Home News Anthony Joshua stands to bank £39MILLION from his Francis Ngannou clash –...

Anthony Joshua stands to bank £39MILLION from his Francis Ngannou clash – before he even enters the ring… but where does the British heavyweight rank in the most lucrative boxing paydays of all time?

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Anthony Joshua is currently ranked as No 28 on Forbes’ list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes for 2023 having earned a whopping £41million ($53m). 

Despite that, his net wealth is set to rise again over the coming years thanks to Saudi Arabia’s influence in boxing. 

This Friday, the British heavyweight boxer is set to take home another massive payday following his fight with Francis Ngannou at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh. 

In fact, even before he steps into the ring, the 34-year-old is set to pocket an eye-watering £39m ($50m). 

That’s nearly quadruple the base purse he took home following his first meeting with Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, where Joshua pocketed £10m ($12m) plus 60 per cent of the pay-per-view (PPV) revenue, while his opponent took £3m ($3.8m) of the pre-PPV purse. 

Joshua has earned some big paychecks during his career, with his fight against Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia being one of his largest paydays yet

Ngannou comes into this bout off the back of a defeat to Tyson Fury, where he troubled the WBC heavyweight champion

Anthony Joshua (left) will pocket an eye-watering £39m for his fight against Francis Ngannou (right) on Friday night

There is much talk that Joshua could stake a claim for a world title fight if he beats Ngannou

There is much talk that Joshua could stake a claim for a world title fight if he beats Ngannou 

Equally, the former UFC star currently sits 10th in the WBC rankings, but could move back to fighting in MMA

Equally, the former UFC star currently sits 10th in the WBC rankings, but could move back to fighting in MMA

Since Saudi Arabia have has stepped into the boxing market, fighters like Joshua, Usyk and Fury have been able to profit from much larger bigger purses. 

Joshua’s first bout in the Middle Eastern state came back in 2019, where he recovered his IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles from Andry Ruiz Jr. 

That fight broke records amassing a whopping 1.6m PPV buys with Joshua walking away with a big cheque and his world heavyweight titles after having lost them to Ruiz in their previous bout.  

For boxers, the financial benefits of fighting in Saudi Arabia are clear to see, with Tyson Fury taking home £39m ($50m) following his bout against Ngannou during their ‘Battle of the Baddest’ clash late last year – with the former MMA star claimign £8.2m ($10m). 

Yet, while Joshua is set to receive one of the biggest paydays of his career, his fight vs Ngannou remarkably does not see him go top of the rankings of boxings biggest paydays.

Here, Mail Sport looks at some of the biggest paydays made by fighters without PPV earnings in boxing history.

Joshua's (right) first fight in Saudi Arabia came when the former world champion defeated Andy Ruiz (left) in their second bout

Joshua’s (right) first fight in Saudi Arabia came when the former world champion defeated Andy Ruiz (left) in their second bout

Ngannou (left) troubled Tyson Fury (right) during their fight in October, knocking him to the canvas in the third round

Ngannou (left) troubled Tyson Fury (right) during their fight in October, knocking him to the canvas in the third round 

10. Anthony Joshua (£20m) vs Alexander Povetkin – 2018

Back in 2018, Joshua defended his heavyweight belts against Povetkin, knocking the Russian fighter down twice in the seventh round of their bout to claim a TKO victory. 

The fight took place at Wembley Stadium in London, with the British fighter netting £20m ($25m) before PPV sales, according to The Express

Povetkin would also take home a nice pay check of £6m ($7m) for the fight. 

Joshua (right) knocked Alexander Povetkin (left) to the canvas twice during their fight in 2018

Joshua (right) knocked Alexander Povetkin (left) to the canvas twice during their fight in 2018 

9. Tyson Fury (£22m) vs Deontay Wilder III – 2021 

Fury called a time on his long-standing feud with Wilder after claiming an 11th round knockout in what was one of the best fights of 2021. 

In fact, the pair put on such a show that it won Ring Magazine’s award for Fight of the Year. 

Despite that, both boxers walked away with their pockets well lined, with the bout generating approximately 900,000 PPV sales worldwide. 

According to The Sun, the Gypsy King was guaranteed to have earned £22m ($27m) for the fight, plus 60 per cent of the PPV sales. 

Wilder, meanwhile, is said to have taken home £15m ($11m) as well as the remaining PPV take. 

Fury banked a base check of £22m for his trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder in 2021

Fury banked a base check of £22m for his trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder in 2021

8. Evander Holyfield (£23m) vs Mike Tyson II – 1997

Holyfield and Tyson stepped into the ring for the second time in 1997, re-igniting their much anticipated feud, after the former had come out of retirement to shock Tyson and secure victory. 

When the pair met again one year later in 1997, Holyfield was guaranteed £23m ($30m) for the fight, while Tyson took home £11m ($15m) before PPV sales. 

The fight wasn’t without drama either, with the bout being stopped at the end of the third round after Tyson had bitten off a piece of Holyfield’s right ear and was subsequently disqualified. 

Talk of a trilogy fight had subsequently arisen in 2021, but that fight never materialised, with Holyfield claiming that Tyson had turned down a £19m ($25m) offer to step into the ring once again, per talkSPORT.

