by Mayweather vs Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.

Lewis was guaranteed $17.5 million for his bout with Tyson, but with pay-per-view additions, his take-home figure was closer to $50 million.

After several more boxing victories and having earned upwards of $140 million, Lewis retired as a boxing legend and loaded man.

8. Tyson Fury – $150 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III | FULL FIGHT HIGHLIGHT | PBC ON FOX

Career Length Active career
Origin Country: United Kingdom
W/L Ratio: 33 wins, 0 losses, 1 draw
Net Worth: $150 million

The man, the myth, the legend, Tyson Fury, the “Gypsy King,” has proven to the boxing world time and time again why he deserves to be recognized as one of the greats – and paid like one of them too!

Fury was born in Manchester, England, on August 12th, 1988. A severely underweight infant, Fury nearly didn’t survive his first hours, a surprise considering Fury’s current heavyweight frame.

It’s a shock to no one that Fury ended up becoming a fighter; the fighting spirit is practically in his DNA! Fury’s father, brother, and uncle have all had their time in the ring.

Fury knew he was destined for greatness in the ring and took on the name of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. Boasting a near-perfect record of 33 wins, 0 losses, and one draw, we have to put our hands up and say that Fury was right to take a champion’s name!

Fury’s first big fight was again Wladimir Klitschko. Fury put on a performance and won by unanimous decision, taking home WBA, IBF, WBO, and the Ring Magazine heavyweight titles. Following the Fury versus Klitschko fight, Fury took 5 years away from boxing to deal with personal issues.

Fury made a compelling comeback with an epic 3-fight trilogy against Deontay Wilder, the “Bronze Bomber, a man with nuclear power in his fists. The first Fury versus Wilder fight was full of sparks, and several times, Wilder landed what should’ve been fight-ending blows.

Against all odds, Fury picked himself up from the canvas and outclassed Wilder throughout the remainder of the fight, ending the fight in a draw. Fury got the better of Wilder in their second fight as Wilder’s corner threw in the towel during the seventh round.

Fury versus Wilder went from sparks to fireworks in their third matchup, and audiences couldn’t believe their eyes! Both men landed heavy punches and dropped one another to the canvas. As the fight progressed, Fury grew in confidence and stride, allowing him to dominate Wilder.

Ending the fight in a spectacular fashion, Fury KO ’ed Wilder in the 11th round and closed that chapter of his career. Fury’s guaranteed earnings from the final fight were $30 million plus 40% of pay-per-views.

Fury is an unpredictable entertainer and has threatened to retire several times. Having amassed over $150 million in fight earnings, the “Gypsy King” could certainly retire comfortably.

However, with whispers of a big fight against Anthony Joshua or a unification bout undisputed heavyweight champion against Oleksandr Usyk, he might just stick around. We sure hope he does!

7. Anthony Joshua – $170 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Anthony Joshua - Is His Reign Over? (Original Documentary)

Career Length Active career
Origin Country: United Kingdom
W/L Ratio: 24 wins, 3 losses
Net Worth: $170 million

The 7th highest-paid boxer of all time is none other than Anthony “AJ” Joshua, a fan favorite, and rightfully so! If we could sum up Joshua’s boxing style in a few lines, it would be that ‘offense is the best form of defense’ as the orthodox fighter uses his heavy build to steadily wear down and advance on his opponents.

Joshua was born in Watford, England in 1989. A ‘late bloomer’ when it comes to boxing, Joshua was introduced to the sport at the age of 18 by his cousin, Gbena Ileyemi, 2011 ABA heavyweight champion.

Joshua’s amateur record alone is enough to put some respect on his name, with 40 wins and 3 losses. In addition, Joshua won silver at the 2011 World Championships, gold at the 2012 Olympics, x2 Haringey Box Cups, x2 ABA Championships, and Amateur Boxer of the Year in Great Britain (2011). Joshua’s early achievements consolidated him as an up-and-comer to keep an eye out for among English boxing fans.

In 2013, Joshua made his professional debut. His gloves were blisteringly hot, practically on fire by the rate at which he struck opponents down as Joshua won his first 22 pro fights, 21 by KO.

