Boxing’s main money-maker Floyd Mayweather has overtaken Tiger Woods for only the second time in twelve years to make it to the top of Forbes’ list as the world’s highest paid athlete.
The 37 year-old, who is unbeaten in 46 fights, made an amazing $105m in the past twelve months in bouts against Saul Alvarez and Marcos Maidana, with Woods only managing sixth on the list on $61.2m.
After taking a break from boxing, the former ‘Pretty Boy’ defeated Victor Ortiz in September 2011, before overcoming pound for pound star Miguel Cotto in May 2012, and duly ended golfing star Woods’ decade-long spell at the top of the list.
Troubles outside of the ring prevented Mayweather fighting in the fall of 2012, but the current two-weight world champion has fought three times since May 2013 and that’s put him way out in front in terms of earning power.
Las Vegas-based Mayweather, who is also a promoter with a stable of fighters, made his money from just 72 minutes of work in the ring, which amounts to a staggering $1.4m a minute or just over $4m a round.
Mayweather’s force as the biggest draw in the sport has seen fighters scrambling to face him in a bid to secure the future of their families as the self-proclaimed ‘Best Ever’ continues to draw massive pay-per-view sales.
Signing a lucrative deal with Showtime in 2013, Mayweather has another three-fights left of that deal and is scheduled to fight again in September. Another PPV bonanza will follow in May of 2015, before the king of the sport says he will retire with a final fight in September 2015.
With the amount of cash Mayweather is generating though, it may be tough for him to walk away if he manages to make it to Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0, with plenty of temptation on offer to reach the magical 50.
Rival Manny Pacquiao was the next boxer on the list, coming in at number eleven on $41.8m.
Top Top 10 Forbes Magazine highest paid athlete list for 2014.
1. Floyd Mayweather ($105m) – Boxing
2. Cristiano Ronaldo ($80m) – Football/Soccer
3. LeBron James ($72.3m) – Basketball
4. Lionel Messi ($64.7m) – Football/Soccer
5. Kobe Bryant ($61.5m) – Basketball
6. Tiger Woods ($61.2m) – Golf
7. Roger Federer ($56.2m) – Tennis
8. Phil Mickelson ($53.2m) – Golf
9. Rafael Nadal ($44.5m) – Tennis
10. Matt Ryan ($43.8m) – NFL
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