Highest-Paid Athletes list yields McGregor and 5 boxers in top 100

June 13, 2019

Earlier this week Forbes.com put out its annual list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes.  There are a handful of boxers and one MMA fighter on the list.

As you might suspect, Conor McGregor was the lone MMA fighter to make the list.  He was the 21st highest paid fighter with $32 million in salary and $15 million in endorsements for a total of $47 million.  Notably, McGregor renewed his sponsorship deal with Reebok which pays him $5 million per year.  He also received a base salary of $3 million for his fight at UFC 229. It was the only one between June to June.

Canelo Alvarez was the highest paid boxer coming in on number 4 on the list.  Forbes has him down with a salary of $94 million and endorsement of $2 million. The salary is based on his two fights from June 2018 to June 2019.  The latest being a victory over Daniel Jacobs this past May.

Next on the list is Anthony Joshua as the heavyweight landed 13th on the list making $55 million overall with $45 million being purses and the other $10 million being endorsements.  Joshua suffered an upset loss to Andy Ruiz.  Despite the loss, Under Armour, a Joshua sponsor, said the defeat did not deter its promotion of the fighter.

Deontay Wilder comes in at number 56 earning $30.5 million overall with $30 million in purses and another $500,000 in sponsor deals.  He’s made $20 million from his last two fights despite turning down a bigger, more lucrative deal from DAZN.

Manny Pacquiao and GGG round out the list landing at 92 and 95 respectively.  For Pacquiao, his descent from this list is interesting.  He has made $26 million this past year with $2 million of that coming from sponsorship deals.  GGG has made $25.5 million overall with $2.5 million of that from sponsorships.

Payout Perspective:

 The list is highlighted by 3 soccer players at the top followed by Alvarez.  This reflects the need to have international appeal if you want to be one of the world’s highest paid athletes.  It also shows the popularity of soccer.  As for the combat sports athletes on this list, its hard to envision another MMA fighter getting close to this list.  Certainly, Ronda Rousey made this list when she was active, but at this point, there is no dramatic star power outside of McGregor for the sport.

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