Floyd Mayweather retains status as Forbes' highest-paid athlete in the world

Joe Hall
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Floyd Mayweather's won the richest fight of all time vs Manny Pacquiao (Source: Getty)

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been named as the highest-paid athlete in the world by Forbes magazine for the second year in a row, despite having appeared in only one competitive event in 2015 so far.

The unbeaten boxer, who overcame Manny Pacquiao in the richest fight in the sport's history last month, has made $300m over the last 12 months - almost double the total of sport's second-highest earner Pacquaio.

The bout between the pair in May smashed previous boxing revenue records, generating over $500m in gross receipts from pay-per-view and ticket sales. Mayweather negotiated a 60 per cent cut of the lucrative purse to add to the $32m he received for dispatching Marcos Maidana last September.

Read more: Mayweather vs Sorrell earnings compared

Mayweather has often been without a sponsorship deal during his career, yet added to his earnings from the ring ahead of the Pacquiao fight through deals with Burger King, Hublot and Fanduel.

Nevertheless, just a five per cent of the fighter's earnings came through sponsorships - a far lower proportion compared to other athletes and an example of the huge paying power, but limited exposure, of pay-per-view events.

For example, Tiger Woods, the ninth highest-paid athlete in the world according to Forbes, made a massive 98 per cent of his earnings through sponsorships.

After Mayweather and Pacquiao, football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi follow, with earnings of $79.6m and $73.8m respectively.

Only one other boxer - Wladimir Klitschko - appears in Forbes' full list of the 100 highest-paid athletes. Baseball is the most represented sport on the list with 27 players while 16 footballers, including Wayne Rooney and Mesut Ozil, also appear.

AthleteSport2015 earnings (Forbes)
Floyd Mayweather Jr.Boxing$300m
Manny PacquiaoBoxing$160m
Cristiano RonaldoFootball$79.6m
Lionel MessiFootball$51.8m
Roger FedererTennis$67m
LeBron JamesBasketball$64.8m
Kevin DurantBasketball$54.1m
Phil MickelsonGolf$50.8m
Tiger WoodsGolf$50.6m
Kobe BryantBasketball$49.5m

See the Forbes' full list of the 100 highest-paid athletes in 2015.

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