Boxing, Money, and Health: The Floyd Mayweather Case Study
Of the thousands of boxers who’ve competed in the sport of boxing over the last couple of centuries, none seem to have earned as much as Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr., once known as “Pretty Boy”. To say that his per-fight and yearly winnings have been climbing in the seventeen years since he went professional is an understatement. In September 2013, he beat Saul “Canelo/ The One” Alvarez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and took a record-breaking minimum of $41.5M. That’s not even including his pending share of Pay Per View revenues, which is expected to bump up his total earnings for the Alvarez fight to over $100M. Here’s a breakdown of Mayweather’s career as well some general stats on boxing.
Floyd Mayweather, aka Floyd Joy Sinclair, has been on Forbes’ yearly “100 Top-Paid Athletes” list in the top 15 two years in a row now, with a #1 position in 2012 and #14 in 2013 — tied in the latter year with Manny Pacquiao, whom some expect will be Mayweather’s 2014 fight opponent. (Golfer Tiger Woods was #1 from 2001 through 2011, and is back at #1 for 2013.) On the Sports Illustrated “Fortunate 50” list of highest-paid athletes, Mayweather has been #1 two years in a row (2012 and 2013).
Breaking Down the Mayweather Timeline: From “Pretty Boy” to “Money May”
To match Mayweather’s being #1 or #2 in various recent “top-paid athletes” lists is his interests in big houses, fast cars, shopping sprees and rumored 6-figure betting on sports events. All that money seemingly earned in a single fight takes months of training and there are trainers and entourage to pay as well. Of course, he didn’t always have the entourage.
Mayweather General Career Stats
Mayweather’s career information listed here and further below includes his fight with Saul Alvareze, unless otherwise noted.
- 5 — Number of divisions Mayweather has been a champion in.
- 26/45 — Mayweather wins by KO/Total.
- 0 — Number of losses.
- 130 — Mayweather’s lowest weight while winning a world championship.
- 154 — Mayweather’s highest weight while winning a world championship.
- 36 — Mayweather’s age.
- 3 — Time in the AM that he wakes up to work out. This also happens to be a time he’ll grab a Fatburger burger.
“The Wealthiest” vs “The Greatest”: Floyd Mayweather vs Muhammad Ali
Floyd Mayweather isn’t facing off against “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali, in this lifetime, but in terms of career stats, Ali has a slight edge on him in several categories.
|Floyd Mayweather||Muhammad Ali|
|Nicknames||2 – “Pretty Boy” and “Money”||3 – “The Greatest,” “The People’s Champion” and “The Louisville Lip”|
|Height difference in inches||-7||+7|
|Total fights to date||45||61|
|Wins by KO||26||37|
|Number of Olympics competed in||1 — 1996 Atlanta||1 — 1960 Rome|
|Medals||1 — Bronze||1 — Gold|
|# broken jaws||0||1 — At the hands of Ken Norton, Sr. (RIP)|
|Birthdate||Feb 24, 1977||Jan 17, 1942|
|Spread in age||-35||+35|
|Age when Ali retired||4||39 — He announced retirement in Jul 1979 but fought 2 more times — against Larry Holmes in 1980 and Trevor Berbick on Dec 21, 1981. The Berbick fight — Ali’s last — was nearly a month short of his 40th birthday.|
What will be interesting to see is how many more matches Mayweather will fight, beyond the remaining four of six in his Showtime deal. He’s already hinted at retiring rich. Ali, on the other hand, managed 61 fights in his career despite losing four years while fighting draft-evasion charges.
