Boxing’s Biggest Ever Purses As Fury Asks For “Half A Billi” To Face Usyk/AJ Winner

With Tyson Fury asking for £500m to face the winner of the Usyk vs Joshua rematch, we look at five of boxing's biggest pay days
15:51, 15 Jun 2022

WBC heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury has announced his price to come out of retirement and face the winner of the Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua rematch… and it’s going to take some deep, deep pockets.

“I’d probably want half a [billion] to come out of retirement,” Fury told talkSPORT on Wednesday. 

“I’m telling you the truth, if you want me out of retirement, it’s gonna cost half a billi.”

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‘The Gypsy King’ claimed he was done with boxing following his April knockout win over Dillian Whyte and opened the door to exhibition-style matches, with the UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou long-mooted as a potential opponent. 

Fury told Queensberry Promotions on Tuesday night that he would “100%” return to the ring in the future, but an undisputed showdown with the winner of Usyk/Joshua II seems unlikely unless the 33-year-old’s steep demands are met. 

“If it’s half a billi, then I won’t say no, will I?, Fury added. “What you’ve gotta do is go and get half a billi, and then the ‘Gypsy King’ will come out and solve all [Usyk’s] problems for him.

“Because if AJ gets beat again off Usyk, then there’s only gonna be one man to redeem this great fighting nation of the United Kingdom, and he goes by the name of Tyson Fury. I can solve all the problems, the embarrassment, all that stuff that’s gonna happen.

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“One call, but it’s gonna cost half a billi. £500m or $500m, I don’t care – as long as it’s half a billi.”

If Fury’s wish was granted, then it would dwarf any previous purse in boxing history. Below are the five biggest paydays that have been made in the ring. Unsurprisingly, a chap who went by the moniker ‘Money’ features quite often. 

5. Evander Holyfield (vs Mike Tyson, 1997) £28.4m

One of the highest grossing and grossest fights of all-time. Evander Holyfield landed a hefty payday when he fought Mike Tyson for a second time. He infamously lost a chunk of his left ear that night, but earning nearly £30m for three rounds work must have at least softened the blow. 

4. Oscar De La Hoya (vs Floyd Mayweather, 2007) £42m

A decade on from the ‘Bite Fight’ it was a changing of the guard that saw boxing’s next big pay day. While Floyd Mayweather was unquestionably a superstar in the making, it was Oscar De La Hoya who took top billing when they squared off in Las Vegas. However, although Mayweather earned less than half of what his opponent received, it was the future 50-0 star who emerged victorious via split decision. 

3. Floyd Mayweather (vs Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, 2013) £65m

This time it was Mayweather who played the part of a seasoned veteran, while Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s role was similar to that of Mayweather’s when he took on De La Hoya six years earlier. There would be no changing of the guard this time though, with Mayweather outpointing the future pound-for-pound star with relative ease. 

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2. Floyd Mayweather (vs Conor McGregor, 2017) £223.5m

Floyd Mayweather’s purses were already pretty mind-boggling but when he took on UFC superstar Conor McGregor in 2015, in his 50th and final professional fight, it was stratospheric. Dubbed ‘The Money Fight’, with Conor McGregor earning a whopping £70m himself, it might be one of the most aptly named fights ever. 

1. Floyd Mayweather (vs Manny Pacquiao, 2015) £223.5m

The most-anticipated (and ultimately disappointing) fight in recent memory. The fight might have happened more than a few years too late but that didn’t stop ‘The Fight Of The Century’ becoming the biggest money-spinner in boxing history. The fight made an eye-watering £333m on pay-per-view, £58.7m on the gates and both Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (£122m) walked away with the biggest paydays of their careers as their feud ended with a whimper

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