When Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally touch gloves in the MGM Grand this Saturday night, as much attention will be on their bulging bank accounts as the bludgeoning blows landed by the two legendary fighters.
The long-awaited and much-hyped bout is expected to smash all pay-per-view records to become the richest single sporting event in history. Most estimates put the fighters’ total purse at around $300m, with an approximate 60/40 split in favour of Mayweather meaning the American could take home a record $180m with Pacquiao collecting a cool $120m.
Should the fight go the full 12 rounds, Mayweather will have earned an average of $5m per minute.
Even if he doesn’t fight again, that paycheque will certainly make Mayweather the highest-paid athlete of the year with Pacquiao in with a shot of finishing second to boot.
In fact, at $180m the undefeated fighter will have a bigger annual salary than the highest paid chief executive in both the US and the UK, as well as the biggest earners in Hollywood and the music industry.
In the business world, even the most well remunerated FTSE 100 bosses don’t have salaries that could touch Mayweather’s prospective $180m. Charif Souki, was named the most well-paid CEO in the US in 2013 (GoPro’s Nick Woodman is expected to have surpassed him yet his salary figures for 2014 are not yet available) with a $142m salary.
Of course Souki, like notable figures such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, will have made much, much more from share options, bonuses and outside investments, and all have a net worth that far surpass Mayweather's $280m.
Last year it was Cristiano Ronaldo who came behind the boxer as sport's second highest earner with annual earnings of $115m while in the entertainment industry Beyonce made $120m (Dr. Dre made more money – yet only a minuscule per cent of which would have come from music sales) and Leonardo DiCaprio commanded $25m for his role in Wolf of Wall Street.