20 Highest Selling PPV Boxing Fights of All Time (2024 Rankings)

We love watching the determination, the technique, and the ferociousness of fighters as they battle it out in the ring. However, it’s an inevitable fact that some fights stand out and are more highly anticipated by fans than others. There are a few special match-ups that have made history for the sheer number of people that have tuned in to watch. In this article, we discuss the highest-selling PPV boxing fights of all time. The boxing fights that have seen the eyes of millions of fans worldwide glued to their screens.

Highest-selling boxing PPV fights with Floyd, McGregor, and Alvarez featured image

Before we start, let’s discuss exactly what pay-per-view sales are and why some fights generate more of them than others. Pay-per-view is pretty much as it sounds; it’s a one-off payment that allows you to tune into a television channel or webcast service for a specific boxing match or fight night. Pay-per-view sales refer to the number of people that invest their money in watching a good fight, while pay-per-view revenue is the total amount made by boxing organizations and streaming platforms from the sales.

There are many factors that determine whether a fight will do well in pay-per-views. A few examples include if a boxer is a beloved fan favorite, if a match-up has a history and even some bad blood behind it, or simply if the caliber of a fight and its entertainment value is predicted to be exemplary!

If you’re curious about which boxing fights have the most PPV buys and earnings, keep reading and prepare to be blown away by some staggeringly high figures! If you’re interested, we also have an article on the highest-selling UFC PPV fights as well.

20. Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia

PPV buys 1.2 million
PPV revenue $102.4 million
Date April 22nd 2023

For number 20 on our list of the highest-selling pay-per-view boxing fights, we don’t have to look very far back in time! Many of you might remember the bout between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia. The brutal fight is definitely still fresh in our minds, that’s for sure!

Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Ryan “King” Garcia are both young, fresh fighters and have as much ambition and aspiration as you’d expect from two talented men in their prime. The way we see it, they’re both at the height of their careers, sitting on top of the boxing world, but there ain’t room for the two of them up there.

Regardless of the outcome, we give a strong round of applause to both men for accepting the fight contract. In the boxing world, it’s become something of a blue moon for two high-caliber fighters to face each other at the heights of their careers.

In the build-up to this exciting fight, Davis and Garcia, both men had plenty to say and were oozing confidence. However, we all know there can only be one winner crowned victorious! Garcia’s strategy going into the fight was clearly to set the pace and establish control. He sure did fight with 110% energy! Davis, on the other hand, wasn’t about to be swayed by Garcia’s energetic performance. Davis made sure to stay low and out of range while being careful to avoid Garcia’s signature left hook.

Somewhat of a one-trick pony, Garcia kept attempting to land his fast and powerful left hook. Cool and calculated as ever, Davis continued to evade and was strategically picking his shots, leaving his opponent with some damage even in the early rounds. Davis dropped Garcia in the second round, but Garcia, showing his grit, made it back on his feet, much to the satisfaction of the roaring crowd who wanted a longer fight and the pay-per-view fans at home.

After some more exciting exchanges that would’ve had the pay-per-view fans off their seats and yelling at the television, the fight was put to a stop in the 7th round. Davis landed a hard body shot that dropped Garcia to one knee, and didn’t see him beating the count.

19. Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao

FULL FIGHT | Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao (DAZN REWIND)

PPV buys 1.25 million
PPV revenue $70 million
Date December 6th 2008

In a fight that was both a farewell and a coming out party, there were many reasons that boxing fans tuned in to watch Oscar De La Hoya vs Manny Pacquiao. De La Hoya vs Pacquiao are both fan favorites, and their names feature more than once in our article. However, out of all of their mentions, De La Hoya’s and Pacquiao’s 2008 bout against each other might be the most bittersweet!

De La Hoya was a veteran boxer looking to make a dazzling exit from the fight game, while Pacquiao was an up-and-comer naturally capturing the eyes of many. However, even though De La Hoya might have been planning his retirement, the experienced fighter was still seen as the fan favorite. De La Hoya’s larger and more muscular physique was thought to be unbeatable by the smaller yet more nimble Pacquiao.

However, the fight didn’t turn out to be the one-man show everybody expected. Actually, it was a one-man show, but Pacquiao put on the more dominant performance! Endlessly stringing together beautiful combinations, Pacquiao proceeded to deliver De La Hoya a beating.