Early in his professional career, Joshua laid claim to the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles. His impressive boxing feats combined with his physique, good looks, and charm made Joshua England’s golden boy and a big money draw when he fought.

However, Joshua’s fiery winning streak would be put out by Andy Ruiz Jr., a wily Mexican who defeated Joshua in round 7 of their match and took the belts.

Joshua triggered the rematch clause and knuckled down at the training gym in preparation for his biggest fight and payday so far. Joshua versus Ruiz 2, billed as “The Clash on the Dunes,” was Joshua’s time to shine and see his hard work pay off. The English boxer put on a clinical performance, becoming a two-time heavyweight champion and bagging a cool $66 million from the bout.

It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses for Joshua since his Ruiz rematch. Joshua lost twice to Oleksandr Usyk, losing his titles and leaving him in an odd position. However, we’re hopeful that the boxing world has not seen the last of Joshua yet.

In terms of big fights, there’s speculation that Joshua will fight Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder or “The Gypsy King” Tyson Fury – we have our fingers crossed these fights come to fruition!

So far, Joshua has made $170 million from his boxing career.

6. Evander Holyfield – $300 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

The Legendary Skills Of Evander Holyfield

Career Length 27 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 44 wins, 10 losses, 2 draws
Net Worth: $300 million

A street fighter turned professional boxer, Evander Holyfield is as gritty and as real as they come, hence his alias “The Real Deal”.

Born in Alabama on October 19th, 1962, Holyfield used to fight older boys in the streets. Holyfield started training in the sport of boxing at 7 years old and went on to win the Boys Club Boxing Tournament.

Later on, Holyfield’s amateur record reflected a whopping 160 wins and 14 losses, and he won the light heavyweight Golden Gloves Championship in 1984.

Holyfield competed in the 1984 Olympics but was disqualified for knocking out an opponent while separated by the ref – clearly, Holyfield still had a street fighter’s mentality! Despite the controversy, Holyfield was awarded the light heavyweight bronze medal.

Turning pro in 1984, Holyfield wasted no time in challenging Dwight Muhammad Qawi for the WBA cruiserweight title – a fight he won by split decision after 15 rounds.

Holyfield is nothing if not ambitious and went on to fight Carlos DeLeon, knocking him out with a powerful blow in the 8th round and becoming the first undisputed cruiserweight champion! In 1988, Holyfield moved up to heavyweight, where his success continued. To this day, Holyfield is the only boxer to be an undisputed champion in two weight classes!

One of Holyfield’s notable big-money fights was against George Foreman, where Holyfield took home a guaranteed $20 million and succeeded in defending his titles.

Holyfield also faced off against Mike Tyson in a much-anticipated WBA fight. Despite Tyson being the crowd-favorite, Holyfield TKO ‘ed the other boxer in the 11th round. Holyfield defended his titles against Tyson a second time. However, Tyson was disqualified for the infamous ear-biting incident.

Holyfield’s career is littered with shattered records – and many of his feats remain unbeaten to this day. Holyfield is the only four-time world heavyweight champion, holding the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles from 1990 to 1992, the WBA and IBF titles from 1993 to 1994, the WBA title from 1996 to 1999, the IBF title from 1997 to 1999, and the WBA title from 2000 to 2001.

At the peak of his career in the 90s, Holyfield was earning more than $30 million a fight. With such impressive paydays, it’s little surprise that Holyfield’s total earnings were so high, upwards of $300 million. Unfortunately, Holyfield wasn’t as skilled at money management as he was in the ring, and bad financial decisions left him with a net worth of only $1 million.

5. Mike Tyson – $400 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Best Knockouts Of Mike Tyson, Boxing HD

Career Length 20 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 50 wins, 6 losses, 1 no contest
Net Worth: $400 million

Next on our list might be one of the most famous boxers in popular media, having shown his face not only in the ring but in several movies as well. It’s none other than “Iron” Mike Tyson!

Tyson was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30th, 1996. Tyson was introduced to boxing in 1978 after being sent to a reform school because of his involvement with street gangs.

