Manny Pacquaio and the 15 Top-Paid Fighters in the World: Are They Worth It?

Justin Tate@justindavidtateCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2011

Manny Pacquaio and the 15 Top-Paid Fighters in the World: Are They Worth It?

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    Manny Pacquiao is one of the privileged few who get paid lots of money to do what they love.

    From veterans such as Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley to fan favorites such as Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito and newcomers such as Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley, boxers are getting paid.

    Plenty of boxers are getting paid millions. Whether those millions are to stink up the room or blow everyone's mind is unfortunately not mattering. These men are raking in the Benjamins regardless.

    Here are the 15 Top-Paid Fighters in the World. Let's see who actually is worth the money they're being paid, shall we?

    (Note: For the purpose of this article, endorsements will not be counted. Only fight purses and pay-per-view earnings.)

15. Timothy Bradley

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    How much did he make this year?

    Bradley pulled in $1.1 million for his victory over previously undefeated Devon Alexander this past January. He was expected to net at least $1.4 million against Amir Khan this past July until he dumped his promoter.

    Bradley left his promoter, got caught in a legal whirlwind and found himself landing a fight on the undercard of arguably the biggest boxing event of the year: Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez.

    Total: At least $1.1 million

    Is he worth it?

    Time can only tell, but so far so good. He brought the fight to Alexander in their clash of the undefeated, but Alexander was constantly on retreat and opted out when the headbutts grew too painful.

    Bradley's only money-zapping problems are his tendency to accidentally headbutt and his lack of power.

    His lack of power hasn't kept him from having boxing classics like those against Kendall Holt and Lamont Peterson, but it does keep him from putting away fighters who've lost the will to fight like Alexander.

    He's scheduled to face a 40-year-old Joel Casamayor on Nov. 12. This is likely meant by his new promoter, Top Rank, to add a decent name to his resume and make the 28-year-old look really good.

    With enough promotion, his million-dollar paydays will be more than worthy instead of barely so.

    Verdict: Yes, but barely so.

14. Devon Alexander

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    How much did he make this year?

    The 22-year-old pocketed over a million to face Timothy Bradley in a battle of the undefeated American junior welterweights.

    He lost.

    But no fear, HBO's ridiculously high rematch guarantee is here. Over 1.25 million was his guarantee, but he had to face a hard puncher to make sure the fight would be action packed.

    That hard puncher was Lucas Matthysse. Alexander survived a knocked down to scrap out a split decision.

    Total: Over $2.25 million.

    Was he worth it?

    When Alexander and Bradley were both guaranteed their first million each against one another, the expectation was to grab the next Hearns-Hagler or Leonard-Hearns fight.

    What we got instead was complaints and headbutts as Bradley dominated a whiny Alexander. Possibly understanding that his performance was underwhelming, Team Alexander took on a tough challenge next.

    In Alexander's journey toward redemption, he was caught with numerous big punches and even touched the canvas once.

    Matthysse pulled out the best in Alexander and showed that the young American definitely had heart and can make a decently action-packed fight.

    Verdict: No, but he's getting better.

13. Amir Khan

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    How much will he make this year?

    Khan was expected to make £1.25 million against Paul McCloskey until a dispute with the UK's Sky Sports led to Khan having to accept £250,000.

    Then Khan faced Zab Judah in Las Vegas in July after Timothy Bradley opted out of their showdown. Khan netted a hint over a million dollars for the fight.

    Khan is scheduled to face Lamont Peterson on Dec. 10 in Washington, D.C. The financial details have yet to be released at this time, but an expectation of at least $900,000 is a fair assessment based on previous purses.

    Total: Nearly $2.3 million so far.

    Is he worth it?

    He's one of the rising stars of the sport who continues to show promise and progression with each performance.

    Verdict: Yes.

12. Sergio Martinez

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    How much did he make this year?

    Martinez got a million to steamroll over Sergei Dzinziruk this past March.

    Then Martinez landed $1.5 million for his hard-earned 11th-round knockout of Darren Barker on Oct. 1.

    Total: $2.5 million

    Was he worth it?

