Floyd Mayweather tops sports stars' earnings

Made $300 million last year

Updated: 
Mayweather-Pacquiao Lawsuits

Boxer Floyd Mayweather was the world's highest-paid sportsman last year, according to the latest analysis from business magazine Forbes.

In what's his second year in the top spot, the sports star is believed to have made $300 million. Much of this came from his high profile fight earlier this year with Manny Pacquiao - who himself appears in second place on the list.

Mayweather's earnings break Forbes' previous record, which was held by Tiger Woods, with earnings of $115 million in 2008, or $125 million adjusted for inflation.

"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)," writes Forbes staffer Kurt Badenhausen.

"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."

In third place was Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, with earnings of $79.6 million; his team-mate Gareth Bale is the highest-placed British footballer on the list with his $35.5 million earnings putting him in 18th place. England captain Wayne Rooney was 34th on the list, with earnings of £17 million.

Between them, says Forbes, the 100 highest-paid athletes made $3.2 billion, up 17% from the prior year. Only two women made the cut: Maria Sharapova, in 26th place with earnings of $29.7 million, and Serena Williams, who made $24.6 million and ranked number 47.

The figures include salaries, bonuses, prize money and appearance fees, as well as estimated licensing and endorsement income for the year to June 1, 2015.

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Forbes' top 10 sporting earners:
Floyd Mayweather, US, boxing: $300m
Manny Pacquiao, Philippines, boxing: $160m
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, football: $79.6m
Lionel Messi, Argentina, football: $73.8m
Roger Federer, Switzerland, tennis: $67m
LeBron James, US, basketball: $64.8m
Kevin Durant, US, basketball: $54.1m
Phil Mickelson, US, golf: $50.8m
Tiger Woods, US, golf: $50.6m
Kobe Bryant, US, basketball: $49.5m

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