Mayweather’s Transitional Period
Mayweather’s career took a few years to reach the big paydays. Here’s what happened along the way.
|Milestone year||Milestones from then to the next milestone year|
|1996 — The year after which Mayweather turned pro (after winning a bronze medal in Altanta’s 1996 Summer Olympics).||17 — Number of victories Mayweather earned before a title chance against Genaro Hernandez|
|1998 — Year of Mayweather’s first title chance.||150,000 — The number of $ he got paid for beating Hernandez by TKO.7 — The additional number of fights Mayweather had before hitting the 7-figure mark for a single fight.|
|2001 — The pivotal year for that 7-figure fee first, when he defeated Diego Corrales.||9 — The additional number of fights for which Mayweather’s fee earned him $2M+per fight.2-3 — Mayweather’s average take, in millions of dollars, for those 9 fights.|
|2006 — The year Mayweather hit the 8-figure mark for yearly earnings, going up against Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir.||13 — Number of millions of dollars that he earned in 2006, including PPV share.37 — Number of bouts won by Mayweather by the end of 2006.0 — Number of bouts lost at that point.|
|2007 — The year Mayweather’s single-bout take hit 8 figures.||2.44 — The number of millions of PPV viewers of Mayweather’s 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya.132 — The millions of dollars in total PPV revenue from that fight.52 — Number of millions of dollars De La Hoya took in for that event.25 — Number of millions of dollars Mayweather received for that event, including PPV share.25+ — Minimum number of millions of dollars Mayweather received for each of his next seven fights, including Saul Alvarez.|
|2013||7 — The number of those 8 fights in which Mayweather’s opponent earned as much or more than he did (see additional lists below).|
[NOTE TO EDITOR: DATA IN THE IMMEDIATE LIST BELOW IS A DUPLICATE OF THE ABOVE TABLE — FOR CONVENIENCE: USE MOST SUITABLE FORMAT]
- 1996 — The year after which Mayweather turned pro (after winning a bronze medal in Altanta’s 1996 Summer Olympics).
- 17 — Number of victories Mayweather earned before a title chance against Genaro Hernandez.
- 1998 — Year of Mayweather’s first title chance.
- 150,000 — The number of $ he got paid for beating Hernandez by TKO.
- 7 — The additional number of fights Mayweather had before hitting the 7-figure mark for a fight.
- 2001 — The pivotal year for that 7-figure fee first, when he defeated Diego Corrales.
- 9 — The additional number of fights that Mayweather’s fight fee earned him $2M+.
- 2-3 — Mayweather’s average take, in millions of dollars, for those 9 fights.
- 2006 — The year Mayweather hit the 8-figure mark for his yearly take, going up against Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir.
- 13 — Number of millions of dollars that he earned in 2006, including PPV share.
- 37 — Number of bouts won by Mayweather by the end of 2006.
- 0 — Number of bouts lost at the point.
- 2007 — The year Mayweather’s single-bout take hit 8 figures.
- 2.44 — The number of millions of PPV viewers of Mayweather’s 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya.
- 132 — The millions of dollars in total PPV revenue from that fight.
- 52 — Number of millions of dollars De La Hoya took in for that event.
- 25 — Number of millions of dollars Mayweather received for that event, including PPV share.
- 25+ — Minimum number of millions of dollars Mayweather received for each of his next seven fights, including Saul Alvarez.
- 7 — The number of those 8 fights in which Mayweather’s opponent earned as much or more than he did (see additional lists below).
Mayweather vs Alvarez Fight Stats
How does Saul Alvarez compare to Mayweather? Here are the stats.
- 3 — Number of titles that were on the line: 2 — Alvarez WBC (World Boxing Council ) and WBA (World Boxing Association) super welterweight titles; 1 — Mayweather WBA Super title.
- 2.5 — The odds (to 1) that Mayweather was favored over Alvarez.
- 4 — Number of estimated dozens of celebs in attendance.
- 12 — Number of rounds it took Mayweather to defeat Alvarez.
- 1 — Number of judges that called the Mayweather-Alvarez fight a draw at 114-114.
- 45 — Mayweather’s undefeated streak after beating Alvarez.
- 23 — Alvarez’s age at the time of the fight
- 36 — Mayweather’s age
- 13 — Years older than Alvarez that Mayweather is.
- 6 — Alvarez’s age when Mayweather went pro 17 years ago.
- 150.5 — Mayweather’s weight at official weigh-in.
- 152 — Alvarez’s weight.
- 0 — Weight difference in pounds (as per official weigh-in).
