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Floyd Mayweather ranks atop Forbes Highest Paid Athletes of the Decade list

boxer floyd mayweather is at top of highest paid athletes for past decade
Floyd Mayweather Jr. at an autograph signing at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pic credit: @ImageCollect.com/StarMaxInc

When it comes to money, Floyd “Money” Mayweather is No. 1 in the sports world for the past 10 years.

A recently-released Forbes list ranking the highest-paid athletes of the decade has the retired boxing star as generating nearly $1 billion over that time period.

Mayweather comments on Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes of the Decade list

Mayweather Jr. was a major draw when it came to sports events. In the past decade, he had high-profile and high-earning fights including bouts against Manny Pacquiao in 2015 and Conor McGregor in 2017.

He had 10 fights over the course of the decade, but his biggest were those against Pacman and the MMA star. The fight with Pacquiao in 2015 destroyed all-time boxing records for pay-per-view buys, PPV revenue, and live gate, per ESPN. The 2017 fight against McGregor earned Mayweather at least $275 million, per Forbes’ report back in 2018.

The 50-0 retired boxing star posted an image of the top 10 list on his Instagram (below) along with a caption to comment on his earnings fight. Mayweather mentioned, “I did these numbers really in 5 years due to a couple of layoffs and with NO endorsements.”

He tops the list ahead of soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and NBA superstar LeBron James. Tennis star Roger Federer comes in at No. 5 on the list.

View this post on Instagram

First I want to congratulate every other athlete on this list and second I am honored to have accomplished such record breaking numbers. No disrespect to anyone but I did these numbers really in 5 years due to a couple of layoffs and with NO endorsements. I never wanted an endorsement deal from anyone because my vision was always to be my own boss and have no obligations to anyone. So I started my own promotion company and own brand (TMT) in which we are continuing to grow and soon will be the endorsers. You can say what you want about Floyd Mayweather but the numbers and accolades don’t lie. This is truly about hard work and dedication and knowing your worth. @mayweatherpromotions @themoneyteam

A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on

Rounding out the top 10 of the decade list are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Manny Pacquiao, Kevin Durant, and Lewis Hamilton. Durant joins LeBron as the only other basketball star on the list. They’re also the only athletes on the list from the four major professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) in the United States.

Over the past year or so, KD launched his own show called The Boardroom on ESPN+ streaming platform to look at how athletes invest beyond their sport. Durant is said to have become big when it comes to making business investments. His time at Golden State helped him connect with important business minds to assist him with that endeavor.

Floyd Mayweather continues to grow his wealth and was set to become one of three athletes to cross the $1 billion mark for his earnings several years ago. The other two who moved past the mark before him with NBA great Michael Jordan and golf star Tiger Woods, per Money.

Of the three, only Woods continues to play in his sport. Jordan pretty much paved the way for athletes to brand themselves and bank on it, thanks to his lucrative endorsement deals including a lifetime deal with Nike which spawned the Jordan brand.

Mayweather appears to be doing the same, as he mentioned in his IG post that he started his own promotion company and brand TMT to become the endorsers rather than being tied to others.

See the complete Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes of the Decade list here.

Matt Couden is a freelance writer for over 10 years. Matt enjoys publishing mostly about the things he loves — entertainment, sports news, and video... read more
Matt Couden

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