Cus D’amato, a renowned trainer, took the troubled youngster under his ring, teaching Tyson what would become Tyson’s renowned peekaboo boxing style.

As an amateur, Tyson showed promise with a record of 24 wins and 3 losses, winning gold medals at the Junior Olympics in 1981 and 1982 and at the National Golden Gloves Championship in 1984.

A pro boxer by the age of 18, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history at 20 years old in 1986. Despite being shorter than the average heavyweight, Tyson’s lightning-quick handwork and ferocious attacks earned him many victories.

A year later, Tyson KO ‘ed Trevor Berbick and the 2nd round of their bout for the title of undisputed heavyweight champion. The fearsome fighter was dethroned by Buster Douglas in 1990 but remained a big-money draw in the boxing world.

In 1991, however, Tyson was imprisoned on rape charges, and his career stalled for 5 years. Once back in the ring, Tyson picked up speed like a racehorse fresh out the gate, winning back his WBA and WBC titles.

Notable Tyson fights include his 2-fight duology against Evander Holyfield and his bout against the hard-hitting Lennox Lewis. None of these fights ended in a win for Tyson, but because the crowd loved seeing him in the ring, Tyson walked with $60 million from his Holyfield fights and $17.5 million plus pay-per-view additions from fighting Lewis.

Tyson made around $30 million per fight in his prime and amassed a fortune. However, a series of unfortunate choices and events – such as the time Tyson offered a zookeeper $10,000 to let him fight a silverback gorilla, or when his manager stole from him – led to significant financial losses. Tyson managed to pick up the pieces and is now sitting on a comfortable net worth of $10 million.

4. Oscar De La Hoya – $450 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Oscar De La Hoya | Top Knockouts, HD

Career Length 16 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 39 wins, 6 losses
Net Worth: $450 million

Oscar De La Hoya was known as “The Golden Boy of Boxing,” a name befitting both his success in the ring and the fortune he made.

De La Hoya was born in California on February 4th, 1973, into a boxing family – both De La Hoya’s father and grandfather were competitive fighters in Mexico. While other kids were learning to ride a bike, De La Hoya started training in boxing at only 6 years old.

Showing his potential early on, De La Hoya won the National Junior Olympics in 1988 and the National Golden Gloves in 1989 and was the only U.S. boxer to take home gold at the 1992 Olympics.

“The Golden Boy of Boxing” won his first 13 pro fights before challenging Jorge Páez for the vacant WBO lightweight title. With a lightning-fast flurry of fists, De La Hoya KO ‘ed Páez in the 2nd round. De La Hoya’s hot streak continued. He won the WBC welterweight title and defended it 7 times!

In 1999, De La Hoya had boxing fans on the edge of their seats, eyes glued to the fight when he fought Felix Trinidad. While both boxers put on an entertaining performance, Trinidad edged the victory. However, De La Hoya made a guaranteed $21 million, and De La Hoya versus Trinidad set a record for the highest-grossing non-heavyweight fight in pay-per-view history.

De La Hoya continued to make bank, fighting Shane Mosley for a guaranteed $17 million, Manny Paqcuiao for a guaranteed $35 million, and Bernard Hopkins for a guaranteed $30 million. However, De La Hoya’s highest guaranteed purse of $52 million was for his bout against the infamous Floyd Mayweather. Unfortunately, De La Hoya lost all four fights, but we’re sure his payouts cushioned the blows of defeat!

Throughout De La Hoya’s career, his fights were major pay-per-view attractions. The California-born generated $750 million in pay-per-views and took home roughly $450 million in earnings.

3. Canelo Àlvarez – $500 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

12 ROUND MASTERCLASS | Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy 'GGG' Golovkin 3 Fight Highlights

Career Length Active career
Origin Country: Mexico
W/L Ratio: 59 wins, 2 losses
Net Worth: $500 million

The nickname ‘Canelo’ translates to cinnamon, a nod to Canelo Àlvarez’s red hair. However, don’t let the boxer’s distinctive look distract you as Canelo Àlvarez is 100% a menace in the boxing ring!