Evander Holyfield (right) picked up a hefty paycheck during his fight against Mike Tyson, but lost a part of his ear in the process

Evander Holyfield (right) picked up a hefty paycheck during his fight against Mike Tyson, but lost a part of his ear in the process

7. Canelo Alvarez (£27m) vs Sergey Kovalev – 2019

This was a huge bout for the WBO light heavyweight championship, with Kovalev failing to retain his belt after he was knocked out by the Mexican fighter in the 11th round at the MGM Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada. 

Alvarez also picked up a pretty nice pay check on the night, taking home £27m ($34m) before factoring in PPV sales. 

It comes after he signed what is the richest contract in sports history with DAZN, that will tie him down to the streaming site for five-years in a deal worth £287m.  

He is contracted to fight 11-times during that period, with each fight set to net him around £27m.  

Canelo Alvarez (right) is currently contracted to DAZN on a deal that will see him earn £27m per fight

Canelo Alvarez (right) is currently contracted to DAZN on a deal that will see him earn £27m per fight

6. Floyd Mayweather (£32m) vs Canelo Alvarez – 2013

Mayweather and Alvarez collided in a huge match-up in 2013, with the pair squaring off at a 152-pound catchweight. 

Marketed as ‘The One’, Mayweather went on to defeat the former undisputed super middleweight champion over 12 rounds via a majority decision.  

While the fight garnered a ton of PPV sales, Mayweather was guaranteed £32m ($41.5m) before the fight, with Alvarez taking £3.93 ($5m) before the fight, according to The Guardian

Floyd Mayweather (left) and Alvarez (right) did battle in 2013, with the former winning and picking up a guaranteed £32m

Floyd Mayweather (left) and Alvarez (right) did battle in 2013, with the former winning and picking up a guaranteed £32m  

5. Tyson Fury (£39m) vs Francis Ngannou – 2023 

According to reports from Derek Chisora, who was speaking on Fight Hub TV, Fury reportedly banked himself an eye-watering £39m ($50m) before PPV sales for his ‘Battle of the Baddest’ fight vs Ngannou .

It was a testing fight for the Manchester boxer, though, who was knocked down by the UFC champion during what was a thrilling exhibition of boxing that saw Ngannou establish himself in the WBC rankings. 

Fury (right) and Ngannou's (left) bout at last year's 'Battle of the Baddest' saw the Gypsy King reportedly earn a whopping £39m before PPV sales

Fury (right) and Ngannou’s (left) bout at last year’s ‘Battle of the Baddest’ saw the Gypsy King reportedly earn a whopping £39m before PPV sales 

4. Anthony Joshua (£39m) vs Francis Ngannou – 2024

Joshua is set to earn approximately £39m according to The Independent when he meets the UFC champion in the ring on Friday afternoon. 

It is one of the biggest paydays of his career and he is likely to take home a lot more than that, depending on how many PPV sales this fight does.

Joshua (left), will also earn £39m for his fight against Ngannou (right) on Friday night in Saudi Arabia

Joshua (left), will also earn £39m for his fight against Ngannou (right) on Friday night in Saudi Arabia 

3. Anthony Joshua (£47m) vs Andy Ruiz II – 2019 

Joshua’s first fight in Saudi Arabia was perhaps one of the most lucrative fights of his career. 

He enacted revenge on Ruiz, but also picked up a check of £46m ($36m) on the night, thanks in part to the site fee Eddie Hearn had secured to fight in Diriyah. 

That was reportedly around £31m ($24m), according to The Independent, with Ruiz earning more than £10m ($12m) before PPV sales. 

But it is not his biggest payout with Joshua (right) netting a whopping £46m during his second fight vs Ruiz (left)

But it is not his biggest payout with Joshua (right) netting a whopping £46m during his second fight vs Ruiz (left) 

2.  Floyd Mayweather (£78m) vs Conor McGregor – 2017

McGregor swapped the Octagon for the ring as he attempted to inflict the first defeat of Mayweather’s career in what was dubbed ‘The Money Fight’.

The pair did battle at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in one of the greatest cross-over fights, with ‘Money’ extending his fight record to 50-0. 

And despite suffering defeat, the former UFC champion netted a hefty paycheck from the fight of around £23m – not including a share of the £325m PPV revenue. 

Mail Sport exclusively revealed in 2022 that Mayweather wanted another bout against the Irishman, after he had earned a whopping £78m from their previous bout, according to talkSPORT.

Mayweather and McGregor took to the ring in 2017, with the former defending his unbeaten record and picking up a whopping £78m before any PPV sales were accounted for

Mayweather and McGregor took to the ring in 2017, with the former defending his unbeaten record and picking up a whopping £78m before any PPV sales were accounted for  

1. Floyd Mayweather (£223.5) vs Manny Pacquiao – 2015

Mayweather was crowned Forbes’ highest paid athlete in 2018 having made his millions prize fighting some of the best boxers in the world, including Pacquiao.

After around six years of feuding, the pair finally squared off in a mega fight, that, according to DAZN, was worth a whopping £678m. 

The ‘Fight of the Century’ didn’t quite live up to its name with Mayweather beating Pacquiao to retain his undefeated status in what was a thrilling clash of two of boxing’s greatest stars in Las Vegas.

The ‘Fight of the Century’ underwhelmed but from a financial perspective, both Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao came away much richer, with Mayweather netting £223.5m 

The fight, which took six years to make, brought in audiences from around the world and earned around £333m in PPV buys. 

But it was ‘Money’ Mayweather who took away a huge pre-PPV check of £223.5m, while Pacquiao claimed £122m for the fight, per DAZN.