- 1 — The approximate number of Fatburger “XXXL” (24oz) burgers without bread that Mayweather would have had to eat to match Alvarez’s fight weight. (Fatburger being one of Mayweather’s faves.)
- 1 — Number of inches height advantage for Alvarez.
- 72 — Number of inches of reach for Mayweather.
- 70.5 — Number of inches of reach for Alvarez.
- 1.5 — Inches difference in reach.
- 30/42 — Alvarez wins by KO/Total
- 1 — Number of Alvarez draws
- 1 — Number of Alvarez losses (post-fight)
Money Money Money
According to Vice.com, the highest-paid athletes have always been American boxers. That’s not strictly true, given golfer Tiger Woods was #1 on Forbes Top 100 highest-paid athletes list from 2001-2011, and again in 2013. However, Floyd Mayweather is definitely #1 on several lists, including the 2012 Forbes list and the 2013 Sports Illustrated “Fortunate 50” list. Of course, his recent fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez hasn’t hurt in terms of top paydays and records broken. Is it any wonder Mayweather has a few quirks of “conspicuous consumerism,” including carrying around resealable plastic bags of stacks of $100s to go on shopping sprees with? At least he shares some of that with friends, employees and sometimes total strangers.
- 100 — Number of millions dollars ($M) that Mayweather could take in for the fight, including the guaranteed $41.5M plus PPV share.
- 65 — Approximate cost in dollars of a PPV ticket for the fight.
- 10 — Additional cost in dollars for HD viewing.
- 547 — Number of movie theaters in the U.S. who showed the Mayweather/ Alvarez fight (in HD).
- 5 — Alvarez’s minimum base pay in $M for the match.
- 100 — Percentage of Alvarez’ base pay that will actually come from Mayweather’s pocket as a business expense.
- 7 — $M expected take for Alvarez’s PPV share.
- 12 — Number of $M Alvarez is to make in the fight in total.
- 41.5 — The record-breaking minimum amount in $M Mayweather will get for the fight.
- 58.5 — $M expected additional take for Mayweather’s PPV share.
- 70-100 — Overall estimated amount in $M to Mayweather (base plus PPV share).
- 45 — Number of $M Mayweather made (base and PPV share) for his 2012 fight with Miguel Cotto.
- 350 — Estimated $M his career earnings will be at if he earns $70M (including PPV share) for the Alvarez fight.
- 10.5 — Number of millions of PPV buys that Mayweather’s previous 10 PPV fights generated (pre-Alvarez fight).
- 600 — Number of $M in PPV revenue generated in those 10 fights.
- 200 — Number of millions of dollars in PPV revenue the event is expected to produce.
- 200-350 — The range in $M that different estimates of the six-fight Showtime Sports deal is worth to Mayweather.
- 2 — Number of additional years Mayweather says he’ll fight, presumably to cover his Showtime contract deal.
- 4 — Number of fights remaining of his 6-fight deal with Showtime.
- 150 — Minimum number of $M, total, that these remaining four fights will bring Mayweather.
- 500 — Number of $M Mayweather’s professional boxing career will likely have pulled in at the end of his Showtime deal.
- 0 — Number of current endorsements — though he has had endorsement deals in the past, with Reebok. He also has his own apparel company and even takes a margin on food and drink sold during his fights.
- 123 — $M in cash he has all in a single bank account.
- 200,000 — Number of dollars he’s been known to spend in a shopping spree on handbags for female friends.
- 7 — Number of figures his sports bets sometimes reach.
- 5.9 — Number of $M he’s rumored to have bet on the Miami Heat in the playoffs.
- 1.5 — Number of $M that a Maserati MC12 coupe goes for on the high-end duPont Registry web site — a site Mayweather enjoys.
- 7 — Number of $M in jewelry he once had stolen from one of his homes.
- 100,000 — Amount of reward money offered for information leading to the return of the stolen jewelry.
- 3 — Minimum number of homes Mayweather owns (Miami, Vegas, Los Angeles).
- White — The color of all his cars at his Miami house.
