Undefeated boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather was named the highest-paid athlete in sports Wednesday by Forbes magazine, bumping off 2013 winner Tiger Woods by amassing $105 million in net revenue.
Mayweather also topped the list with $85 million in 2012, ending 14-time major golf champion Woods’ run atop the 100-athlete list from 2001-2011.
This time, Mayweather joined Woods as the only ones to top $100 million on the Forbes list, thanks to victories over Canelo Alvarez last September and Marcos Maidana last month, and did it with only 72 minutes of work and with no endorsement income.
“I’m humbled and extremely fortunate to be recognized by Forbes as the highest-paid athlete once again,” Mayweather said. “I’m doing something no other athlete is doing, promoting myself and seeing my hard work pay off in the form of record-breaking numbers.
“It’s all about hard work and dedication which is so important and a key part of my financial success.”
The magazine measures endorsement income as well as prize money and salary payments from June 1 of one year to the next.
Woods, who also lost his world number one status in golf last month to Australian Adam Scott, lost ground due to the end of a video game deal and a pinched nerve that required surgery March 31 and kept him out of the Masters and this week’s US Open.
Mayweather’s win over Alvarez set pay-per-view records with $200 million in total revenue, although his 2007 victory over Oscar de la Hoya remains the most watched fight in boxing history.
Mayweather, who has been paid nearly $400 million since turning pro in 1996, has three fights remaining in a six-bout deal with Showtime he signed last year.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, set to play for Portugal in the World Cup that opens Thursday in Brazil, leads 15 footballers in the top 100 and ranks second overall with $80 million in earnings.
It includes $28 million in endorsement income from 11 sponsors as well as the five-year deal worth $200 million he signed with Real Madrid last September.
NBA superstar LeBron James, trying to win a third consecutive title with the Miami Heat in the ongoing NBA Finals against San Antonio, ranked third on $72.3 million. He is the NBA’s top endorsement moneyspinner and sales of his shoe line topped $300 million last year.
Argentine football star Lionel Messi ranks fourth at $64.7 million, bolstered by a new deal signed last month with Barcelona.
Injured NBA standout Kobe Bryant was fifth at $61.5 million, much of it from an NBA-best $30.5 million salary but $30 million also from endorsements. Bryant signed a two-year extension last November worth $48 million, but played only six games this past season due to a left knee injury.
Woods ranked sixth overall with earnings of $61.2 million including $55 million from endorsements, appearances and his golf course design business, set to open the first Woods-designed course this fall in Mexico.
The list of 100 made a collective $2.75 billion in the past year, a 5 percent hike over last year’s total. There were athletes from 27 nations across 10 sports, with the minimum needed to crack the list at $17.3 million compared to $16.4 million last year.
In all, 29 newcomers were on the list, paced by National Football League quarterback Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons at 10th overall with $41.8 million in earnings.
– Sharapova tops women –
Only three women made the list, the same tennis trio as last year, with Russian star Maria Sharapova — coming off her fifth Grand Slam triumph at the French Open — the highest among them at 34th with $24.4 million.
China’s Li Na, who won the Australian Open in January for her second Grand Slam crown, was 41st at $23.6 million.
Serena Williams ranks 55th with $22 million in earnings split evenly between prize money and endorsements or appearance fees.