Show me the money: Mayweather back on top of Forbes best paid list
Boxing superstar is the highest money earner above footballer superstars Messi and Ronaldo while Serena Williams drops out of the ranking list
American boxer Floyd Mayweather’s blockbuster fight against Conor McGregor has pushed him back to the top of the Forbes list of best paid athletes for the fourth time in seven years.
Mayweather, who goes by the nickname “Money”’, earned US$275 million from last year’s fight against Irish Mixed Martial Arts champion McGregor, whose cut of the purse elevated him to fourth spot on the US business magazine’s list.
The fight pushed Mayweather’s career earnings to US$1 billion, joining American basketball great Michael Jordan and golfer Tiger Woods as the only athletes to have reached 10-figures in earnings, Forbes said.
Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who topped the rankings for the last two years, slipped to third in the standings behind his Argentine rival Lionel Messi.
Brazil’s Neymar, who became the world’s most expensive soccer player after his US$260 million move from Barcelona to Paris St Germain last August, was listed fifth.
Swiss tennis great Roger Federer, basketball players LeBron James and Stephen Curry and National Football League quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford rounded out the top 10 of the 100 wealthy athletes.
There were no women in the list, with tennis icon Serena Williams, the sole female representative last year, having dropped out of the rankings after taking a break from the sport due to the birth of her daughter.
Top 20 (lists under athlete/nationality/sport/estimated earnings):
1. Floyd Mayweather (US) Boxing $285 million
2. Lionel Messi (Argentina) Soccer US$111 million
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Soccer US$108 million
4. Conor McGregor (Ireland) MMA US$99 million
5. Neymar (Brazil) Soccer US$90 million
6. LeBron James (US) Basketball US$85.5 million
7. Roger Federer (Switzerland) Tennis US$77.2 million
8. Stephen Curry (US) Basketball US$76.9 million
9. Matt Ryan (US) American football US$67.3 million
10. Matthew Stafford (US) American football US$59.5 million
11. Kevin Durant (US) Basketball US$57.3 million
12. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Formula One US$51 million
13. Russell Westbrook (US) Basketball US$47.6 million
14. James Harden (US) Basketball $46.4 million
15. Canelo Alvarez (Mexico) Boxing US$44.5 million
16. Tiger Woods (US) Golf US$43.3 million
17. Drew Brees (US) American football $42.9 million
18. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Formula One US$42.3 million
19. Derek Carr (US) American football US$42.1 million
20. Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis US$41.4 million