The legendary boxer, who is considered by many to be the greatest of all time, was “shook” to hear the hundreds of millions that they were making, according to his grandson Nico Ali Walsh
Ali is considered one of the greatest boxers in history, and passed away about a year after the bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao, which was the highest-selling fight in history.
And his grandson Nico Ali Walsh, who made his professional debut this year, has said that the legendary boxer was amazed by the payouts for both men, with Mayweather reportedly earning $300million and Pacquiao getting $100m.
Walsh told TalkSPORT that he told his grandfather about the paydays, and that he was “shook” by how much the men earned.
“My proudest memory is one day he called me on FaceTime,” Ali Walsh said.
“And because he had Parkinson’s, some days were harder for him to talk than others, but this particular day he was talking very clearly.
“And we just started talking about boxing, that was really fun.
“I would talk to him about the new fights, it was Mayweather’s era during that time, and I would talk to him about the kind of money Mayweather was making, and he was shook.
“It was right after the Pacquiao fight, so he was just astounded with the amount of money that they were able to garner from that fight.
“I asked him for some tips, moving and dancing, that kind of thing, it was a super long call, but it went by so fast.”
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Ali made millions for his bouts with the likes of Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Larry Holmes, but never anything close to the eight or nine figure paydays of Mayweather, Pacquiao or even Conor McGregor in MMA.
Even adjusting for inflation, Ali’s career-high $8m payday for fighting Holmes in October of 1980 would be worth somewhere in the region of $25-26m by today, or $23m in 2015 when the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout took place.
Mayweather went on to fight once more officially, against McGregor in a massive crossover fight, where he made $280m, while the Irishman, who had never boxed professionally, made $130m.
While Mayweather and Pacquiao may have grossed the highest amount in boxing history, there is no doubt that Ali was a seminal boxing superstar and ratings draw.
The bout was reportedly viewed by over 2billion people, or just under half of the planet’s population in 1980, and is considered to be one of the biggest fights of all time.
Mayweather, after his retirement, would go on to face Tenshin Nasukawa and Logan Paul in exhibition bouts, where he made $9m and an undisclosed amount that he claims to be nearly $100m respectively.
Ali was so stranger to outlandish exhibition bouts in his own career, facing professional wrestling star Antonio Inoki and football player Lyle Alzado in his later life.
Ali Walsh will return to the ring later this year, having worn shorts emulating his grandfather’s white and black ones for his debut in August against Jordan Weeks.