He calls himself “Money,” and for good reason. Floyd Mayweather, despite having no endorsements, reigns as the undisputed champion of athletes’ earnings for the second time in three years, according to Forbes magazine.
Mayweather earned $105 million in the past 12 months from two fights – against Canelo Alvarez in September and Marcos Maidana in May. That mammoth figure takes into account his guaranteed purses as well as the millions he earned from his percentage of the profits of the pay-per-views.
All of Mayweather’s money came from boxing, with none from endorsements. Mayweather also topped the 2012 list with $85 million. According to Forbes, Mayweather is the only athlete besides golf pro Tiger Woods, who topped the list in 11 of the past 12 years, to crack $100 million in earnings in a year, although Michael Jordan, Michael Schumacher and Mike Tyson did it on an inflation-adjusted basis.
No. 2 on the current list is soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, with $80 million in earnings from his salary and 11 endorsements. LeBron James was third at $72.3 million. (James just earned $30 million for his small stake in Beats By Dre, luxury headphones that were sold to Apple for $3 billion two weeks ago.
ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated identified Mayweather as the highest-paid athlete in both 2012 and 2013.
“I’m humbled and extremely fortunate to be recognized by Forbes as the highest-paid athlete once again,” Mayweather said in a statement. “I’m doing something that no other athlete is doing, promoting myself and seeing my hard work pay off in the form of record-breaking numbers. It’s all about hard work and dedication, which is so important and a key part of my financial success.
“I’m grateful for my family, team and fans. Being able to take care of my family is my No. 1 priority, and the level of success that I’ve achieved allows me to give them the best. I look forward to stepping into the ring in September and doing what I do best.”
Mayweather, the junior middleweight and welterweight champion, is scheduled to fight again on Sept. 13 against an opponent to be determined, at a location to be determined.
In addition to Mayweather, three other boxers cracked the Forbes Top 100: Manny Pacquiao (11th, $48.1 million), Wladimir Klitschko (25th, $28 million) and Canelo Alvarez (66th, $21 million).
Forbes based its figures on salaries, bonuses, prize money and appearance fees, plus licensing and endorsement income earned during the 12 months between June 1, 2013 and June 1, 2014.