Floyd Mayweather, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo topped sports rich list for 2018.
Floyd Mayweather, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo topped sports rich list for 2018.

Mayweather tops sports rich list

BOXER Floyd Mayweather reclaimed his place at the top of Forbes' annual ranking of the 100 highest-paid athletes but no woman featured on the list for the first time.

Forbes reported that Mayweather, 41, topped sports highest-earners after banking $361 million dollars from his cross-combat superfight against mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in August 2017.

With an additional $13 million in endorsements, Mayweather earned a total of $375 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, comfortably eclipsing the second-placed figure on the list, football star Lionel Messi, who made $146 million.

However, female athletes notably failed to break into the top 100 for the first time since Forbes began publishing its ranking.

Tennis star Serena Williams, who last year was the only woman to feature on the list at 51st place with earnings of $36 million, dropped out of the rankings after taking a break from the sport due to the birth of her daughter.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (R) earned over a third of a billion dollars in his fight against Conor McGregor (L).
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (R) earned over a third of a billion dollars in his fight against Conor McGregor (L).

Former welterweight king Mayweather, who came out of retirement to face McGregor in Las Vegas, topped the rankings for the fourth time in seven years.

McGregor meanwhile vaulted up the rankings to fourth spot, thanks to his $112 million cut of the Mayweather purse.

A further $18 million in endorsements took the Irish fighter's earnings to $130 million, just behind Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who was third with earnings of $142 million.

(L-R) Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian striker Neymar.
(L-R) Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian striker Neymar.

Brazilian footballer Neymar was fifth on the list with $118 million in earnings, his salary boosted by his record-breaking transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last year.

NBA icon LeBron James was the highest-paid basketball player to feature on the list, coming in at sixth with total earnings of $112 million, just ahead of men's tennis king Roger Federer, who earned $102 million.

Swiss ace Federer remains the most attractive athlete for sponsors, with endorsement deals accounting for $85 million of his earnings.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was the only other NBA player to feature in the top 10, with earnings of $101 million.

LeBron James (right) and Stephen Curry were the two highest paid basketball players in 2018.
LeBron James (right) and Stephen Curry were the two highest paid basketball players in 2018.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is the highest earning NFL player, coming in at ninth with $88 million. Ryan's earnings were swollen by a $59 million dollar signing bonus after he agreed a new contract earlier this year.

Another NFL quarterback, the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford rounded out the top 10 with $78.5 million.

Elsewhere, Britain's Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid figure from motorsport to feature, coming in at 12th with $67 million.

Tiger Woods, who has not won a tournament for five years and who has barely played over the previous three seasons, remains the highest earning golfer with $57 million, with $55 million of it coming through endorsements.

New Zealand giant Steven Adams raked in $31 million which was enough to see him reach 86th place on the list.

Steven Adams is on a four-year, $100 million contact with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty
Steven Adams is on a four-year, $100 million contact with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty

No Australian athletes made the top 100 this year.

Virat Kohli ($31.5 million) is the only cricketer to make the list this year thanks largely earning an incredible $26.3 million in endorsements alone.


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