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Floyd 'Money' Mayweather is world's highest-paid athlete

MONEY MAKER: Floyd Mayweather

THE NICKNAME Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather could not be more fitting after the boxing champion topped a poll of the world’s highest paid athletes for the second year running.

According to Forbes who compile the list annually, the 38-year-old earned $300 million in 2015 breaking the record of $115 held by golfer Tiger Woods in 2008.

The majority of Mayweather’s hefty income is thanks to a sell-out match on May 2 against rival Manny Pacqiao who features second in the list with an annual pay cheque of $160m.

Forbes said: “Mayweather's May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao crushed multiple boxing financial records, including pay-per-view buys (4.4 million), total gate ($73 million) and sponsorships ($13 million).

“The fight is expected to gross more than $600 million once everything is counted. Mayweather has typically shunned endorsement deals, but inked agreements with Hublot, FanDuel and Burger King ahead of the May fight.

Other black athletes who appear in the top ten include LeBron James (6), Kevin Durant (7), Tiger Woods (9) and Kobe Bryant (10).

The figures include all salaries and bonuses paid out between June 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015.

Absence of women

In a list of 100 athletes, only two women – tennis players Maria Sharapova (26) and Serena Williams (47) – make the cut with earnings of $29.7m and $24.6m respectively.

Forbes said: “Williams celebrates 20 years as a pro in 2015 and is as dominant as ever at an age when most tennis players have been put out to pasture. She captured her 20th Grand Slam title at the French Open, her third straight Slam title.

“Williams can't match Sharapova's endorsements, but she has upped her off-court game over the last 12 months.”

PEPSI DEAL: Serena Williams

The superstar has formed deals with Chase and Audemars Piguet and will be the new face of the Pepsi Challenge. The 33-year-old also owns a small stake in the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

US football star Tyron Smith, 24, (number 70) is one of the youngest athletes in the list.

The Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle boasts a salary of $21.1m and $250,000 in endorsements.


Lewis Hamilton (number 15), of Grenadian and English heritage, is the highest-paid Britons, with earnings of $39m.

Forbes described the 30-year-old as "one of the most marketable drivers in the sport".

The publication added: "Hamilton currently has two personal endorsement deals with IWC and Bombardier. His new Mercedes contract is expected to permit Hamilton to seek more personal endorsements."

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt appears at number 73 with annual earnings of $21m – only $15,000 of which was earned on the track. The rest came from endorsement deals the 28-year-old has with sports brands such as Puma.

He also charges a $250,000 appearance fee at events.

The top 100 earned a total of $3.2 billion over the last 12 months, up 17 per cent from the prior year.

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