It wasn’t a happy day for De La Hoya fans as the fight ended with De La Hoya looking like a shell of his usual self. Pacquiao had been consistently up in the scorecards, and the fight was stopped before the start of the 9th round. The De La Hoya vs Pacquiao fight was De La Hoya’s last fight, and simultaneously, it launched the younger Pacquiao inter-boxing superstardom.

18. Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto

Manny Pacquiao vs Miguel Cotto | ON THIS DAY FREE FIGHT | Pacquiao Wins Welterweight Gold

PPV buys 1.25 million
PPV revenue $70 million
Date November 14th 2009

Next up on our list is Manny Pacquiao vs Miguel Cotto. If Pacquiao’s name sounds familiar, it’s because the pay-per-view buyers just can’t get enough of his shining performances! Pacquiao vs Cotto racked up a whopping 1.25 million viewers in pay-per-view buys.

It would be an understatement to say that Cotto had a tough challenge ahead of him before the matchup with Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s lightning-fast speed and herculean power were once again on put display. The Pilipino boxer strung together multiple handsome combinations, and the majority of his strikes landed on Cotto. Cotto was overwhelmed by Pacquiao’s intense flurries, and his defenses dropped low, leaving Cotto with a bloodied face from several nasty cuts.

Pacquiao viciously knocked Cotto to the ground two times before their boxing fight was stopped 55 seconds into the 12th round. Pacquiao walked away with the WBO welterweight championship, which had been put on the line.

17. Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz

Golden Boy Flashback: Floyd Mayweather vs Victor Ortiz (FULL FIGHT)

PPV buys 1.25 million
PPV revenue $78.4 million
Date September 17th 2011

Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Victor “Vicious” Ortiz faced off in September of 2011. When Mayweather puts on his boxing gloves, the pay-per-view boxing fans follow. His fight moniker, “Money” Mayweather, is fitting considering the staggering amounts Mayweather generates in pay-per-view revenue.

Mayweather vs Ortiz started out with Mayweather leading the dance. With quick footwork and well-timed calculated strikes, Mayweather tagged Ortiz more than a few times. Not only did Mayweather repeatedly land strikes, he made his performance look as easy as a walk in the park (it’s a good thing we know better about the amount of hard work and training that goes into preparing for a boxing bout!).

However, in the fourth round, “Vicious” Ortiz also had the opportunity to prove his namesake. Fed up with being at the receiving end of Mayweather’s quick flurries, Ortiz showed the crowds and pay-per-view viewers how terrifyingly vicious he could be! Building on his success, Ortiz drove Mayweather into a corner. In a move that arguably led to his own demise, Ortiz inexplicably headbutted the trapped Mayweather smack in the face. The ref immediately called time and deducted points from Oriz.

The Mayweather and Ortiz fight brings to mind the oldest adage in boxing; protect yourself at all times. Unfortunately, Ortiz was reminded of this adage the hard way. Immediately after touching gloves and resuming the fight, Ortiz came in for a quick apologetic hug. Before the two boxers embraced, Mayweather delivered a quick left hook and stiff straight right, which left Ortz embracing the canvas rather than his opponent. Ortiz was unable to beat the count, and Mayweather claimed a knockout victory.

The fight made pay-per-view sales history, but in addition, it is considered one of the most controversial wins in boxing history! If there’s anything we can take away from the Mayweather vs Ortiz fight is the old boxing adage, protect yourself at all times. It always rings true, and knockouts might come when you least expect them!

16. Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley

PACQUIAO vs MOSLEY | Full Fight - May 7, 2011

PPV buys 1.34 million
PPV revenue $75 million
Date May 7th 2011

Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosely was a bloodbath of a fight, well, at least it was for Mosely. 1.34 million people tuned in to watch the bout. However, many viewers were left with a bittersweet taste in their mouths by the end of the fight.

The Phillipino boxer, Pacquiao, was ready to give this fight 110% in terms of speed, power, and tenacity. Pacquaio’s camp had theorized that a TKO win for Pacquiao would be hugely beneficial in the lead-up to his fight against Mayweather. As I’m sure you know, there’s almost nothing better for the mindset than a big win to grow your confidence. A TKO win for Pacquiao would have been an achievement especially considering Pacquiao’s opponent, Mosley, had never suffered a stoppage loss!

