Mayweather, Tyson and McGregor: Top 10 highest grossing PPV fights of all-time

Victories against Pacquiao and McGregor have contributed towards Floyd Mayweather becoming the first fighter to earn $1billion in boxing.

Floyd Patterson's rematch against Swede Ingemar Johansson in 1960 was the very first pay-per-view in boxing history.

To watch the fight, consumers would have to pay $2 and for those who did, witnessed Patterson regain the heavyweight title from Europe's first champion.

It generated 25,000 buys, which at the time was a success but in today's market, it would be viewed as a disaster. The trilogy, 18 months later, quadrupled in sales.

Place a bet up to £50, if it loses we'll give you your stake back in Free Bets

The Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier soon followed the same model and generated $500million. Since then, the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto DuranOscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather have reaped in the rewards.

Fast forward 60 years since the first PPV and it's fair to say the model has evolved over the years, especially when you compare the price of Patterson-Johansson to some of the biggest profile bouts in recent years where you'd be lucky to get change from $100.

Mayweather is the G.O.A.T of selling PPV fights. Since defeating De La Hoya in 2007, Mayweather has generated $1.8 billion in buys from 24 million paying customers. It's safe to say his $750,000 divorce from Top Rank in 2006 was the right decision…

Floyd Mayweather returned to the ring in an exhibition against YouTuber Logan Paul, which is believed to have done more than one million PPV sales
Floyd Mayweather returned to the ring in an exhibition against YouTuber Logan Paul, which is believed to have done more than one million PPV sales

Streaming service DAZN USA arrived in 2018 with the "PPV is dead" slogan but it could not be any further than the truth. Despite dwindling sales since Mayweather's retirement, PPV numbers still do better than non-PPV platforms such as DAZN.

Cinco De Mayo weekend at the start of May is seen as the Super Bowl of boxing while Mexican Independence Weekend - the second weekend of September - is seen as the other lucrative slot of the year.

However, Mayweather and Conor McGregor did prove you can sell PPV outside of those dates, generating $550million in revenue from their August 2017 freak show.

Below, Planet Sport looks at the 10 biggest PPV buys of all-time in America.

Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Fight of the Century

Date: May 2, 2015

Location: MGM Grand

PPV buys: 4.6 million

Winner: Mayweather via unanimous decision

Mayweather vs McGregor: The Money Fight

Date: August 26, 2017

Location: T-Mobile Arena

PPV buys: 4.3 million

Winner: Mayweather via TKO in round 10

Mayweather vs De La Hoya: The World Awaits

Date: May 5, 2007

Location: MGM Grand

PPV buys: 2.44 million

Winner: Mayweather via split decision

Mayweather vs Canelo: The One

Date: September 14, 2013

Location: MGM Grand

PPV buys: 2.2 million

Winner: Mayweather via majority decision

Tyson vs Holyfield 2: The Sound and the Fury

Date: June 28, 1997

Location: MGM Grand

PPV buys: 1.99 million

Winner: Holyfield via disqualification

Lewis vs Tyson: Is On

Date: June 8, 2002

Location: Pyramid Arena

PPV buys: 1.97 million

Winner: Lewis via round 8 KO

Tyson vs Holyfield: Finally

Date: November 9, 1996

Location: MGM Grand

PPV buys: 1.59 million

Winner: Holyfield via round 11 KO

Tyson vs McNeeley: He's Back

Date: August 19, 1995

Location: MGM Grand

PPV buys: 1.55 million

Winner: Tyson via round one DQ

Mayweather vs Cotto: Ring Kings

Date: May 5, 2012

Location: MGM Grand

PPV buys: 1.5 million

Winner: Mayweather via unanimous decision

Pacquiao vs Marquez 3: The 25th Round Begins

Date: November 12, 2011

Location: MGM Grand

PPV buys: 1.4 million

Winner: Pacquiao via split decision

Latest Boxing Videos