BlogsHow Much Do the Highest-Paid Athletes Make?
The answer, according to Forbes magazine, will shock you.
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Floyd Mayweather is proof that you don’t have to behave to earn a lot of money. Currently serving a three-month jail term for domestic battery, Mayweather still managed to top the Forbes magazine list of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes. With two fights in the past year—both wins against Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto—Mayweather earned $85 million.
In spite of his run-ins with the law, and his racially-charged rant against rival Manny Pacquiao in 2010, Mayweather maximizes his earnings by acting as his own promoter. This means he earns 50 percent more per fight than Pacquiao, enough to put him at the top of the world.
Pacquiao, who recently lost his WBO welterweight title, can find some consolation in being the second highest-paid athlete in the world. His $62 million includes earnings from two fights over the past year, and endorsements from companies like Nike and Monster Energy.
Tiger Woods, though, reminds us that sometimes your behavior can hit you in the wallet. In spite of improving his golf game since his collapse in the U.S. Open, the loss of sponsors from previous sexual scandals has cut his earnings in half since their peak in 2009. This past year, Woods ranked third, earning a measly $59.4 million.
Athletes from 11 sports made the Forbes list, with the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes earning a combined $2.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees and endorsements.
LeBron James, coming in number four with $53 million, led the 13 basketball players that made the cut.
Football, though, dominated the earnings field, with 30 players showing up on the list. In spite of a neck injury, Peyton Manning beat out the rest, coming in number 10 with $42.4 million.
The list also included two women, both tennis players—Maria Sharapova at number 26 and Li Na at number 81, as well as two cricket legends and a track star.
For the full list, check out Forbes Magazine.