The biggest selling pay-per-view fights in UK history, including Mayweather vs Hatton

Twenty-six years ago, pay-per-view was introduced in the UK for the heavyweight rematch between Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson.

The pair collided for Bruno's WBC title after he became world champion in his fourth attempt against Oliver McCall.

Bruno had previously fought Tyson in 1989, and it ended in the Londoner getting stopped in round five. The second encounter finished even quicker with Tyson stopping him inside three rounds.

In 1996, the price to watch the fight, which took place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, was £9.95. An estimated 500,000 bought the UK PPV on Sky Sports.

Mike Tyson

Fast forward to 2022 and that price would not even cover half of a PPV fight in the UK. The most recent PPV was the all-British clash between Amir Khan and Kell Brook which cost £19.99 per buy in the UK.

If you thought that was too much, then look away now as Anthony Joshua's most recent fight on Sky Sports Box Office against Oleksandr Usyk was priced at £24.99.

As you will see below, the increase in price to watch a Joshua fight hasn't stopped him from making the top 10 list for most purchased PPVs of all-time.

The latest PPV showdown will see Tyson Fury collide against heavyweight rival Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium on April 23 for the WBC title. Frank Warren will be hoping the contest can break into the top 10 but for it to do that, it will need to deliver more than 900,000 buys.

1) Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker - 1.83m

Anthony Joshua

The 2017 heavyweight unification between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker is at number one. The pair collided at Cardiff's Principality Stadium with the WBA, IBF and WBO titles on the line.

Despite an exciting build-up, Parker barely landed a glove on Joshua with the latter outpointing the New Zealander via unanimous decision.

2) Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko - 1.63m

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko delivered an incredible fight in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley.

Both men hit the canvas inside the opening five rounds but youth prevailed as Joshua bounced back from the brink to stop Klitschko in round 11. The victory saw Joshua add the vacant WBA strap to his IBF title.

3) Andy Ruiz 2 vs Anthony Joshua - 1.57m

Anthony Joshua

The rematch was a huge fight for Anthony Joshua after the manner of how he lost to Andy Ruiz Jr in their June 2019 bout.

In a huge upset, Ruiz dropped Joshua three times on his way to claiming a famous seventh-round victory to become the new unified heavyweight champion at the Garden.

However, the Saudi Arabia rematch saw Joshua control the fight with his jab against an out-of-shape Ruiz and he won via unanimous decision. AJ was now a two-time heavyweight world champion.

4) David Haye vs Tony Bellew - 1.53m

Tony Bellew

David Haye and Tony Bellew went toe-to-toe in one of the most memorable build-ups to an all-British clash in years.

Haye 2.0 promised to knock out Bellew, destroy Anthony Joshua and end Matchroom Boxing. Instead, he snapped his Achilles and got stopped in round 11 by Bellew. The rematch in 2018 would end even quicker with Bellew knocking him out in round five.

5) Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin - 1.25m

Anthony Joshua

The 2018 fight was the first time Anthony Joshua had fought there since his iconic fight against Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017.

Despite a tense couple of rounds, Joshua eventually came through the ex-heavyweight champion and stopped him in round seven.

6) Wladimir Klitschko vs David Haye - 1.17m

Wladimir Klitschko dominated David Haye to unify the heavyweight division in 2011

The heavyweight unification had everyone in the UK talking about it at the time. David Haye had made the heavyweight division exciting for British fans following his victory over giant Nikolai Valuev to win the WBA title.

The fight, which took place in Germany, saw Klitschko dominate Haye and he inflicted the second defeat of his career to unify the division. Haye would later blame a broken toe for his underwhelming performance.

7) Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Ricky Hatton - 1.15m

Hatton lost to Mayweather via a 10th-round stoppage

This had all of the ingredients for a classic.

Floyd Mayweather was the potty mouth villain and Ricky Hatton was the fans' favourite. Both men were undefeated going into the 2007 contest.

However, Mayweather would produce a stellar performance to outperform Hatton throughout the Las Vegas showdown and he eventually stopped him in round 10.

8) Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Conor McGregor - 1m

Conor McGregor facing off with Floyd Mayweather Jr ahead of their fight in 2017

The most lucrative crossover fight of all-time pitted Floyd Mayweather up against Conor McGregor in 2017. At the time of the bout, both were regarded as the best of their respective sports in boxing and MMA.

McGregor's lack of experience in boxing was on show though and he was no match for Mayweather who secured a TKO win in round 10. In doing so, he surpassed Rocky Marciano's record of 49-0.

9) Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Manny Pacquiao - 942,000

Floyd Mayweather

'The Fight of the Century' broke the record for most PPVs sold in America with an estimated 4.4 million paying $100 to tune in and watch Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

The super fight took place in 2015, possibly five years too late, but fans were keen to see if Pacquiao could be the man to finally defeat Mayweather.

Despite all of the excitement going into the contest, there was only one winner with Mayweather dominating proceeding to win on points and he stretched his record to 48-0.

10) Manny Pacquiao vs Ricky Hatton - 900,000

Ricky Hatton

It was reported that over 25,000 British fans flew over to support Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas for his fight against Manny Pacquiao.

It was over quickly though as the Filipino destroyed Hatton with a brutal second round knockout to win the Ring Magazine light welterweight title in 2009.

Hatton-Pacquiao - which also generated 1.75 million buys in America - saw Pacquiao win Ring Magazine's Knockout of the Year award.

PPV figures were taken from various media reports and sources, plus the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.

Read more: How does Anthony Joshua's record compare to Lewis, Tyson and Holyfield?

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