With multiple title belts on the line and drama to boot, the third Canelo vs. GGG fight — just like the first two — will surely bring in millions of dollars.
As the two halves of one of fiercest rivalries in recent boxing memory, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin have plans to end their ongoing five-year feud in a bout for the undisputed super middleweight (168-pound) championship of the world Saturday in Las Vegas.
It’s long been rumored that Canelo and “GGG” would finally settle the score after controversial finishes to the first two times they met. But after years of going back and forth outside of the ring, there was doubt as to whether or not boxing fans would ever see a trilogy fight.
But this book will finally have its end when the two step into the ring inside T-Mobile Arena over the weekend. And when they step out of it, one will likely emerge a victor, but both will leave with heavier wallets.
It’s time to cut some gigantic checks, fight fans. Let’s talk Canelo vs. GGG 3 purse money.
The history between these two is well-documented. Canelo, considered for several years as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the game, boasts a 57-2-2 (39 KOs) career record, with one of those split decisions coming against GGG in 2017. Over the last decade, he’s dominated multiple divisions, unifying three weight classes in the process. His last bout, however, was a loss to up-and-coming Dmitry Bivol. It was Canelo’s first L since falling to all-time great Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013.
Golovkin, meanwhile, is 42-1-1 (37 KOs) for his career, with the lone loss coming against none other than Álvarez. However, if you ask him, he isn’t so sure that he lost that second fight or even split the first one with his longstanding rival (many in boxing share the same sentiment). Now 40, Golovkin is viewed to be on the downswing of his career, but with clear “beef” between the two, he won’t have any trouble getting up for the trilogy against his 32-year-old counterpart.
Three years ago, this fight would have been the crème de la crème of the boxing world. But even then, fans were beginning to get turned off by the idea of a third fight.
That said, this super middleweight title fight will bring a lot of closure — and a lot of money — to both camps. Let’s take a look at how much each fighter stands to earn in the ring this weekend.
The GGG-Canelo Prize Money History
Before diving into this fight’s reported figures, let’s take a look at what each fighter earned in the previous two fights.
In both of the first two bouts, Álvarez was considered to be A-side fighter. As such, he was paid more handsomely in both guaranteed base salary and in total purse payout from pay-per-view revenue and event profits.
Canelo vs. Golovkin 1 (2017)
The Nevada State Athletic Commission disclosed that Canelo’s first-fight base salary was $5 million compared to Golovkin’s $3 million. However, these are just the numbers that can be revealed. Several outlets have reported that the fighters had guaranteed payouts via their promoters of $20 million for Canelo and $15 million for Golovkin. Factoing in the aforementioned supplementing revenue — with a reported 70-30 split in Canelo’s favor — and the two walked away with roughly $50 million and $20 million, respectively.
Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 (2018)
The second fight saw the same base salary for Canelo — $5 million — while Golovkin’s jumped up modestly to $4 million, as noted by Yahoo’s Kevin Iole. The revenue split was closer to even at 55-45, however, a number Golovkin agreed to after Álvarez tested positive for the performance-enhancer clenbuterol, delaying the rubber match. That meant a closer payout between the two that included approximately $40 million guaranteed for Canelo and about $30 million for Golovkin. Neither number takes into account promoter bonuses
In 2020, the Nevada State Athletic Commission opted to keep fighter pay confidential going forward; therefore, these official base salaries are all reported figures and not officially confirmed by the NSAC. As we know already, such numbers never end up equating to the real take-home pay these fighters walked away with thanks to factors like pay-per-view buys and gate revenues.
That much is evident when looking at the reported numbers in the two-fight deal Canelo signed with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing prior to his Bivol fight: According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, the deal is worth north of $85 million, half of which he already received in May. For reference, Canelo previously had an 11-fight, $365 million deal with DAZN prior to that before he sued the company and his then-promoter, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, after just three fights.
After the suit was settled, he was free to make the deal with Hearn and Co.
Canelo vs. GGG 3 Purse & Payout
Álvarez’s base salary is said to be set for $10 million for the trilogy bout, double what it was for the previous two. Golovkin, meanwhile, will take home a base of $8 million — but keep in mind that the first two meetings between these fighters produced over one million PPV buys and $20 million in gate revenue each. That’s typically where the biggest money in the sport is made.
The fight, which is to be streamed on DAZN, ironically enough, will cost $64.99 in the US. And while the bout may not have the same juice as it would have a few years ago, don’t be surprised if that PPV number nears a million yet again. While impossible to know at the moment, one can surmise the take-home pay for both fighters should exceed those of the previous bouts (inflation admittedly doesn’t hurt those chances one bit).
As of Sept. 14, FanDuel Sportsbook has Canelo as the favorite with -440 odds to walk away victorious; GGG is given +370 odds coming back. In a rivalry that’s been so eye-poppingly close over the years, you’ve got to think despite the age disparity between the two that this rubber match truly could go either way.