You know how we keep hearing that boxing is dying? Well, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao would probably beg to differ.
The two top pound-for-pound pugilists in the world are also the two top highest-paid athletes in the world, according to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. With a combined intake of $147 million last year, Mayweather and Pacquiao beat out the likes of Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Roger Federer and Kobe Bryant en route to their big money, high roller status.
But nobody wants to know what Mayweather and Pacquiao combined to make. As is the case with everything that pertains to these rivals, the only question on anyone’s mind is: who brought in more?
They call him Money Mayweather for a reason, folks. Thanks to two fights (one versus Victor Ortiz and one versus Miguel Cotto) Floyd netted $85 million last year. Pacquiao, meanwhile, earned an also-impressive $62 million over the past 12 months. He made $56 million from his fights against Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley, and then another six or so thanks to endorsements.
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What contributes to Mayweather taking home so much more dough than his Filipino arch rival? Well, as noted by Badenhausen:
Mayweather maximizes his earnings by also acting as his own fight promoter through his company Mayweather Promotions. He collects all of the revenue from tickets, pay-per-view and sponsorships and covers the costs, including the purse for his opponent. His take home per fight is typically at least 50% higher than what his rival Manny Pacquiao earns.
Which means that, even though Mayweather can’t touch Pacquiao on endorsement deals, he’ll still always make more money because he doesn’t have Bob Arum leeching off him.
Tiger Woods came in third on the highest-paid list with $59.4 million – a $16 million dip from what he earned the prior year. LeBron James topped all basketball players with $53 million. Maria Sharapova was the richest woman on the list, ultimately banking $27.9 million (good for No. 26).
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Here is how the entire top 10 looks:
- Floyd Mayweather - $85M
- Manny Pacquiao - $62M
- Tiger Woods - $59.4M
- LeBron James - $53M
- Roger Federer - $52.7M
- Kobe Bryant - $52.3M
- Phil Mickelson - $47.8M
- David Beckham - $46M
- Cristiano Ronaldo - $42.5
- Peyton Manning - $42.4