- Black — The color of all his cars at his Las Vegas house.
- 1 — Number of times he wears any pair of shoes.
- 1 — Number of times he wears any pair of boxer shorts.
- 6500 — Number of dollars he spends per year on boxer shorts.
- 2 — Number of jets his entourage flies on, with bodyguards being on the one he’s not on, due to fears of overloading the cabin.
It’s possible Mayweather’s earnings could be even higher had he not spent two months of an 87-day sentence for domestic abuse in a Las Vegas jail starting mid-2012.
20 Common Boxing Injuries
Of course, boxing isn’t all big paydays. There are the injuries. Mayweather has been fairly lucky in that regard, but other boxers have not. While a 1996 National Safety Council report ranked amateur boxing as one of the safest contact sports, there are over 4 dozen common injuries associated with boxing – professional or amateur. Here are some of them, in alphabetical order.
- Back and rib injuries – muscle pain, bulging disc, fractures
- Boxer’s fracture
- Brain damage — Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons. Ex-boxers are thought to be more susceptible to these diseases.
- Carpal bossing
- Coordination, loss of
- Cuts, bruises and lacerations
- Face injuries — cuts, broken nose, eye injuries (detached retina, retinal tears), jaw (TMD/ TMJ dysfunction, or clicking jaw)
- Fractures — bone, various
- Hand and wrist injuries – cuts, sprains, fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Kidney damage
- Leg, ankle and knee injuries – achilles tendon rupture, stress fractures, tendonitis, sprains, adductor tendinopathy, calf muscle tears, chondromalacia patella, acl tear
- Memory loss, short-term memory
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries — rotator cuff and dislocation, acl tear
- Teeth, broken
4 Severe But Uncommon Boxing Injuries and Associated Repercussions
Then there are the really severe injuries that, while uncommon, do happen.
1. Death due to brain injury and coma, depression — Duk-Koo Kim’s fight with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini in Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace resulted in the former’s death four days later, after a 14-round fight. As a result, the referee and Kim’s mother both committed suicide. Mancini suffered from depression as a result.
Other boxers have died in the ring or after a fight, including Becky Zerlentes, who was the first woman, in 2005. In arguably one of the more unusual deaths, Francisco Camilli (aka Frankie Campbell) died the day after Max Baer (see the film Cinderella Man) hit Camilli so hard that the latter’s brain was knocked loose in his skull.
According to the Journal of Combative Sports, the number of documented deaths worldwide as of Oct 2011, due to injuries from boxing matches, is just over 1600 from the years 1890 to 2011, with additional documented as far back as 1720.
2. Blindness followed by death, jail terms — In a 1983 fight against Luis Resto, Billy Collins Jr. lost his vision, thanks to Resto’s cheating manager removing some of the latter fighter’s glove padding, resulting in Collins getting hit harder than normal. Resto and his manager spent time in jail, but the resulting permanent blurred vision ended Collins career and he committed suicide two years later.
3. Fractured jaw and severe beatdown, loss of career, jail terms — In 1919, Jack Dempsey, aka the Manassa Mauler, laid a severe smackdown on the then champion Jess Willard, despite the latter’s 5.5 inches height advantage. In 2001, boxer Richard “The Alien” Grant also had his jaw broken, by a fighter with no gloves, in a charity fight — James “Harlem Hammer” Butler. Apparently, Butler misinterpreted a gesture of embrace from Grant and overreacted by breaking Grant’s jaw, after he had already defeated Grant in the fight and had taken his gloves off. Grant also suffered a lacerated tongue and had several stitches. Butler was arrested and served time, and a few years later in 2006 was convicted of the 2004 killing of Sam Kellerman, the brother of Max Kellerman, an HBO Boxing analyst. Butler is serving 29 years as a result.
4. Ear loss, career loss – In the MGM Grand Garden Arena in 1997, Evander Holyfield lost a piece of his ear lobe thanks to Mike Tyson chowing down. This act probably hurt Tyson more overall as he was suspended from boxing and lost his purse for the fight.