     The real question is when is he not worth it? Martinez was meant to look bad against Dzinziruk, because he's a jabber that would break Martinez's fast-paced action.

    Martinez outjabbed the jabber and knocked him down five times en route to a knockout in Round 8.

    Then the undefeated Barker was expected to be a bum, but his underestimated defense and ring smarts almost won him the fight until Martinez adjusted and blew him away. Martinez is action all the way and a great reason all by himself to subscribe to HBO.

    Verdict: Hell Yes!

11. Bernard Hopkins

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    How much did he make this year?

    Hopkins earned $1.5 million in his history-making victory over Jean Pascal this past May. Hopkins then earned a million against Chad Dawson this past Oct. 15 in a controversial losing effort.

    Total: $2.5 million

    Was he worth it?

    He made a great match and wonderful historic effort to become the oldest world champion in boxing history by beating Pascal at age 46.

    His dud against Chad Dawson is mostly not his fault, but he should have better shown the referee his ability to continue.

    He was knocked down by a shoulder thrust, broke an arm and told the ref he could continue "with one arm." If Hopkins really wanted this fight to go on, he should've found his way to his feet and just simply said, "I'm ready."

    Verdict: Yes against Pascal, then no against Dawson.

10. Antonio Margarito

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    How much will he make?

    Margarito is positioned to make $2.5 million plus a small percentage of the pay-per-view revenue of a rematch against Miguel Cotto on Dec. 3 in Madison Square Garden.

    Total: Over $2.5 million.

    Will he be worth it?

    Most likely yes. There have been fans who have wanted Cotto-Margarito II the whole three years since they first fought.

    The rivalry, the drama and the twists of this tale are already epic enough to make a great film. It will certainly make a great fight.

    Verdict: Yes.

9. Victor Ortiz

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    How much did he make this year?

    Ortiz was guaranteed $2.5 million to go against undefeated Floyd Mayweather. Ortiz's purse against Andre Berto has not been revealed, but is estimated to be around $100,000.

    Total: $2.6 million

    Was he worth it?

    Ortiz was definitely worth every penny for his fight of the year contender against Andre Berto.

    Against Mayweather, he made a blatant foul that set off a chain of events that led to a quick ending of one of this year's biggest hyped fights just when it was starting to get good.

    Ortiz is still not ready for the big boys yet. That means he also isn't ready for the million-dollar paydays that come with them.

    Verdict: No.

8. Shane Mosley

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    How much did he make this year?

    He made $5 million plus a percentage of pay-per-view earnings against Manny Pacquiao in May.

    Total: Over $5 million.

    Was he worth it?

    Thirty-nine-year-old Mosley showed his age against Pacquiao, being knocked down in Round 3 and then going into survival mode.

    Mosley showed a clear loss of his killer instinct. Fighting on any further may only damage the heroic image of slick hard-hitting American fighter who inspired the next generation of boxers.

    Verdict: No.

7. Juan Manuel Marquez

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    How much did he make this year?

    Marquez is reported to earn over $5 million against Manny Pacquiao when they complete their trilogy Nov,12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

    Marquez had a tune-up against Likar Ramos earlier this year, but the earnings have not been widely released.

    Total: Over $5 million.

    Is he worth it?

    Marquez is a warrior. He's given the world many thrills, including two electrifying classics against Pacquiao.

    The problem is whether Marquez can deliver again. Pacquiao and Marquez have great chemistry, but Marquez is 38 years old.

    Only time will tell. For now, it appears Marquez will be worth the millions he will be paid.

    Verdict: Yes, with caution.

6. Lucian Bute

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    How much will he make?

    Lucian Bute made at least $1.2 million against Brian Magee this past March. Then he signed a three-fight exclusivity deal with Showtime for $6 million.

    Bute has already participated in one of those fights and is expected to face legendary Jamaican boxer Glen Johnson in the second one on Nov. 5.

    Because he will have only participated in two of his proposed three matchups from his deal, only two-thirds of the $6 million will be counted as his earnings toward this year.

    Total: Over $5.2 million.

    Is he worth it?

