Money makes the world go around, and the stars of boxing create the general economy the rest of the sport of boxing exists within. For the last decade, it has been Canelo’s world, and the rest of boxing just have chosen to inhabit with a few people making challenges that are his equal, if not have created a money market just a diverse.
Here is a look at the biggest stars in the sport of boxing based on their ability to pull in numbers via social media along with revenue both in terms of the live gate and pay-per-view buys. As Jay Z once said, ‘men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t.’
One of the best Mexican fighters ever, not just of this era. A four-weight world champion, who is the current undisputed four-belt super middleweight champion is a modern legend of the sport. Canelo has effortlessly taken the baton from Floyd Mayweather and carried the traditional May and September Mexican fight weekends for nearly a decade. Add to it,
According to Wikipedia, the revenue generated from Canelo Álvarez pay-per-views is $785,900,000 with nearly 10 million pay-per-view buys in that time. Now you might understand why he signed a five-year, eleven-fight deal with DAZN for $365 million in 2018. Canelo’s social media reach is just a tiny bit smaller than Joshua’s but his historic deals slightly edge him out for the top spot.
The face of British boxing, and the ambassador for boxing for years to come. Anthony Joshua helped Matchroom Boxing expand globally through his popularity that first started during his Olympic run in 2012 which saw him win a gold medal in the super heavyweight division of the London Olympics.
During Joshua’s career on pay-per-view dating back to 2015, Joshua has sold $14,690,000 pay-per-views and has a huge reach on social media platforms most notable being 15 million followers on Instagram, as well as 7.3 million followers on Facebook. Joshua has revolutionized heavyweight boxing in terms of marketing in the modern world.
Garcia is the current king of social media in terms of boxing. One could argue despite a deep amateur pedigree, Garcia has become more of an influencer than a pro boxer, as he seems more interested in keeping the numbers and engagement high on his personal accounts than say fighting for a world title it appears.
That said, his pay-per-view fight against Gervonta Davis, two weeks ago is having early reports of 1.2 million pay-per-view buys sold. Now combined with his global influence across various social media apps that has him at roughly 13 million followers on most social media platforms and excluding TikTok, you are looking at someone that is a voice of the younger generation. Garcia has a net social media following on IG, Twitter, and Facebook of 11.1 million, which ranks in the top ten of influence of current boxers.
As Tyson Fury will remind you he is the lineal champion of the heavyweight division along with the WBC champion, using outlets like the Joe Rogan Experience, as well as tremendous pre-fight interviews, Fury’s star has risen to the top of the sport in the last four-to-five years.
In terms of pay-per-view buys, Fury has sold a little over 4 million over four fights globally with his pay-per-view bout against Dillian Whyte having their numbers withheld. Fury has sold nearly 2 million pay-per-view buys in the United States alone, an impressive feat for a fighter not from the United States. Along with all of this has millions of followers on various social media apps. Fury has 5.8 million followers on Instagram and another 2.8 million followers on Twitter.
Many might object to Davis being in the basement of the list, but keep in mind this is as of now. If we were projecting futures, I don’t see any other fighter currently having a ceiling as high as Gervonta Davis in terms of earning power. Davis has a combined following on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook of roughly 5.6 million followers.
More impressively, since the COVID-19 pandemic, Davis has exclusively appeared on pay-per-view with revenues totaling $190.791.200, and Davis pulling in 2,280,000 pay-per-view buys. Davis had done roughly a million buys in his four previous pay-per-views before fighting Ryan Garcia which is being reported at roughly 1.2 million buys.