How Did Fury vs Wilder III Stack Up On The All-Time Purse List?

The commercial success of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was felt by its inclusion into pop culture as well, as the dramatic tenure of the fight itself.

To say that the third fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was a blockbusting affair is an understatement. Even in boxing, where over-the-top build-ups and theatrics are the norm, this was a fight that was simply huge. The appetite for this third fight was understandable as Fury reinvented himself in the first fight concluding a massive comeback story along with controversy towards who the true victor was, though most felt Fury edged, and the second a one-sided beat down seeing Tyson Fury getting a KO victory. With Wilder desperate to avenge this loss and pulling in a legion of fans via his work on social media platforms, the October 2021 rematch had all the drama you want in a heavyweight title bout. As all fans of the sport know, it turned out to be an absorbing affair which Fury won via an 11th round knockout.

In the same vein as the first two fights, this was a bout that not only attracted crowds to the T-Mobile Arena to witness it or tune in on their TV sets but also to bet on it too. After all, boxing is a popular sport to bet on anyway, and headline-grabbing matchups like this one always lead to people rushing to back one fighter or the other. With this in mind, the acquisition of William Hill by Caesars Entertainment was a real plus for sports bettors in the US. This meant that the Caesars Sportsbook app was available for people to use in states where sports betting is legal.

The other thing that made headlines about this fight was the purse for Fury Wilder 3. It is said that Fury took home $30m for the fight, while Wilder took home about $20m! But where does this stack up in terms of all-time boxing purses? In truth, it pales beside some of the most expensive fights within this sport, as shown below:

Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao – 2015

Most people agree that this fight, dubbed ‘The Fight of the Century, is the most expensive purse boxing has seen to date. It certainly towers over the Fury Wilder 3 purse! This is no surprise when you think about how huge this bout was and how it brought together two fighters that people had wanted to see battle it out for a long time.

Although the fight itself turned out to not match the hype, 4.6m people paid for PPV subscriptions to watch it on TV. It is thought that Pac-Man got around $120m, while Mayweather got around $160m.

Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor – 2017

Once again, the man they called ‘Money’ was involved in a fight that drew a much bigger purse than Fury Wilder 3. This was called ‘The Money Fight’ for good reason — it saw both fighters make a lot of cash from it. It is said that although the guaranteed paycheck for Mayweather was $100m, he actually walked away with about $280m when the money was divided up.

McGregor was reportedly guaranteed an amount of $30m, but actually received $130m. Taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada, Mayweather made light work of McGregor and took home an easy win.

Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield II – 1987

Although other Mayweather fights, such as his 2013 fight against Alvarez, drew larger purses, it is nice to look past just one fighter when rating where Fury Wilder 3 sits in terms of money. One fight which catches the eye is the hotly anticipated rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

This drew similar amounts for each fighter as Fury Wilder 3. Tyson earned $30m for it apparently, while Holyfield received around $33m. You have to remember though that this was in 1987 — so in today’s money, it would actually be a lot more. Those who did pay to watch or headed to the MGM Grand Arena in person were in for an unforgettable evening. After all, this was the fight when Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear!

Fury Wilder 3 ranks highly

From the first Wilder vs Fury fight to this latest instalment, these bouts have injected some new life back into boxing. They have also made the fighters involved even richer. Although there are other fights which have drawn bigger purses and bigger paychecks for those involved, there is no doubt that Fury Wilder 3 still sits towards the top of all-time high purses. Whether we will ever see the like of Floyd Mayweather-type purses again is open for debate, but you never know in boxing. It may take a meeting of two fighters truly in their prime and who are fighting for the first time to generate this kind of interest though.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle