Boxing’s biggest fight of 2018 will produce eight-figure paydays for Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) for their middleweight championship rematch, although that’s not what is written on the official paysheet.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael got hold of the salaries for Saturday’s pay-per-view blockbuster, and it’s been written down that Canelo and GGG are each guaranteed $5 million. Last time out, Canelo’s purse was $5 million to Golovkin’s $3 million, but it’s estimated that they made out with $50 million and $20 million respectively. Obviously that extra money comes from pay-per-view revenue and a cut of the profits from the event (gate, merchandise sales, etc.). The revenue split for last year’s fight was 70-30 in Canelo’s favor, whereas the rematch is believed to be 55-45 Canelo, and if this fight is more commercially successful than the last one… you can do the math.
As for the rest of the card, only two fighters on the PPV are not getting six-figure purses. Mexico’s Moises Fuentes has a $35,000 purse for his 10-round non-title bout vs. former top pound-for-pound standout Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Brandon Cook probably is getting a career-high with his $30,000 to take on WBO junior middleweight champ Jaime Munguia (whose $250,000 sum is also his best to date), but even though Cook is probably not even a top-15 junior middleweight, you’d like to see him get more given he’s a heavy underdog against a very green but high-quality fighter in Munguia.
Lastly, middleweight sluggers David Lemieux and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan have a combiend $600,000 in purse money, with O’Sullivan doubling up Lemieux $400k to $200k. That’s a pretty hefty sum for O’Sullivan, who’s never had a major title fight and hardly has much in the way of meaningful wins at the top of 160 lbs.
As an aside, I highly recommend listening to Evan Rutkowski’s Fistianados podcast (about 44:52 in) to get a better idea of pay-per-view undercards in boxing, which are usually different from the UFC. Also, as Rian Scalia notes, quite often we see foreign fighters on US cards get paid more than what’s written down, so Cook (and his Canadian compatriot David Lemieux) likely aren’t only getting a combined $230,000 for their respective matchups.
Here are the full purses for the Canelo-Golovkin PPV, which starts at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on Saturday, September 15th.
Canelo Alvarez: $5 million
Gennady Golovkin: $4 million
Jaime Munguia: $250,000
Brandon Cook: $30,000
David Lemieux: $200,000
Spike O’Sullivan: $400,000
Roman Gonzalez: $200,000
Moises Fuentes: $35,000