Ever since the first pay-per-view (PPV) boxing match “Thrilla in Manila” between the legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in the 1980s, there has been a steady growth in demand for PPV boxing. In today’s hi-tech world boxers not happy with titles in their weight division; they want to rule the PPV world. Some have succeeded in doing so.
Here are the top 10 highest grossing pay-per-view matches of all-time.
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10) Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno II (PPV Buys: 1.37 million
PPV Buys: 1.37 million; Date: March 16 1996; Winner: Mike Tyson
This contest was billed as “The Championship: Part I”. Tyson was the aggressor throughout the duration of the bout. Less than a minute into the third round, Tyson dodged a jab from Bruno and unleashed a thirteen-punch combination that prompted the referee to stop the fight.
=9) Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman(PPV Buys: 1.4 Million)
Date: April 19 1991; Winner: Evander Holyfield
This match, which was billed as “The Battle of the Ages”, happened at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Even though Foreman was competitive throughout the fight, Holyfield won via unanimous decision. The bout made around $55 million from PPV buys. Holyfield was guaranteed $20 million to appear; Foreman $12.5 million.
=9) Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad (PPV Buys: 1.4 million)
Date: September 18 1999; Winner: Felix Trinidad
When this bout began, both the boxers were undefeated. Held in Las Vegas, this fight was billed as “The Fight of the Millennium”. De La Hoya dominated the early part of the fight, but tired noticeably by the ninth round of the twelve-round contest. He thought he had a lead and adopted a defensive approach. This backfired as Trinidad was perceived as the aggressor in the last three rounds and was declared a winner.