    Amazingly so. He's a great body puncher, brilliant action-fighter and a true knockout king. His Canadian fanbase is madly in love with him and sell out stadiums with ease, bringing a wonderful atmosphere with them.

    What isn't there to love?

    Verdict: Yes.

5. Miguel Cotto

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    How much will he make this year?

    Miguel Cotto, the current WBA light middleweight (154 lbs.), pocketed a decent million to dispatch of Ricardo Mayorga by 12th Round knockout this past March.

    Cotto is now set to avenge his first loss to Antonio Margarito on Dec. 3 in a rematch of their 2008 fight of the year contender.

    Cotto is being paid a guarantee of $5 million plus a percentage of pay-per-view revenue.

    Total: Over $6 million

    Is he worth it?

    He's Miguel Cotto, a much beloved Puerto Rican boxer with great body-punching ability and a thirst for vengeance.

    The drama and intrigue of Cotto vs Margarito is definitely a blockbuster fight. Cotto's $5 million will be more than deserved.

    Verdict: Yes.

4. David Haye

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    How much did he make this year?

    He made over £15 million to face Wladimir Klitschko in a heavyweight superfight. He lost and retired.

    Total: $22.5 million

    Was he worth it?

    Considering that Haye hyped this up as potentially his last fight before retirement and had this thing being beefed up for roughly three years, it was a great disappointment.

    Haye was more evasive and less active against Klitschko. He wound up a big punch every blue moon rather than throw caution to the wind for a chance at a knockout of a lifetime.

    Verdict: No.

3. Wladimir Klitschko

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    How much did he make?

    Wladimir Klitschko pocketed £15 million against David Haye this past July in what was meant to be the biggest heavyweight fight since Lewis-Tyson.

    Klitschko will face Jean Mormeck in December, but the financial details of this fight are unknown at this time.

    Total: Over $22.5 million.

    Was he worth it?

    Klitschko came not just to fight, but to knock David Haye out.

    Haye may have came to fight, but he ended up only struggling to survive.

    Klitschko's fight was a stinker, but not because of him. He's still a dominant force, just not a proper challenger.

    Verdict: Yes.

2. Floyd Mayweather

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    How much will he make this year?

    Mayweather was guaranteed $25 million to face Victor Ortiz this past September. He is also expected to net a large percentage of pay-per-view revenue that is estimated to bring his total to $40 million.

    Total: $40 million.

    Was he worth it?

    Mayweather makes his money off being the villain that boxing audiences love to hate. He's a lunch discussion and work conversation piece that anyone, regardless of whether they even watch boxing or not, loves to join in.

    Audiences often pay to see him knocked out, but leave sporting arenas turn and off their televisions in disgust at his apparently dominate victory.

    If the goal of the pay-per-view was to develop a deeper hatred of Mayweather's villainous persona, the answer is yes.

    If the goal was to create a widely-discussed controversial event that would bombard Internet discussion forums and workplace break rooms for months on end, the answer is yes.

    If the goal was to produce an wholly satisfying fight with a clean ending, then the answer is a resounding no.

    Mayweather did not accomplish that with his fourth round sucker punch knockout. What he did do is assert to his fans that he is still in great shape and won't be losing any time soon, a sad message to his haters (unless he faces Manny Pacquiao).

    Verdict: Maybe.

1. Manny Pacquiao

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    How much will Pacquiao make?

    Pacquiao has already raked in close to $30 million from his match against Shane Mosley this past May.

    Pacquiao will face Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 for a guaranteed $20 million before pay-per-view earnings are tallied.

    Total: Over $50 million and counting.

    Is he worth it?

    Depends. Pacquiao tried to bring the fight to Mosley, yet Mosley didn't bring it back. Despite Mosley's greater efforts toward being elusive than being aggressive, Pacquiao should have been able to catch up with him.

    Mosley was able to expose a flaw in Pacquiao's offensive game, and his fear didn't allow him to take advantage.

    Should Pacquiao be held accountable? No. Everyone has an off night. But that means his fight against Marquez will have to produce enough fireworks to burn down the sour memory of the Mosley fight.

    Verdict: Yes, until proven otherwise.


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