Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao – The Two Highest Paid Athletes in Sport

boxingBy Srithar Visuasam: This year’s Forbes list of the top 100 highest earners in sport over the past twelve months has revealed that the two biggest names in the world of boxing are also the two highest paid athletes on the planet.

At No #1 position is Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, who generated a total of $85 million (USD) in income from his two fights this financial year against Victor Ortiz ($40 million) and Miguel Cotto ($45 million).

Manny Pacquiao takes second place, with his earnings over the same period at $62 million, with his two fights over this same period against Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley generating $56 million with an additional $6 million coming from endorsements.

Mayweather’s elevation to the summit of the list sees the end of Tiger Woods’ 11 year reign at the top, who moves down to third position at $59.4 million.. The top 5 is rounded out by current and 3 time NBA MVP LeBron James at $53 million and tennis superstar and 16 time grand slam winner Roger Federer at $52.7 million.

Other boxers to make the top 100 include heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko at #24 with $28 million, whose year included his July 2011 mega unification bout with David Haye and junior middleweight Miguel Cotto at #75 with $19 million, generated from his grudge match with Antonio Margarito last November and last month’s bout with Mayweather.

One startling statistic evident in Mayweather and Pacquiao’s earnings is the amount of salary/winnings against endorsement income, with the combined $147 million in earnings of the two fighters only including $6 million in endorsement money. In comparison, Woods, James and Federer earned $140 million through endorsements of their $165.1 million combined, which underlines the drawing power of the two athletes in what is largely considered a non-mainstream sport.

Should Mayweather and Pacquiao agree to terms over the coming months and fight sometime during the 2012-2013 financial year, the bout will not only be between the sport’s top 2 pound for pound fighters, but also the reigning #1 and #2 highest paid athletes in the world.

Such bout would almost certainly see the pair maintain their position on next year’s Forbes list.

Article posted on 20.06.2012

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