Prizefighter: Pay-Per View Events with the Most Buys

As you’ll see over the coming pages, there’s a ton of money in fighting. Whether it’s gambling, prize money, or sponsorship dollars, people open their wallets on fight day. And so much of that money goes towards Pay-Per View buys.

Today on Filthy Rich, we’ll take a look at some of the most financially successful Pay-Per View (PPV) fights of all time and provide you with a little bit of insight as to why the heck they made so much money. Fighters, are you ready? Let’s get it on!

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

The first McGregor vs. Diaz in March of 2016 was a barn burner.

McGregor and Diaz preceded the event with a flurry of insults and public displays to hype their fight. It’s safe to say that the bad blood boiled over inside the cage, as the two talked trash the entire fight. Fighting at a break-neck pace, Diaz won via submission in the second round, setting up a classic rivalry and an inevitable rematch.

The excitement surrounding this first-time meeting led to 1.5 million PPV buys.


Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto

Trust me, this will not be the last time that you see Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s name on this list. But, I bet you already figured as much considering his nickname is “Money.”

Since the boxing world wanted to see Mayweather take on Manny Pacqiao, his bout against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, unfortunately, felt like a participation trophy. While fans would eventually get what they wanted, but not in 2012. In 2012, 1.5 million people paid to see a clinical performance (and another 12-round decision victory) by “Money” Mayweather.

Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley

Boxing’s prodigal son returned to kick butt and cash checks. Fresh off his well-publicized stint in prison, Mike Tyson was booked in a fight with the pride of Massachusetts, Peter McNeeley. 1.55 million people paid to see the return of Iron Mike. And what a return it was.

Lasting a grand total of 89 seconds, Tyson knocked out McNeeley clean, causing McNeeley’s corner man to mercifully rush into the ring to stop the fight. The official decision was ruled as a disqualification, but let’s be clear, McNeeley got knocked out cold.

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