Pacquiao fell short of his goal to win by TKO. However, after a dominant performance, Pacquiao won by unanimous decision. In other words, Pacquiao vs Mosely was what you might call a landslide victory in Pacquiao’s favor.

However, the fight was not as rosy as it might have seemed for Pacquiao. Footage later emerged of Mosley begging his coach to put a stop to the fight after he’d been knocked to the ground in the 3rd round. Moseley allegedly claimed he couldn’t move, meaning that the fight was more dangerous than necessary. Mosley’s pleas, unfortunately, fell on deaf ears as his coach urged him to see the fight through to the finish.

15. Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson 2


PPV buys 1.37 million
PPV revenue $58.3 million
Date March 16th 1996

As the commercial aspects of professional boxing continue to grow, there is more and more effort put in by boxing organizations to make pay-per-view sales. That’s why the majority of fights on our list of the 20 highest-selling pay-per-view boxing fights took place in the early 2000s and onwards. However, Frank Bruno vs Mike Tyson 2 was record-smashing in terms of pay-per-view sales and broke the trend of fights occurring after the early 2000s. Bruno vs Tyson 2 took place in 1996, and an impressive 1.37 million people tuned in to watch via pay-per-views.

Bruno vs Tyson 2 was a rematch bout for the WBC heavyweight title. The fight came at a time when Bruno was still relishing in his triumphant first title win against Oliver McCall. It also happened to be Tyson’s 3rd fight after his release from prison in 1995, so as you can imagine, the jailbird fighter was amped up and anxious to reclaim his glory and titles. Onlookers to the fight speculated that Tyson only looked more intimidating, menacing, and ferocious after his time in prison.

Off the bat, Tyson was clearly the more aggressive fighter. “Iron” Mike hunted down Bruno with the ferocity of a lion ensnaring its prey and continuously attacked the other fighter with right overhand punches. Tyson’s unmatched aggression left Bruno with little choice but to grapple.

Bruno, however, demonstrated a strong will and unwavering mindset as the underdog fighter managed to find moments of composure and successfully trade punches with Tyson. In the end, Tyson unleashed a brutal 13-punch combination against his opponent which prompted the ref to call an end to the fight. Bruno might have wanted a 3rd bout fight against Tyson, but Bruno’s doctors warned the boxer that he risked losing his vision. Because of his vision issues, Bruno retired, and Bruno vs Tyson 2 was his final fight.

14. Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley

FULL FIGHT | Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley

PPV buys 1.4 million
PPV revenue $78.3 million
Date May 1st 2010

It was a surprise to no one that Floyd Mayweather vs Shane Mosely absolutely smashed pay-per-view sales records. Talk of this fight had spanned over a decade before the fight eventually took place in May of 2010. We theorize the reason boxing fans loved to speculate about a Mayweather vs Mosely fight is that both boxers were a menace in the ring, and they shared some bad blood. Mayweather and Mosley’s bad blood resulted from a clash between them after Mayweather’s triumphant win over Juan Marquez.

Despite boxing fans pleading for Mayweather and Mosley to step into the ring together, it took an unplanned series of events for the fight to be set up. An earthquake in Haiti prevented Mosley from facing Andre Berto, and so Mayweather vs Mosely came to fruition.

When fight night came, Mayweather was determined to put on a performance and showcase his killer instincts. Mayweather led the fight with firey aggression but was briefly shaken up by a near knockdown in round two. Mosley was invigorated by his brush with success as he almost became the first boxer to knock down the infamous Floyd “Money Mayweather.”

Unfortunately for Mosley, Mayweather survived the scare and went on an offensive boxing clinic. Mayweather dominated every single round after the first round and won by unanimous decision. However, when you reach the heights that Mayweather has in his career, you’re looking for a perfect score, and a boxing match only feels like a win when you KO your opponent.

An interesting fact about the Mayweather vs Moseley bout is it was the first professional boxing match in the United States to use Olympic-style drug testing methods. Mayweather had requested the new drug-testing standards, and his opponent, Mosley, was quick to accept. Mosley likely accepted as he was incentivized to shake the lingering rumors in the boxing world that he himself was a doper.

13. Oscar De La Hoya vs. Félix Trinidad

Epic Fight: Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Trinidad (1999)

PPV buys 1.4 million
PPV revenue $64 million
Date September 18th 199

Billed as “The Fight of The Millennium,” we can easily understand why so many boxing fans tuned in to watch Oscar De La Hoya vs Félix Trinidad via pay-per-view. To be precise, there were 1.4 million pay-per-view buys. The was immense hype surrounding the De La Hoya vs Trinidad fight, as both boxers were undefeated and were at the peaks of their careers. De La Hoya had a professional record of 31 wins and 0 losses, showing the crowds why his nickname was the “Golden Boy,” and Trinidad had an equally impressive professional record of 35 wins and 0 losses.

Much to the disappointment of boxing fans worldwide who had tuned in to watch, De La Hoya vs Trinidad failed to live up to its hype and was soured by a controversial decision. De La Hoya was seemingly in control for the majority of the fight as he was setting the pace and landing cleaner and more powerful punches.

In fact, De La Hoya was up in the judges’ scorecards for the first 9 rounds. However, from the 10th round onwards, De La Hoya was only given nods by one of the judges, while the other judges claimed De La Hoya “ran” for the last 3 rounds. The judges’ comments were controversial, as anyone could see that De La Hoya threw and landed more strikes than Trinidad. It’s undeniable that the split decision victory left a sour taste in most people’s mouths.

12. Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman

Evander Holyfield vs George Foreman | Classic Battle Boxing Full Fight Highlights | 4K Ultra HD

PPV buys 1.4 million
PPV revenue $55 million
Date April 19th 1991

Another early fight that managed to maintain its spot in the history books of pay-per-view sales is Evander Holyfield versus George Forman. The bout took place in 1991, and there were 1.4 million pay-per-view spectators. We know these two fighters are legends in the world of boxing, as both men are still talked about by admiring fans today.

In the lead-up to Holyfield versus Foreman, Holyfield was energized by a recent victory that solidified him as the undisputed heavyweight champion. Holyfield delayed a fight with Mike Tyson to instead accept the contract fighting Foreman. Foreman, on the other hand, was an “old man” by professional boxing standards even though he was only 42 years young. Rather than letting his age be an encumberment to his career, Foreman continued to train and develop his impressive skillset, and fans were excited about his potential to become the oldest heavyweight champion of all time!

In the pre-fight repartee, Foreman did not make any effort to hide his confidence, and he openly spoke his mind. Foreman claimed he would dethrone Holyfield with ease. Holyfield’s coaches jabbed back by referring to the fight as “The Real Deal versus The Big Meal,” intentionally targeting Foreman’s cushier weight.

The fight definitely was not a disappointment to boxing fans, as both fighters put on put on stellar performances. The crowd was louder than a fireworks display, and the explosiveness of both fighters was similarly comparable to fireworks. Holyfield piled on the jabs, but Foreman saw his opportunity to attack after Holyfield missed a left hook. Ultimately, Holyfield was able to rebound from Forman’s advances and went on to establish his dominance.

The Holyfield versus Foreman bout was crowned “Round of The Year” by The Ring Magazine. Even though Holyfield won by unanimous decision, Foreman walked away with a healthy fight purse from the night. This was, without a doubt, one of the biggest boxing PPV fights in history.

11. Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Márquez 3

Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez III "The 25th Round Begins"

PPV buys 1.4 million
PPV revenue Not disclosed
Date November 12th 2011

Wherever there’s a trilogy fight series, boxing fans are sure to follow as many boxing fans have been invested in the outcome since the 1st or 2nd fight. Plus, a trilogy fight series generally occurs after a close fight or two between two talented fighters. Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Márquez is no exception to the norm.

The first two bouts between Pacquiao and Márquez were clouded with doubt about who the real winner was. The 1st fight ended in a draw, and the 2nd fight was scored in Pacquio’s favor by a split decision panel. There was no respite for the fans who were in suspense as the 3rd fight ended in a similar manner. Pacquiao versus Márquez 3 ended in a controversial split decision. When the result was announced, spectators were enraged, particularly Márquez’s fans! A wave, no, a tsunami of booing, echoed through the arena, and some members of the audience even hurled food, beer, and ice cubs toward the ring. Fortunately, this was not the last time the two skilled boxers met in the ring.

10. Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto

FULL FIGHT | Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto (DAZN REWIND)

PPV buys 1.5 million
PPV revenue $94 million
Date May 5th 2012

Floyd Mayweather versus Miguel Cotto wasn’t the fight fans were calling for, but despite that, the fight still drew in 1.5 million pay-per-view viewers. Fans had been calling for Mayweather versus Pacquiao, but negotiations for that match-up were at a standstill. Boxing promoters turned their attention to a Mayweather vs Cotto fight instead.

Both Mayweather and Cotto had given 100% to their fight camps and preparation. Neither one of them even considered slacking off. Fans jumped on board as Mayweather is a known superstar in the boxing world, and Cotto was no little league fighter himself, at the time boasting a record of 37 wins and 2 losses. This fight was also Cotto’s 3rd title defense.

In the end, Mayweather and Cotto both put on a solid performance, and boxing fans savored the competitive fight. However, Mayweather won by unanimous decision and to this day, maintains an undefeated record.

9. Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley

Mike tyson vs peter mcneeley

PPV buys 1.55 million
PPV revenue $63 million
Date August 19th 1995

Boxing promoters know it is just part of the job that some scheduled fights will take place and others will fall through. A good example of this is Mike Tyson versus Evander Holyfield, which was scheduled to take place a few years before Mike Tyson versus Peter McNeeley. Unfortunately, Tyson’s actions landed him in prison with a 6-year sentence meaning the Holyfield fight did not take place.

Tyson’s time behind steel bars only lasted 3 years before he was paroled and released in 1995. There was a lot of debate about who Tyson’s first opponent after prison would be. Instead of Holyfield, it was decided that Tyson would fight the relatively unknown boxer Peter McNeely.

Despite his unknown status, McNeeley still did his part to sell the fight, even reciting a fun poem at the pre-fight conference. Mceeley did his best to exude confidence. After all, he must have told himself, Tyson was bound to be a little rusty from his time in prison. However, when fight night came, McNeeley’s confident expression quickly turned to fear when he came face to face with the ominous “Iron” Mike in the ring. Tyson was very clearly a man on a mission, and a lesser man than McNeeley would have been shaking in his gloves. In fact, Tyson did not break eye contact with McNeeley as the ref spoke to the fighters. He was as unwavering as a hunting lion locked in on his prey.

The fight between Tyson and McNeeley only lasted 89 seconds. Tyson showed no mercy in the first round, his powerful fists sending McNeeley barreling toward the canvas not once but two times. This led to McNeeley’s manager stepping into the ring as he could not bear to see McNeeley take any more punishment than had already been delivered. McNeeley was disqualified from the fight because of his manager’s actions resulting in an easy win for “Iron” Mike.

8. Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield

Tyson VS Holyfield I (Full Fight)

PPV buys 1.59 million
PPV revenue Not disclosed
Date November 9th 1996

Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield is not the infamous fight you are probably thinking of; the one that’s still revered and referred to by boxing fans today. This was the one before that infamous fight, but we would argue it set the groundwork.

The 1st bout between Tyson Holyfield was billed as “Finally” because the planning stage had been long and drawn out. With people waiting so long to see the fight happen, there was plenty of time to advertise and build suspense around the fight, resulting in a whopping 1.59 million pay-per-view viewers.

Amongst the boxing fans who crowded the betting stands, Tyson was a clear favorite. During the 1st round, Tyson certainly justified his popularity in the bets as he stepped into the ring with fire in his gloves and a gritty determination in his heart. However, despite taking a few hits early on in the fight, Holyfield mustered up his composure and defense. Holyfield landed several wicked counterpunches against Tyson that left the crowds in awe. It’s worth noting Holyfield’s pre-fight dedication to the meticulous study of Tyson’s style definitely paid off.

This would continue from rounds one to four, much to Tyson’s frustration. Come the fifth round, Tyson decided to empty the tank and throw 43 punches but only landed 18. Holyfield would withstand the barrage and come back in the sixth round to drop Tyson, to everyone’s shock. Tyson would be sent staggering in the tenth, barely surviving the round. The same thing would happen in the 11th, leaving the ref no choice but to call the fight, giving Holyfield a famous upset victory.

7. Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.

PPV buys 1.6 million
PPV revenue $80 million
Date November 28th 2020

Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones Jr. was an exhibition fight fit for the history books! Both retired fighters dusted off their old gloves and stepped back in the ring to give audiences the comeback fight many had been yearning for. “Iron” Mike Tyson was a former undisputed champion, and similarly ‘Glass’ Roy Jones Jr. was a former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. The fight generated 1.6 million in pay-per-view sales. It’s worth considering that even more people tuned in to watch as the Tyson versus Jones Jr. took place while many countries around the world were in lockdown and desperate for entertainment. However, that doesn’t take away from the incredible match-up and well-deserved hype surrounding the fight.

After considerable negotiations, Jones Jr. agreed to the exhibition fight at the urging of Tyson. Jones Jr. officially retired in 2018, but elite-level boxer continued to train the sport and stepped into the ring with the majority of his speed and skill still intact.

Tyson versus Jones Jr. was an entertaining fight. Tyson did not fail to show off his trademark shots, such as his ferocious and powerful hook, albeit he didn’t swing his hook quite as ferociously as in his prime time.

Spectators thought Tyson had done enough damage to win the fight. However, the judges disagreed that Tyson was the more dominant fighter. Instead, the bout was ruled a draw in a controversial decision. Mike Tyson wasn’t dismayed as he was quoted saying, “I’m good with it [the outcome]. I entertained the crowd. The crowd was happy with it.”

It’s worth noting that Tyson versus Jones Jr. was not Tyson’s first post-retirement exhibition bout. Tyson had previously attempted to put on “Mike Tyson’s World Tour” yet wasn’t met with the staggering success he had expected. Tyson’s “world tour” fights failed to deliver on entertainment value, and audiences often booed in displeasure. However, we clearly know Tyson was not put off as Tyson versus Jones Jr. later took place.

6. Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson

Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson (highlights)

PPV buys 1.97 million
PPV revenue $106.9 million
Date June 8th 2002

Another fight that had been in the planning books for a long time, we would argue Lennox Lewis versus Mike Tyson was worth the wait! Boxing fans had clearly anticipated that Lewis Lewis versus Tyson would be a great fight, as 1.97 million of them tuned in to watch the event via pay-per-view.

Tyson was initially dead-set against fighting Lewis and had resultingly been stripped of his belt. Eventually, the stars aligned, and Lewis vs Tyson was booked; however, not without some complications. Several states, including Nevada, California, and New York, denied Tyson a license to box. Memphis boxing officials, however, went against the grain and invited Lewis and Tyson to fight in their states.

Adding to the anticipation of the fight, a dirty brawl at the press conference broke out between Lewis and Tyson. By all accounts, Tyson was the aggressor. Tyson walked up to Lewis’s press conference table, looking like he was about to assault the other boxer. Lewis’s bodyguard attempted to stop Tyson yet the bodyguard was left wheeling from a nasty left hook. The unfortunate incident ended with both Tyson and Lewis tangled up and rolling on the floor!

Tyson and Lewis’s press conference brawl fueled hostility between the two boxers, which ultimately carried over into the ring. The fight was certainly not a disappointment, as both fighters were throwing hands and trading shots. As the rounds progressed, Lewis slowly but surely took control of the fight with some impressive combination strikes. Lewis knocked Tyson to the canvas in the 7th and 8th rounds of their fight, and during the latter knockdown, Tyson was unable to beat the count and continue the fight. We imagine that Lewis walked away from the fight feeling pretty chuffed, knowing he had delivered a beating to the baddest man in boxing.

5. Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson 2

Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield II 1997 HD 1080

PPV buys 1.99 million
PPV revenue $100.2 million
Date June 28th 1997

In the boxing world, there are a few epic match-ups that will be remembered for generations to come. Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson 2 is undeniably one of those infamous fights, although whether it’s remembered for the right reasons as opposed to dirty tactics is up to you.

It garnered a lot of public attention before and after the event took place in 1997.

The first time Tyson and Holyfield stepped into the ring together, Tyson was the fan favorite by a large margin. Adding to Tyson’s pre-existing popularity, Holyfield was shaking off some lackluster performances in the lead-up to Holyfield vs Tyson. All in all, Tyson was considered a shoo-in to win their first fight.

To everyone’s surprise, during Holyfield versus Tyson, Holyfield showcased to worldwide audiences his incredible talent and why he shouldn’t be underestimated as a boxer. In other words, Holyfield nailed the win! Astonished boxing fans demanded a rematch, and Holyfield versus Tyson 2 was quickly booked to be fought in Nevada. Billed as “The Sound and The Fury,” Tyson versus Holyfield 2 had fans heatedly debating which boxer would come out on top, but in the confusion, no one knew for sure!

Holyfield started out on top of their rematch fight. Right from the early rounds, however, Tyson was complaining about headbutts, and he was convinced the ref was letting Holyfield’s illegal maneuvers slide. By the third round, Tyson was fed up! Tyson unleashed a furious attack on his opponent. Holyfield managed to flip the attack back on Tyson, tying the other fighter up by the ropes. In a surprising move, Tyson leaned forward and savagely bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear! If you thought Holyfield’s headbutting tactics were a dirty play, talk about Tyson giving back double!

In the end, the fight was stopped after the ear-biting incident, and Holyfield won by disqualification. Holyfield claimed that Tyson bit his ear because he would rather have lost by disqualification. Tyson, however, said the reason was retaliation for the headbutts he received.

4. Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Álvarez

FULL FIGHT | Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Álvarez

PPV buys 2.2 million
PPV revenue $150 million
Date September 14th 2014

There are only four boxing matches to ever surpass the 2 million mark in pay-per-view buys. At 2.2 million pay-per-view buys, Floyd Mayweather versus Canelo Álvarez is one of the few fights to make it into that top 4… what an achievement!

The young gun Álvarez was on the rise to boxing superstardom, boasting an impressive undefeated record. On the other hand, Mayweather was seen as the veteran, having already proved his mettle countless times. Boxing enthusiasts were divided about how well Mayweather would fare against an up-and-coming fighter. Perhaps Álvarez’s power, relentlessness, and determination to make a name for himself would be the magic formula to win against Mayweather. Other fans speculated that Álvarez was still too young and had too much left to learn before he had a chance at beating Mayweather.

On the whole, the fight was entertaining. Álvarez was as relentless as ever, attempting to land power shot after power shot. Mayweather, however, was about to give the young fighter a schooling about the sweet science of boxing. Showing his clinical defense, Mayweather patiently waited for the right moment to select his shots and deliver each punch with the utmost accuracy. Students of boxing ought to watch this fight and take notes!

Mayweather won the bout via majority decision, and a dejected Álvarez walked away with the first loss of his professional boxing career. Álvarez later admitted he just could not land any significant shots as Mayweather danced around him too effortlessly. Mayweather skipped any pretense of acting humble and out rightly stated he just had more skill in the bag than Álvarez.

3. Floyd Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya

FULL FIGHT | Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather (DAZN REWIND)

PPV buys 2.4 million
PPV revenue $136 million
Date May 5th 2007

Floyd Mayweather versus Oscar De La Hoya was a media frenzy. With more storylines and subplots than a soap opera, it’s unsurprising that so many people tuned in to the event on fight night. To be precise, Mayweather versus De La Hoya generated 2.4 million pay-per-view buys.

The highly anticipated fight between the two boxing superstars produced an unprecedented four-part prelude from HBO. The HBO series followed each Mayweather’s and De La Hoya’s training camp and their preparations for the fight.

A dramatic storyline related to Mayweather versus De La Hoya is that Mayweather’s then estranged father, Mayweather Sr., almost joined De La Hoya’s corner. Mayweather Sr. had been De La Hoya’s boxing trainer since 2001. But when Mayweather Sr. demanded an extravagant fee of $2 million to sit corner side, De La Hoya turned him down, and the two would split ways. Mayweather Sr. ultimately joined his son’s camp, showing that the young Mayweather has a forgiving heart. Floyd Mayweather’s uncle, Rodger Mayweather, stayed on as head coach despite his old man’s reappearance.

