28
Nov
2020

Floyd Mayweather and Mike Tyson eras: Highest-Paid Athletes 1990-2020

Phil Jay 01/06/2020
Mike Tyson Floyd Mayweather

Following the release of Forbes’ list of Highest-Paid Athletes for 2020, WBN looks back on the last thirty years of the honor roll from Mike Tyson to Floyd Mayweather.

Tyson was at the peak of his earning powers in 1990. Although this was dwarfed by Mayweather considerably almost three decades later.

As ‘Iron’ Mike enjoyed the best year of his career when banking $28.6 million, Mayweather took home ten times that for his 2017 clash with Conor McGregor.

Mayweather is also the Highest-Paid Athlete of the last decade and secured a total of four years as the number one money man on the planet.

In 2019, Mayweather fell off the list completely when sticking to his guns and retiring. Tyson may well be looking for a return to the list in 2021.

Floyd Mayweather Mike Tyson

Announcing a comeback, it’s been reported Tyson could earn anywhere between twenty and fifty million dollars, dependent on how far he takes his imminent return.

Evander Holyfield took over from Tyson when ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ served time during the early 1990s. It was then the turn of NBA’s finest Michael Jordan to reign supreme.

The graphic below by noobnorm.com shows how Jordan took the helm heading into 1993 and remained there until 1996. Tyson once again ruled the sporting scene as he left prison and recaptured the imagination of the public.

As Tyson dropped once again in 1997, Jordan regained his place until the end of the millennium, when Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher came to the fore.

Taking the money into a new direction, Schumacher began a period of dominance for disciplines away from boxing.

Tiger Woods reached the summit in 2002. Unbelievably for a golfer, Woods kept a firm grip on the top spot for ten straight years.

Schumacher ran him close for the first few years, but from the mid-2000s, Woods was all-conquering.

Oscar De La Hoya and Muhammad Ali enjoyed brief flirtations with the top three. But nobody could compete with the star of that era in Woods.

As you see below in the list of the most years enjoyed by one sportsman, Woods holds the record on eleven.

The man who halted the Woods run for one year in 2012? – A certain Floyd Mayweather.

MOST YEARS AS HIGHEST-PAID ATHLETE

Paid Years

Tiger Woods, 11 (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)
Michael Jordan, 6 (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998)
Floyd Mayweather, 4 (2012, 2014, 2015, 2018)
Mike Tyson, 2 (1990, 1996)
Michael Schumacher, 2 (1999, 2000)
Cristiano Ronaldo, 2 (2016, 2017)
Evander Holyfield, 1 (1991)
Lionel Messi, 1 (2019)
Roger Federer, 1 (2020)


FLOYD MAYWEATHER ERA

Mayweather and Woods traded places in 2013 and 2014 before the multi-weight world champion took the mantel until 2016.

Footballing powerhouse Cristiano Ronaldo had back-to-back successes until 2017 before Floyd Mayweather nabbed the fourth year of his C.V. in 2018.

Lionel Messi held the honor last year before Tennis legend Roger Federer finally made it to the number one position after twenty years of success.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay