Boxing Is Dead? Mayweather, Pacquiao Top Sports Moneymakers List


No nickname has ever been more right-on than Floyd Mayweather’s moniker “Money.”

The pugilist lead all of the worlds athletes on the 2015 Forbes list of top moneymakers with annual earnings of $300 million.

Although many consider Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao last month a snoozer, the fight is expected to gross $600 million, of which the thirty-eight-year-old American prizefighter should pocket some $240 million.

This brings us to Manny Pacquiao. Second on the Forbes list of top earners, proving that boxing is not a dying sport, hauled in a hefty $160 million in 2015, which included $12 million in endorsements. 

The top five highest paid athletes round out with two soccer players— Cristiano Ronaldo, earning $79.6 million and four-time FIFA player of the year, Lionel Messi making $73.8 million— and tennis legend Roger Federer knocking down a tidy $67 million.

Federer beefed up his mere $9 million in earnings with a mind-boggling $58 million in endorsements.

Its not until you get to number six on the Forbes list do we we find an athlete from one of the trinity of American popular sports: football, basketball, or baseball.

LeBron James at number six padded his $20 million NBA salary with a hefty $44 million in endorsements. In total he pulled in $64 million, dropping close to ten million from last year’s earnings.

In case there is anyone out there feeling sorry for the world’s  #181 ranked golfer Tiger Woods, the golfer once known as the greatest in the world, suffered through a measly year of earning $50.6 million. The .6 came from tournament winnings and the $50 million from endorsements.

Woods’ sometime nemesis, Phil Mickelson edged Tiger out by $200,000 to capture the # 8 ranking on the Forbes list. The lefty from San Diego happens to be the oldest of the top 100 earners on the Forbes list.

Twenty-three-year-old Brazilian soccer sensation Neymar, the youngest on the list, ranked at #23, earning $31 million.

First of the American football players to appear on the list, and the first time making the top 100, is Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He ranks 11th with $48.9 million thanks to a $31 million 2015 signing bonus.

Baseball, occupying more than a quarter spots on the list, beat all other sports.

Top baseball player? Chicago Cubs left-handed pitcher Jon Lester at #19, earning $34.1 million. His $155 million deal with the Cubs included a $30 million signing bonus with half of it paid in 2015.