Highest Paid Boxers of 2021

Published 12/27/2021, 9:00 AM EST

2021 was an exceptional year for boxing, which saw several electrifying events happened. From star appearances to iconic trilogies, the year had it all in-store. Meanwhile, we also saw several underdogs rise to the top, while the favorites succumbed to horrific defeats. After the crazy ride of 12 months, we can conclude who has had the best year in 2021.


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While in-rig legacy and alluring knockouts have filled the year, it was also a lucrative time for the combatants. 2021 hosted some massive blockbusters and a handful of men spun big money. While 2022 can see those digits double up, we can see several men benefit from it.


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This year, the lightweight division was in constant motion. But the lightweight stars didn’t make the most money. Here’s a look at the boxers who earned the biggest paydays in 2021.

Canelo Alvarez is ruing the boxing world

The P4P king Canelo Alvarez became the undisputed super-middleweight champion this year and scored three wins under his name. He defended his WBC and WBA belts against Avni Yildirim in February, snatched the WBO belt from Billy Joe Saunders in May, and ended up beating Caleb Plant for the IBF strap in November.

Nov 6, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Canelo Alvarez celebrates after knocking out Caleb Plant (not pictured) during their undisputed super middleweight world championship boxing match at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Per reports, he earned near $30 million from the Yildirim fight, sending several fans into a frenzy. While it has been the total earning of several boxers this year, Alvarez didn’t stop. The P4P king bagged an estimated $35 million from his clash against Billy Joe Saunders, which also fetched him a sensational stoppage win.


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After that, Alvarez spun at least $40 million by meeting ‘Sweet Hands’ Plant in the ring. The collective income of Alvarez surpassed $100 million this year, and he clearly relished all of it. As Alvarez is looking to move up divisions, he can earn even more in the future.

Tyson Fury is the Money Man

‘The Gypsy King’ fought only once in 2021 and defended his WBC belt in style against Deontay Wilder via 11 round TKO. The high-voltage trilogy saw sheer popularity, which benefited both men, especially Fury. Per reports, Tyson Fury received a guaranteed $30 million with 60% of the PPV shares. Fury seems to have earned at least $40 million in total and can return somewhere in 2022 to advance his glory and earnings.

While Fury ended his rivalry with Wilder on a higher note, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ also had a successful outing to some extent. Having knocked Tyson Fury down twice, he also secured a hefty payday. Thus, Wilder should also be in good spirits.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ is a successful man

After failing to beat Tyson Fury in the trilogy, Wilder’s financial gains are a valid reason he should still be happy. The American KO-artist was guaranteed $20 million in one night along with 40% PPV shares. Hence, the total earnings may have touched near $30 million.

With just one appearance in the entire year, it is quite an earning. However, Wilder is an A-lister and can spin the amount. Hence, it’s never too surprising for him. He hasn’t announced his next fight but can return in 2002 with another blockbuster matchup.

What happened to Anthony Joshua?

AJ lost his unified heavyweight titles yet again and this time to Oleksandr Usyk in his home country, London. The massive upset ended hopes of an All-English heavyweight thriller between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. But ‘AJ’ earned a lavish earning of $13 million, guaranteed with additional PPV shares, resulting in a total income of $34 million.

Boxing – Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk Weigh-in – The O2, London, Britain – September 24, 2021 Anthony Joshua during the weigh-in Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Wooldridge

He is no longer in a position to make his calls at will in the boxing sphere. But AJ’s bank account is already blooming and a potential re-match against Usyk in  2022 will increase the numbers even more. So, he is financially stable right now.

Jake Paul is making more money than many A-listed boxers


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Jake Paul went 3-0 in the year, beating two MMA champions back-to-back. After knocking out Ben Askren in April, ‘The Problem Child’ vanquished Woodley via split decision in August and then KO-ed ‘The Chosen One’ in December to end up 221 on a high note.


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He reportedly earned $69k from facing Ben Askren, which touched a million after adding the PPV shares. Meanwhile, Paul bagged $2 million, guaranteed each time from his two fights against Tyron Woodley.


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He was also given the PPV shares and the social media star turned boxer has earned over $10 million from bing this year. That said, he is on the right track of his career and can do it even better by facing pro-boxers next.

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Raj Sarkar

3018 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. Combining his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports, he has earned a combined 3000 plus bylines over the last two years.