Born Santos Saul Àlvarez Barragan, in Guadalajara, Mexico, on July 18th, 1990, Àlvarez is another of the greats who has boxing blood in his veins. All 6 of Àlvarez’s older brothers competed in the sport professionally. However, you might be surprised that Àlvarez had his own reasons to get into boxing; Àlvarez was bullied for the same red hair that would later inspire his boxing alias!

Àlvarez had an amateur record of 44 wins and two losses and a Junior Mexican National Championship. Despite being only 15 years old, Àlvarez had his sights set on a legendary career in boxing and dropped out of school to pursue his goal.

Àlvarez’s early professional record was without fault, and he soon became the WBC and The Ring light middleweight champion. Àlvarez caught the attention of boxing veteran Floyd Mayweather, who agreed to fight the ambitious young up-and-comer.

The Mayweather fight proved to be a humbling experience for Àlvarez as Mayweather put on a defensive clinic leaving Canelo stumped. However, Àlvarez pocketed $5 million in guaranteed earnings plus a share of $2.2 million in pay-per-views and quickly revived his winning streak.

The antagonist in Àlvarez’s boxing career would have to be Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, whom Àlvarez battled 3 times. The 1st Àlvarez versus Golovkin matchup was highly anticipated by boxing fans, and in terms of entertainment, it did not disappoint!

Their 1st fight ended in a controversial split decision tie even though many thought that Golovkin actually won. Boxing fans couldn’t be denied a rematch, and in Àlvarez vs Golovkin 2, Àlvarez edged the win and won the title.

4 years later, after Àlvarez failed his hand in the light heavy-weight decision, Àlvarez vs Golovkin 3 was announced! Àlvarez not only beat Golovkin, but he also put on the best performance of his career, and the judges were unanimously on his side.

Àlvarez earned $40 million, $30 million, and $45 million from each fight, respectively. Pay-per-views included, Àlvarez’s actual earnings from Àlvarez vs Golovkin 3 were likely closer to $100 million.

To date, Àlvarez has earned $500 million from boxing as he is a magnet to the crowds and pay-per-view viewers. Àlvarez is the first undisputed super middleweight champion, and at only 33 years old, we’re looking forward to what more is to come!

2. Manny Pacquiao – $600 million (Total Earnings From Boxing)

Manny Pacquiao's Greatest Hits (HBO)

Career Length 26 years
Origin Country: Philippines
W/L Ratio: 62 wins, 8 losses, 2 draws
Net Worth: $600 million

Manny Pacquiao, a man who has overcome mountainous hurdles, is living proof what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…. and apparently wealthier too! Pacquiao’s boxing career is a true rags-to-riches story as despite his humble beginnings, Pacquiao is the 2nd highest-paid boxer of all time!

Pacquiao a.k.a. “Pac Man”, was born in Kibawe, Philippines, on December 17th, 1978. Pacquiao never walked an easy path. At 14 years old, Pacquiao worked as a construction worker, slept on the streets, and had to make the harrowing decision between feeding himself and sending money home to his mother.

When Pacquiao’s uncle, Sardo Mejia introduced him to the sport of boxing, Pacquiao not only chose to pursue that path, he sprinted down it at full speed. Pacquiao turned pro at 16 years old and soon made a name for himself among Filipino boxing fans.

Pacquiao won his first major title in 1998, KO’ing out Chatchai Saskul for the WBC flyweight championship. Pacquiao’s first loss in boxing to Medgoen Singsurat in 1999 didn’t deter the youngster as he went on a dominant run throughout the 2000s – this was Pacquiao’s decade!

During the 2000s, Pacquiao won titles in a record-smashing 7 different weight classes. Pacquiao’s titles included the IBF and WBO super bantamweight, the WBC super featherweight, the WBC lightweight, and the WBO welterweight.

Pacquiao’s true breakthrough with global audiences was his bout with Oscar De La Hoya in 2008. De La Hoya had nearly every advantage – strength, height, reach, power, and experience – but Pacquiao won with a sensational 8th-round knockout, earning himself the respect and adoration of international fans.

