It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much money an athlete has made in their career, especially when it comes to boxing. Many fighters are paid a percentage of the live gate and/or pay-per-view sales as well as the agreed-upon salary in the contract and possibly other broadcasting revenue. And let’s not forget they also have to pay the taxman, the promoter and their training and management teams etc.
There’s no doubt top boxers are among the best-paid athletes in the world and this list deals with the top 10 money makers in the ring during their careers. It shows their estimated career earnings in the ring and not what their current net worth may be or how much they’ve made outside of the ring. A prime example of this would be George Foreman, who made more by selling his famous grilling machine than he did by boxing.
10. Vitali Klitschko – $70 million
Before he became the mayor of Kiev, 45-year-old Vitali Klitschko of Ukraine was one of the best heavyweight boxers in the modern era and is the brother of Wladimir Klitschko, another great heavyweight titleholder. While he was earning a living in the ring, Klitschko was a three-time world heavyweight champ and is ranked eighth overall for the longest reign in the division. He posted a record of 45-2 with 41 Kos from 1996 to 2012 with a knockout ratio of 87 per cent, the best ever in heavyweight champion history. His two losses came on cuts (Lennox Lewis) and a shoulder injury (Chris Byrd) while leading both bouts on the scorecards. In fact, he’s the only heavyweight champ to never be knocked down. Klitschko’s biggest bouts were against Lewis, Orlin Norris, Samuel Peter, Shannon Briggs, Tomasz Adamek and Kevin Johnson and helped him earn $70 million in the ring.