Mayweather tops list of highest paid American Athletes

May 16, 2013

Sports Illustrated released its list of highest paid American athletes for 2012 and Floyd Mayweather topped the list. Just working two nights to make the list, Mayweather made $85 million without any endorsement money.

Mayweather won by a big margin over Phil Mickelson ($60,763,488 with $57,000,000 in endorsement money) and Tiger Woods (($56,440,238 with $54,500,000 in endorsements).  Kobe Bryant and LeBron James rounded out the top 5.

Mayweather made $40 million against Victor Ortiz in September 2011 and $45 million against Miguel Cotto in May 2012.

Manny Pacquiao was sixth on the list of highest paid international athletes with $39 million (no breakdown of endorsements).  Tennis player Roger Federer topped the list for international athletes.

*Boxing purses were tabulated form June 2011 through May 2012 for this survey.  Hence, the inclusion of the Ortiz fight.

Payout Perspective:

Is it more impressive that Mayweather made $85 million in two nights or the fact he did this without any endorsement deals?  Based on second and third on the American list, the endorsement revenue is huge for most athletes.  Yet, its Mayweather’s unique business acumen in controlling virtually every aspect (and revenue stream) of the promotion and execution of his fights that allows him to make $85 million in just two fights.  One might expect with his Showtime contract that he remains at the top of this list next year as well.

15 Responses to “Mayweather tops list of highest paid American Athletes”

  1. Sampson Simpson on May 16th, 2013 7:23 PM

    I wonder how many boxers make more than $5 million globally. I know in the UFC probably has 3 or less guys that make that every year.

  2. BrainSmasher on May 16th, 2013 8:17 PM

    Most of the boxers on that list of making 5 million would only be there 1 year. Only because they were paid well for 1 fight to be sacrificed. Im glad MMA doesn’t have 1 or 2 guys on that list sucking the life from the sport. Because they don’t take all the money like boxers, The UFC has 400 fighters who are making a good living and we know pretty much all their names and see all their fights. MMA’s business model kills Boxings in every way. from the top to bottom pay of the fighters and even to how it trickles down to everyone around the key players and fighters in the UFC. Comepare the quality of MMA gyms to boxing gyms. Freddie Roach’s gym is a shit hole as is most boxing gyms. Compare that to the top MMA gyms or even fighters gyms that’s are for the most part pristine and all the jobs created all the way around. While all the money in boxing is sucked up by 1-2 guys and they piss it away. MMA fighters don’t need much money. A MMA fighter can do more with 5 million than Maywether can do with 85 million. They are fools who spend money like Mc Hammer.

  3. Ron Duks on May 17th, 2013 8:08 AM

    WOW. So BS, there is a limit on how much money fans can spend on boxing?? If you order the Floyd PPV you are not allowed to order the Broner PPV? Your point MIGHT be valid if discussing the UFC on this point, but in boxing, what GB spends has nothing at all to do with what Top Rank spends and Fans are able to buy any, all, or none.

    Also glad to see you know exactly what Floyd does with his money. Are you his accountant?

  4. Sampson Simpson on May 17th, 2013 8:32 AM

    Let me list which boxers likely make $5 million annually.

    Amir Khan
    Tim Bradley
    Juan Manuel Marquez
    Manny Pacquiao
    Saul Alvarez
    Felix Sturm
    Wladimir Klitschko
    Alexander Povetkin
    Vitali Klitschko
    Carl Froch
    Floyd Mayweather
    Sergio Martinez
    Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

    The list for those making $2 million or more is probably about 50 figjters long…

  5. BrainSmasher on May 18th, 2013 7:21 PM

    How many made that for only 1 year in their career? exactly! Boxing doesn’t pay well. Being a can and padding the ducking champs record pays well. Nothing more!

  6. BrainSmasher on May 18th, 2013 7:25 PM

    Lets not forget that one year they make that money they lose most of it to taxes, trainers, promoters, managers, agents, etc. Unless they can do it multiple years then it makes jack shit. One of my former training partners won 3 OTN bonus in the UFC. Made a quarter of a mill his first year. Made shit after that because he couldn’t win and is now working a 9-5 job. 1 good year didn’t do shit for him.

  7. saldathief on May 18th, 2013 11:45 PM

    Wow Floyd makes more money than all the UFC fighters combined, without endorsements. I would argue he makes more that Zuffa too. Having fancy equipment in a gym is for posers and people that don’t know any better. Some of the best dumps in the world have produced some of our finest athletes. Hell even Rocky knew that lol. Both sports have their problems, but I think the old argument that MMA/UFC was pushing boxing out is a complete fantasy. Lets take a look at say GSP and Floyds ppv numbers in one year. if they both fight 2-3 times a year their numbers are not that far from each other and look how much more Floyd makes, now you tell me that UFC is even in the same boat as boxing. Hell even Floyds sparring partners make more than the top MMA fighter. Sure there are boxers fighting for nothing, but there are plenty of smaller league MMA fighters that fight for nothing or even pay to fight, selling tickets, so I really don’t understand what world some of these posters live in.

  8. adder on May 19th, 2013 12:23 AM

    The biggest draws in The UFC have their popularity used mostly for the enrichment on the UFC. In Boxing the biggest draw uses his popularity for his own enrichment.

    For the time being at least top UFC fighters are employees. top boxers are business men. I think that will changing in time

  9. saldathief on May 19th, 2013 1:19 AM

    Adder you explained it well

  10. Tops of on May 19th, 2013 2:59 AM

    The topic is how much they are making…why is there constant comment on what boxers do with they’re money…and lossing all of it…Being like mc hammer etc….

  11. Tops of on May 19th, 2013 3:20 AM

    And what the hell is the relation of shithole gyms?
    freddie roach gets 5 to 10 percent of pacmans purse so he’s a multi millionaire…..he gets more money than majority of mma fighters….haha

  12. A Guy on May 19th, 2013 10:05 AM

    BrainSmasher is representative of the ignorance of many MMA fans.
    The average MMA fighter makes less than $50000 year
    You also go on to talk about the fact that these rich boxers like Mayweather have to spilt the millions they make with their coach, sparring partners etc. DUH!! and then you ignore the fact that the UFC fighters who are making less than 50000 a year also have to do the same thing.
    A UFC fighter who was anonymously interviewd by ESPN says most of the bonuses that the UFC rags on about are on average not more than $5000.
    They are trying to tie the hands of an MMA legend like Anderson Silva by making him sign a 10 fight deal, so that in case he retires he will be forever locked into them.
    They will own his image, likeness, rights etc. till the day he dies.
    The way MMA fighters are being treated is disgusting.

  13. adder on May 19th, 2013 10:51 AM

    “The topic is how much they are making…why is there constant comment on what boxers do with they’re money…and lossing all of it…Being like mc hammer etc….”
    I was thinking the same thing. the whole idea sounded to me like an old stereotype, a subtle criticism of black people.

  14. Sampson Simpson on May 19th, 2013 11:14 AM

    Actually most of those guys have made millions for many years.

    Take a guy like Amir Khan. He’s never headlined a PayPerView but he’s made $2 million a year for the past 4 years and will probably continue to do so over the next 3-4 years minimum.

    BS is as her name implies, full of BS

  15. Machiel Van on May 20th, 2013 10:13 AM

    Um, isn’t he the highest paid athlete in the WORLD?

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