Did Floyd Mayweather Really Make $65 Million to Fight Jake Paul?
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., earlier this month, fought famous YouTuber Jake Paul in an exhibition match in Miami. The June 6 fight went the distance of eight rounds, with no winner announced. Because the fight was unsanctioned, it does not count towards Mayweather’s official, still-undefeated record.
According to SportsCasting.com, Mayweather got $10 million for the fight, compared to $250,000 for Paul. The boxing also claimed that he had “already made $30 million in the buildup.”
The site’s math found that Mayweather made about $65 million from the fight. That’s because Mayweather was both a participant and the fight’s promoter, through his company Mayweather Promotions. The fight reportedly did one million buys on pay-per-view, and with Mayweather getting 50 percent of that revenue at $50 a pop, that places the figure at $25 million.
If all those figures are true, Mayweather took home a total of $65 million. And according to SportsCasting, that’s more money than the combined career earnings of two of the best basketball players in history, Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who earned $39 million and $24 million respectively, in their NBA playing careers.
This would appear highly unfair, considering Bird and Magic absolutely revolutionized the game of basketball, while the 44-year-old Mayweather pulled in that huge payday for an unserious goof-off fight with someone who’s not really a professional boxer.
Of course, the calculations may not be so neat. Those figures for Mayweather’s participation are a bit thin, and it’s unclear exactly where the “made $30 million in the run-up” figure is in reference to.
Bird and Magic, of course, played at a time when athletes were paid considerably less money than they are today. Television revenue was a fraction of what it is today, and unfettered free agency was barely a dream. Bird and Magic both played their entire careers with the same team, Bird was never a free agent, and Magic only was once at the very end of his career.
Also, those figures for Bird and Magic’s income doesn’t include the money they made outside of playing basketball. Both had considerable amounts of endorsements while they were active players, both later had careers as both coaches and in team management, and Johnson in particular became a very successful businessman after his retirement from the NBA.
CelebrityNetWorth, a website that isn’t exactly known for dead-on accuracy, lists Mayweather’s current net worth at $450 million, although it places his career earnings from boxing at over $1 billion. This would make him the fifth highest-paid athlete in history, behind Michael Schumacher, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan.
Mayweather announced a deal last year with Fubo TV for “virtual boxing,” which would involve Mayweather’s likeness being used in “futuristic technologies” which could place him in virtual fights with other boxers, living or dead. Nothing has been announced in regard to that since last April, however.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.