The world’s highest-paid athlete is in jail, the man who ranks second to him just lost his first title fight in 16 bouts and more than seven years, and the guy who held the distinction for a decade is now in third place, according to the Associated Press and Forbes’ list of its 100 highest paid athletes.
Nicknamed “Money,” Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26 knockouts) began serving an 87-day jail sentence on June 1, this after having earned an all-time boxing record guaranteed purse of $32 million for his unanimous decision victory that dethroned Miguel Cotto as WBC junior middleweight beltholder on May 5.
Mayweather made $85 million for two fights last year, including his fourth-round knockout victory in September that dethroned Victor Ortiz as WBC welterweight belholder in September.
Next on the list is Manny Pacquiao with $62 million from earnings and endorsements, this, despite the fact that he is coming off a controversial split-decision loss to Tim Bradley that dethroned him as WBO welterweight beltholder on June 9.
Bradley ended Pacquiao’s 15-bout winning streak that had included eight stoppages since his last loss to Erik Morales by unanimous decision in March of 2005.
Mayweather and Pacquiao have each surpassed the $59.4 million made by Tiger Woods, who was No. 1 on the list since 2001. LeBron James of the Miami Heat is fourth with $53 million, followed by Tennis star Roger Federer in fifth at $52.7 million.
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com