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Top 10 Payouts In Boxing History

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Money
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Boxers make an absolute ton of money. Compared to them, UFC fighters at the top of their cards look like they make Wal-Mart greeter money. Here are the top 10 single fight payouts in professional boxing history.

10. Miguel Cotto (\$8 Million)

Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao
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10. Miguel Cotto (\$8 Million)

Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao
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In his third and final defense of the WBA Super Welterweight Championship, Miguel Cotto was taken out in a painstaking 12-round fight, losing to Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision. The May 12, 2012 fight marked only his third professional loss and his biggest purse to date. His opponent may have made slightly more than he did.

9. Vitali Klitschko (\$15 Million)

vitali klitschko
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9. Vitali Klitschko (\$15 Million)

vitali klitschko
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On Mar. 19, 2011, Vitali Klitschko took on Olympic Gold Medalist Oldanier Solis in defense of his WBC Heavyweight Title. It didn’t take long for the current Mayor of Kiev to take out his challenger and make some big money, as a right hook knocked him off his feet, tearing his ACL in the process. No comment on Klitschko's alleged mafia ties.

8. Manny Pacquiao (\$26 Million)

Manny Pacquiao
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8. Manny Pacquiao (\$26 Million)

Manny Pacquiao
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In their fourth and final fight, Manny Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez. There were no titles on the line but plenty of pride, as all three prior fights (one split decision and two decision wins for Pac-Man) ended in controversy. There was no controversy here, but I’m sure taking home $20 million more than the man who knocked his lights out made it hurt a little less when he woke up.

7. Lennox Lewis (\$30 Million)

lennox lewis
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7. Lennox Lewis (\$30 Million)

lennox lewis
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The infamous brawl at the January 2002 press conference for this fight was more intriguing than the bout itself, which saw Lennox Lewis knock out Mike Tyson to retain his Heavyweight titles. Tyson even admitted to biting Lewis’ leg in the promotional scuffle. The fight did huge PPV buys, and all of the big Hollywood stars were there, but the night’s big winner came away with his titles and a hefty bag full of money.

6. Mike Tyson (\$30 Million)

Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson,
Jamie Squire / Allsport

6. Mike Tyson (\$30 Million)

Holyfield V Tyson
Jamie Squire / Allsport

In their second fight, Mike Tyson took on Evander Holyfield on June 28, 1997 in a contest that everybody remembers. Not only did he take on Holyfield, but Tyson also took off part of the other fighter’s ear. Apparently tens of millions of dollars isn't enough for the storied boxer-turned-madman.

5. David Haye (\$32 Million)

Dereck chisora david haye
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5. David Haye (\$32 Million)

Dereck chisora david haye
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In his Heavyweight title unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye split the purse with his opponent 50-50. The fight itself certainly didn’t go that way, as Haye lost his WBA title in the June 2011 fight. I wonder if he regrets creating an iPhone game that allowed the player to decapitate an opponent with a likeness to the Klitschko brothers.

4. Wladimir Klitschko (\$32 Million)

Wladimir Klitschko
Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

4. Wladimir Klitschko (\$32 Million)

Wladimir Klitschko
Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

David Haye was looking forward to literally knocking the heads off of both of the Klitschko brothers, but he was stopped short when he was unsuccessful in making much of a dent in the jaw of the first. Haye caused a big ruckus leading up to the fight, while Wladimir Klitschko waited to go about his business in the ring, where he makes his money.

3. Evander Holyfield (\$35 Million)

evander holyfield mike tyson
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3. Evander Holyfield (\$35 Million)

evander holyfield mike tyson
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I have a feeling Evander Holyfield didn’t have much of a problem coming up with the money to get the chunk of his ear that he lost in his fight with Mike Tyson reattached. Holyfield retained his title by DQ in probably the most out-of-control and ridiculous fights in boxing history. Most people likely don’t even remember there was even a boxing match scheduled on that night in the summer of 1997.

2. Floyd Mayweather (\$45 Million)

Floyd Mayweather
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2. Floyd Mayweather (\$45 Million)

Floyd Mayweather
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Money Mayweather certainly lived up to his name when he was able to secure a guaranteed purse of 45 big ones for his 2012 fight against Miguel Cotto. He likely wouldn’t have made as much if the fight was against his originally intended opponent, Manny Pacquiao, as one of the stopping points in the negotiations for that fight was the splitting of the money. Mayweather surely would have only come away with a paltry $25 million for that one.

1. Oscar de la Hoya (\$53 Million)

Oscar de la Hoya
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1. Oscar de la Hoya (\$53 Million)

Oscar de la Hoya
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In what still stands as the highest grossing PPV event in US history, the huge fight between WBC Light Middleweight Champ Oscar de la Hoya and challenger Floyd Mayweather delivered huge money to everyone involved. Money was still working toward becoming the undisputed king of the world, and only made $25 million compared to the staggering $53 million of the Golden Boy.

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