Mayweather-Pacquiao top Forbes list

June 19, 2012

Forbes Magazine released its annual top 100 highest-paid athletes.  Notably, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao top the list at 1 and 2.  No MMA athletes made the list.

Mayweather made $85 million according to Forbes from June 2011 to June 2012.  During this time, Mayweather fought twice (Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto).  Pacquiao made a reported $62 million total with $56 from salary and $6 million in endorsements.  The listed endorsements for Pacquiao include Nike, Hennessy, Hewlett-Packard and Monster Energy.  Not listed was State Street Produce.

Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Roger Federer round out the top 5.  Boxers Wladimir Klitschko (No. 24 – $24 million) and Miguel Cotto (No. 75 – $19 million) also made the list.

Payout Perspective:

Mayweather topping this list may not be a surprise considering the different revenue streams he receives from one of his fights.  It is interesting that Mayweather has no sponsor deals.  I had believed that Reebok was a sponsor based on the gear worn during the 24/7 series.  Pacquiao’s earnings stem from the immense popularity of the fighter rather than the business acumen.  When you look at the earnings these two make, it makes sense that boxing should have these two fight as it could possibly be the biggest payday in the history of sports.  Of course, there is the boxing business that gets in the way of the two fighting.

11 Responses to “Mayweather-Pacquiao top Forbes list”

  1. Sampson Simpson on June 20th, 2012 11:28 AM

    I thought all the future NFL players were ditching that sport and looking for the big UFC paydays?

    Dana White has some splaining to do.

  2. BrainSmasher on June 20th, 2012 10:28 PM

    The article even says the NFL numbers are inflated. Because of th ecap and the strike players got larger portions of their contracts paid the year this list counts. So much more than normal NFL players made the list and their numbers were highers.

    Its also silly how they use numbers for this list anyway. IF a guy signs a contract for 100 million over 5 years. Then he is making 20 million per year. Dont throw him high on the list because it wasnt paid evenly across the years for salary cap reasons. I guess you have to put what they got for that year but it still dilutes the list. People on new contracts will list out higher than people at the end of their contract because of contracts being front loaded and signing bonus.

  3. Sampson Simpson on June 21st, 2012 8:41 AM

    More BS crying and excuses from BS.

    Very typical

  4. Jake on June 21st, 2012 10:17 AM

    Why no UFC fighters? I thought it was the fastest growing sport in the world?

  5. BrainSmasher on June 21st, 2012 2:17 PM

    It’s the fastest growing because the fighters are not sucking the life out of the sport yet like other sports.

  6. Jake on June 21st, 2012 10:25 PM

    Guess all other sports are doomed because the owners have to actually give a fair share.

    I bet Dana and the Fertitas would top of the list of forbes highest paid slave owners.

  7. Diego on June 22nd, 2012 6:49 AM

    When you look at the numbers for most athletes what comes through is how much of their total earnings are due to sponsorships. Fighters (both boxing and MMA) don’t make nearly as much in sponsorships. To me that says that those two sports are out of the mainstream. I don’t know how you overcome that obstacle.

    What the NFL has been able to do is package violence to that it becomes acceptable to the average American family. For as much as we trumpet the UFC’s success, they have not done that and I don’t see it happening. That fact alone will continue to keep most fighters (again both boxing and MMA) off these lists. You will get one or two who can break through once in a while, but won’t see double digit numbers of fighters on the Forbes 100.

  8. Diego on June 22nd, 2012 6:51 AM


    The growth of the UFC has stalled dramatically and you can argue has shrunk. Perhaps that’s because potential earnings aren’t high enough to attract more top athletes.

  9. Sampson Simpson on June 22nd, 2012 8:41 AM

    The thing is that boxing is already established organically in markets that the UFC has yet to even begin to penetrate.

    Canada, US, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Japan, Australia, South Korea, China, India, South Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia are all markets boxing has been established in for decades.

    UFC will try and fail to get established in those same markets in the future. But I guess you can call it growth when you’re really not that popular in the global sense.

    To be honest, they don’t seem all that popular in the domestic sense either.

  10. BrainSmasher on June 23rd, 2012 10:17 PM


    Those leagues are already well established. Baseball didnt get a Union until they had been around 80 Years. Which included baseballs glory days. The NFL was around for 48 years before it had to deal with a Union. The UFC isnt established and needs to keep putting money back into the sport. You can also shove your subjective fair share up your rear end. Im so sick of hearing people use the work like their idea of what is fair is standard. The others leagues have every form of media promoting their sport for them. They have tv networks who pay so much money they actually lose money on the NFL just for the right to claim they have it. Their profits are huge.

    I wouldnt be opposed to the idea od fighters getting a portion of UFC profits. But i dont like th eidea of the fighters getting a part of the revenue because they are only pulling that money away from the sport.

  11. BrainSmasher on June 23rd, 2012 10:44 PM

    “The growth of the UFC has stalled dramatically and you can argue has shrunk. Perhaps that’s because potential earnings aren’t high enough to attract more top athletes”

    I disagree. Fans have always felt the best is the guy with the belt. I have personally in the almost 2 decades of following the sport seen every champ in even the mid sized Orgs be hyped at the grest thing since sliced bread. Who the best fighter is is perception. Fans believe it is who ever rises to the top of the pond they are in. Be in Melendez is SF, Gomi in Pride, Aoki in Dream, Kid Yamamotto in Kero’s, or BJ Penn in the UFC.

    Also what top athletes have ever crossed over and been successful? Brock was the only one and he didnt do it for money. He did it to compete which is why he walked on in the NFL. No athlete in other sports is going to switch to combat sports. They are not doing it now for boxing and the boxers make more than any ath;lete with a fraction of the work. Also MMA takes a different kind of athlete than any of the major sports for the most part.

    I dont think MMA is down much at all if any in the US. Its minimium buy rates are about normal when you factor in the extra events. More PPVs always drops the numbers a little. What has declined is the UFC doesnt have the stars they used to have. When the UFC took off after TUF they had a handful of legends the general public(mainstream) clung to. Those guys are gone and there are so many fighters and the fan base is spread so thin that the UFC stars are not connecting with the mainstream fans anymore. Before only a few fighters were known and everyone loved each of them. Now there are many more fighters in many more weight class’ and fans know all of them. Just like Boxing the UFC has to appeal to the mainstream fans to get huge PPV numbers. Boxing only does it with FMJ and Pacman. UFC only has GSP and sometimes Silva with Bones Jones making a push. But i dont think the actual fanbase has changed.

    Money isnt going to help the UFC at all with this problem. The problem with creating stars is like Jose Aldo for example. He is a rare talent and very exciting and killing everyone. He has been on top for a while already by MMA terms having the UFC or WEC belt for 3 years. Yet he still doesnt sell. Just like Anderson Silva it will take a long time before mainstream pays attention to him and MMA fighters just dont stay champion that long. Most have the belt for a couple defense and 2 years total. Thats isnt enough time to get the attention of mainstream. Anderson Silva first big PPV buys was his fight with Vitor. By that time he is at the end of his career and doesnt have many fights left. There is no solution to fix this that i know of.

    I believe once a fighter makes enough money to live on. Paying more doesnt help the sport at all. You dont want them working other jobs but they dont have to be millionaires either.

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