PROFESSIONAL boxing remains a multi-million dollar industry that offers lucrative careers to the champions.
At least 106 “world” title fights, adding up to vast amounts of prize money, television rights and gate takings, took place in 2014.
Floyd Mayweather, who earned more money than any other sportsman in the world during the year, collected at least US $32 million for his rematch with Marcos Maidana.
The 37-year-old, undefeated American is more than halfway through a $200-million six-fight contract that has pushed his career earnings to well over $400 million. If he fights Manny Pacquiao in 2015, the two will share the biggest purse ever paid to two boxers.
Pacquiao, who has held “world” titles in eight divisions, has become one of the wealthiest people in the Philippines during his years as a professional boxer.
About 80,000 spectators attended the super-middleweight title bout between Carl Froch and George Groves at Wembley in London, and millions watched it on television, confirming that boxing is still a popular sport.
Only three heavyweight title bouts took place in 2014. Wladimir Klitschko won two of them and remains the most successful, and wealthiest, boxer in what used to be the most lucrative division in the sport.
Most of the title fights held under the auspices of the four leading sanctioning organisations were in the lightest divisions. Nine bantamweight and nine featherweight title fights took place.
South African Hekkie Budler, the WBA and IBO minimumweight champion, won each of his three title fights and is set to earn a tidy amount for his next defence.
In addition to the three heavyweight title bouts, the 2014 list included five cruiserweight and seven light-heavyweight title fights. There were five for super-middleweight and seven for middleweight belts, three for junior middleweight titles and five each in the welterweight and junior welterweight divisions.
There were eight fights for lightweight titles, six for junior lightweight belts and nine each in the featherweight and bantamweight classes. Junior featherweights fought in six title bouts and those in the junior bantamweight, flyweight, junior flyweight and minimumweight divisions in seven.
RESULTS OF ALL ‘WORLD’ TITLE FIGHTS IN 2014
(All points results in bouts over 12 rounds)
April 26 – Wladimir Klitschko bt Alex Leapai, tko 5, Oberhausen, Germany – IBF, WBA, WBO
May 10 – Bermane Stiverne bt Chris Arreola, tko 6, Los Angeles, WBC
November 15 – Wladimir Klitschko bt Kubrat Pulev, KO 5, Hamburg, Germany – IBF, WBA, WBO
January 25 – Marco Huck bt Firat Arslan, tko 6, Stuttgart, WBO
August 16 – Yoan Pablo Hernandez bt Firat Arslan on points, Erfurt, Germany, IBF
August 30 – Marco Huck bt Mirko Larghetti on points, Halle, Germany, WBO
September 27 – Denis Lebedev bt Pawel Kolodziej, KO 2, Moscow, WBA
September 27 – Grigory Drozd bt Krzysztof Wlodarczyk on points, Moscow, WBC
March 29 – Sergey Kovalev bt Cedric Agnew, KO 7, Atlantic City, WBO
April 19 – Bernard Hopkins bt Beibut Shumenov on points, Washington, WBA, IBF
May 24 – Adonis Stevenson bt Andrzej Fonfara on points, Montreal, WBC
August 2 – Sergey Kovalev bt Blake Caparello, tko 2, Atlantic City, WBO
November 18 – Sergey Kovalev bt Bernard Hopkins on points, Atlantic City, WBA, IBF, WBO
December 6 – Jürgen Brähmer bt Pawel Gazewski, tko 1, Oldenberg, Germany, WBA “regular”
December 19 – Adonis Stevenson bt Dmitry Sukhotsky, KO 5, Quebec
March 1 – Arthur Abraham bt Robert Stieglitz on points, Magdeburg, Germany, WBO
May 3 – Arthur Abraham bt Nikola Sjekloca on points, Berlin, WBO
May 31 – Carl Froch bt George Groves, tko 8, London, IBF
August 16 – Anthony Dirrell bt Sakio Bika on points, Carson, California, WBC
September 27 – Arthur Abraham bt Paul Smith on points, Kiel, Germany, WBO
February 1 – Gennady Golovkin bt Osumanu Adama, tko 7, Monaco, WBA
April 19 – Peter Quillin bt Lukas Konecny on points, Washington, WBO
May 31 – Sam Soliman bt Felix Sturm on points, Krefeld, Germany, IBF
June 7 – Miguel Cotto bt Sergio Martinez, tko 9 New York, WBC
July 26 – Gennady Golovkin bt Daniel Geale, tko 3, New York, WBA
October 8 – Jermain Taylor bt Sam Soliman on points, Biloxi, Mississippi, IBF
December 13 – Andy Lee bt Matt Korobov, tko 6 Las Vegas, WBO
June 14 – Demetrius Andrade bt Brian Rose, tko 7, New York, WBO
September 13 – Floyd Mayweather bt Marcos Maidana on points, Las Vegas, WBC, WBA
October 11 – Cornelius Bundrage bt Carlos Molina on points, Cancun, Mexico, IBF
April 12 – Manny Pacquiao bt Timothy Bradley on points, Las Vegas, WBO
April 19 – Shawn Porter bt Paul Malignaggi, tko 4 Washington, IBF
May 3 – Floyd Mayweather bt Marcos Maidana on points, Las Vegas, WBA, WBC
August 16 – Kell Brook bt 12 Shawn Porter on points, Carson, California, IBF
November 22 – Manny Pacquiao bt Chris Algieri on points, Macau, WBO
January 25 – Lamont Peterson bt Dierry Jean on points, Washington, IBF
March 15 – Danny Garcia bt Mauricio Herrera on points, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, WBA, WBC
June 14 – Chris Algieri bt Ruslan Provodnikov on points, New York, WBO
August 9 – Lamont Peterson bt Edgar Santana, tko 10, New York
November 22 – Jessie Vargas bt Antonio DeMarco on points, Macau, WBA regular
February 22 – Miguel Vazquez bt Denis Shafikov on points, Macau, IBF
March 1 – Terence Crawford bt Ricky Burns on points, Glasgow, WBO
April 26 – Omar Figueroa bt Jerry Belmontes on points, Carson, WBC
June 28 – Terence Crawford bt Yuriorkis Gamboa, KO 9, Omaha, Nebraska, WBO
August 16 – Omar Figueroa bt Daniel Estrada, tko 9, Carson, California, WBC
September 13 – Mickey Bey bt Miguel Vazquez on points, Las Vegas, IBF
September 20 – Richard Abril bt Edis Tatli on points, Helsinki, IBF
November 29 – Terence Crawford bt Raymundo Beltran on points, Omaha, WBO
January 3 – Argenis Mendez and Rances Barthelemy, no contest 2, Minneapolis, IBF
January 25 – Mikey Garcia bt Juan Carlos Burgos on points, New York, WBO.