Unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather tops Sports Illustrated’s list of highest-paid pro sportsmen for the second straight year, according to the list released by the magazine on Wednesday.
Mayweather stretched his perfect record to 44-0 with a 12-round unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero on May 4, the first fight in his new megadeal with Showtime television that guarantees him at least US$32 million per fight over six bouts.
The fight for Mayweather’s World Boxing Council welterweight world title was the champion’s first since serving a jail term for domestic violence last year.
In compiling its Fortunate 50 list, Sports Illustrated reckoned Mayweather would earn US$90 million this year.
Tiger Woods, who was number one on the Fortunate 50 every year from 2004-11, falls to his lowest ranking ever at number five with estimated earnings this year of US$40.8 million.
LeBron James, the Miami Heat superstar who was recently named NBA Most Valuable Player for the fourth time in his career, is second on the list with projected earnings of US$56.5 million.
James becomes the first player in a team sport to be in the top two since former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal in 2004.
James’s US$39 million in endorsements were more than any other US sports figure this year, Sports Illustrated reported.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who didn’t figure in the top 50 last year, shot to number three this year thanks to a US$37 million signing bonus from his NFL team.
The magazine’s list takes into account salary, winnings, bonuses and endorsements.