Pacquiao versus De La Hoya generated $70 million in pay-per-view revenue, and Pacquiao pocketed $15 million plus a share of the pay-per-views.

In 2015, crowds were frenzied with anticipation for Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather, and even celebrities bought their ringside tickets. However, for all the overwhelming hype, Pacquiao versus Mayweather was a relatively underwhelming fight, and Mayweather won via unanimous decision. The boxing match generated between $300 and $400 million in total gross revenue, including a $130 million guaranteed purse for Pacquiao.

Pacquiao signed off from boxing in 2021, leaving a legacy behind for all Filipino children to look up to. For his efforts, Pacquiao earned $600 million in the ring.

1. Floyd Mayweather – 1 Billion (Total Earnings From Boxing)

10 Minutes Of Floyd Mayweather Perfecting The Sweet Science

Career Length 21 years
Origin Country: United States of America
W/L Ratio: 50 wins, 0 losses
Net Worth: $1 billion

With a name like Floyd “Money” Mayweather, it’s fitting that the big-money fighter tops our list of the highest-paid boxers of all time. In fact, “Money” Mayweather is the only boxer to earn over $1 billion dollars from the sport. Now that’s an impressive feat!

Mayweather was born on February 24th, 1977, in Michigan. A professional boxer himself, Mayweather’s father strongly encouraged Mayweather to take up the sport. Sadly, as their father/son relationship was not the greatest, training sessions were Mayweather’s one opportunity to spend time with his dad.

Mayweather caused a stir on the amateur scene with a record of 84 wins, 8 losses and 3 Golden Gloves championships (1993, 1994, and 1996). His teammates gave him the nickname Pretty Boy” because he had so few scars on his face from his fights.

Mayweather tasted his last defeat at the 1996 Olympics through a controversial loss. Turns out, the taste of defeat wasn’t to Mayweather’s liking as he turned pro the same year and maintained an undefeated record.

Mayweather’s clean defense and quick-as-a-whip counters put him in the running to be considered the greatest boxer of all time. Regardless of whether they thought Mayweather was the greatest or not, spectators sure did show up to his matches and tune in on pay-per-view. Mayweather even surpassed Oscar De La Hoya as the ‘golden goose’ or ‘money maker’ of pay-per-view boxing.

Mayweather’s notable paydays include; Mayweather vs De La Hoya, earning him $25 million, Mayweather vs Shane Moseley, earning him $30 to $40 million, Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez, earning him $40 million plus pay-per-views, and Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao earning him a cool $240 to $250 million.

However, in a matchup that threatened to burst the seams of everyone involved’s wallets, Connor McGregor, a UFC champion, challenged Mayweather in a crossover boxing event. Even the pre-fight events were a spectacle!

During the fight, McGregor had a solid head start in terms of aggression, but his fervent flying fists slowed down in the second half.

Mayweather knew this was his chance to dominate, and TKO ‘ed McGregor in the 10th round. Mayweather vs McGregor was the second biggest event in pay-per-view sales and earned Mayweather a whopping $300 million – talk about making a fortune in one night!

Mayweather retired after achieving his goal of a 50-0 record. The big-money boxer came out of retirement for a few exhibition matches, but as we all know, that’s easy money for the champ!

How Do Boxers Make Money?

Boxers make money by taking a cut of the ticket sales for their match. Boxers can also get a percentage of the pay-per-view profits. Brand endorsements get them paid for promoting a product to their fans.

Unlike fight-night earnings, what boxers make from brand endorsements isn’t always transparent. A famous boxer could easily warrant over $1m dollars per Instagram post for a promotion.

Additionally, many boxers have to cover the cost of their own training, recovery regimens, coaches, management, and travel. Expenses add up, meaning that a boxer’s fight night income can’t all be counted as take-home pay.

However, expenses aside, as the highest-paid boxers earn multi-millions of dollars per fight, there is more than enough to set themselves, their families, and the next generations up for life.

Wrap Up:

Infographic with list of highest paid boxers

That does it for this article. Let us know what you think about the list in the comments section below.

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