Floyed Mayweather has topped the list of the richest sportsmen for the second year in a row with the majority of his $300 million in earnings over the past 12 months coming from his May mega-fight with Pacquiao.
Mayweather has had a career full of monster paydays, with cumulative earnings of $420 million entering 2015.
But Mayweather still craved the score of a lifetime. “Even from day one when I was with Bob Arum, I said I wanted to work extremely hard to get to a certain point in my career, which is to get to a point to be the first fighter to ever make nine figures in one night,” Mayweather said ahead of his May 2 fight with Manny Pacquiao. Mission accomplished for the man they call Money.
Mayweather received a $100 million check on fight night, but the real payoff came after the revenue figures were tallied up. The fight was a dud in many people’s eyes, but it smashed every financial record in boxing, including pay-per-view buys (4.4 million and climbing), total gate ($73 million) and sponsorships ($13 million). The fight is expected to gross $600 million once everything is counted.
The fighters and their promotion companies will divvy up roughly $400 million, with Mayweather owed a 60% cut. Factor in his September 2014 bout against Marcos Maidana, and Mayweather earned $285 million over the last 12 months in the ring. “Floyd Mayweather just pulled off the biggest score in the history of sports and entertainment,” says Leonard Ellerbe, who heads Mayweather Promotions.
According to the financial magazine’s calculations — which take into account salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees and estimated licensing and endorsement income — the top 100 earned a total of $3.2 billion over the last 12 months.
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo edged Barcelona rival Lionel Messi for third on the list,with Ronaldo coming in at $79 million and Messi $73.8 million.
Swiss tennis great Roger Federer rounded out the top five with total earnings of $67 million.
Woods remains in the top 10 at number nine ($50.6 million), despite the decline in his game that has seen his world ranking slide to 181.
The 14-time major champion’s old rival Phil Mickelson is the highest-paid golfer at eighth ($50.8 million) — with reigning world number one Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland coming in at 12th.
The top 10 also features three NBA players: LeBron James at sixth, Kevin Durant at seventh and Kobe Bryant at 10th.
Once again, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is the highest woman on the list at 26 — with total earnings of $29.7 million.
World number one Serena Williams is the only other woman in the top 100 at number 47 ($26.4 million).