When fight night rolled around, De La Hoya dominated the punch count. However, Mayweather remained as calm as ever and showed boxing fans that a high punch volume with no accuracy doesn’t count for much. Mayweather’s landing percentage was almost double De La Hoya’s. Mayweather vs De La Hoya was arguably the fight that solidified Mayweather’s legendary status as a defensive specialist and striking sniper. Mayweather won the fight by split decision as the judges valued his accuracy over De La Hoya’s aggression.

2. Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor


PPV buys 4.3 million
PPV revenue $410 million
Date May 2nd 2015

Floyd Mayweather versus Connor Mcgregor may have taken place in a boxing ring, but it was truly an epic clash of two combat sports. McGregor is a mixed martial arts practitioner (MMA) and a former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion. Mayweather is a champion in the world of boxing, and with a current fight record of 50 wins and 0 losses, he’s as good as they come. With boxing fans and MMA fans united, Mayweather versus McGregor was able to generate almost double the pay-per-view sales than the previous fight on this list.

Now, if there’s anything you should know about the Irish MMA fighter Connor McGregor, it is that when it comes to trash-talking, he delivers absolute lashings with his tongue. The lead-up to Mayweather versus McGregor was a fight promoter’s dream as Mayweather and McGregor vehemently engaged in trash-talking each other. Insults were traded, chants were sung, microphones were turned off in a deliberate attempt to antagonize each other, and crowds were hyped! Many fans even changed their social media profiles to indicate which fighter they were supporting. The question it all came down to was n: which training style throws the better hands?

Mayweather started the fight slow, taking the old adage, “slow and steady wins the race,” to heart. McGregor, on the other hand, led with aggression right off the bat. The MMA superstar landed flurries of punches. Unfortunately, the refs did have to remind McGregor that it was a boxing match, not an MMA fight, as McGregor resorted to dirty tactics to break Mayweather’s defense more than once.

By the mid-rounds, Mayweather started pressing on McGregor and imposing his will. McGregor started to fade as he had poured all his energy into the earlier rounds rather than pacing himself. Mayweather, the sniper, selected his shots and picked apart the weary MMA fighter. The ref called a stop to the fight in the 10th round, believing McGregor was taking too much punishment after a flurry of strikes by Mayweather. McGregor protested the call, but as we all know, what the ref says is final.

Mayweather versus McGregor ultimately proved that while MMA training produces a highly-skilled all-round fighter, there is an intricate science to the sport of boxing. We do wonder what the fight outcome might of been had the fight taken place in an octagon ring.

1. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao

PPV buys 4.6 million
PPV revenue $410 million
Date Ma 2nd 2015

Billed as “The Fight of The Century,” Floyd Mayweather versus Pacquiao showed so much promise. An incredible 4.6 million people tuned in to watch via pay-per-view. It begs the question, how is it that a fight with bucket loads of entertainment potential ended up being referred to by fans as “Better Late Than Never”?

Mayweather versus Pacquiao, a fight between a 5-division and an 8-division champion, was arguably the most anticipated fight ever in boxing. Boxing fans were left waiting for this match-up for a long time as Mayweather and Pacquiao’s fight camps struggled to come to a fair agreement. To everyone’s disappointment, the fight spectacularly failed to live up to the hype. One of the reasons is both fighters were already past their prime.

As Mayweather fans already know, the boxer errs on the side of the defense, but in Mayweather versus Pacquiao, he took defensiveness to a whole new level. Mayweather danced around the ring, completely throwing Pacquiao off his game. Pacquiao’s punches were struggling to find a target, and those that did struggled to do any real damage. It was clear to audiences that Pacquiao’s famous speed and power were not what they used to be in his hay day. Mayweather won the one-sided fight, but due to the lack of action, fans weren’t exactly calling for a rematch. Although it wasn’t the most exciting fight, it did have the highest boxing PPV buys of all time.


Fight PPV Buys PPV Revenue
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao 4.6 million $410 million
Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor 4.3 million $410 million
Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Álvarez 2.2 million $150 million
Floyd Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya 2.4 million $136 million
Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson 1.9 million $106 million
Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia 1.2 million $102 million
Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson 2 1.9 million $100 million
Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto 1.5 million $94 million
Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. 1.6 million $80 million

Highest-selling boxing fights by PPV buys infographic

That does it for the list of the highest-grossing PPV boxing fights. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve had the chance to tune into one of these fights on pay-per-view and what were your thoughts!

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