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Floyd Mayweather Jr. replaces Tiger Woods as highest paid athlete

June 19, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr. was the highest-paid athlete in the world over the past 12 months, according to Forbes magazine.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. was the highest-paid athlete in the world over the… (Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty…)

Floyd Mayweather Jr. earned $85 million over the past 12 months, more than any other athlete in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

Not bad for a guy who put in less than an hour's worth of work.

Just kidding. While it may have taken Mayweather that scant amount of time in the boxing ring to defeat  Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto, he obviously put in plenty of time training for the bouts -- not to mention all the work he does as his own promoter through Mayweather Promotions.

That venture helps Mayweather, currently serving an 87-day jail sentence in Las Vegas in a domestic violence case, maximize his earnings by allowing him to keep all of the revenue from tickets, pay-per-view and sponsorships, allowing him to take home typically at least 50% more than what Manny Pacquiao earns per fight.

Still, Pacquiao trails only Mayweather on the Forbes list, after pulling in $62 million -- $56 million for fighting Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley and an estimated $6 million in endorsements.

Tiger Woods dropped to No. 3 on the list after an 11-year reign at the top. He earned only $59.4 million last year (poor guy), a dropoff of $16 million from the previous year and half of what he made at his peak in 2009. A loss of sponsors and struggles with his golf course design business help account for the dip in earnings.

The top 10 is rounded out by LeBron James ($53 million), Roger Federer ($52.7 million), Kobe Bryant ($52.3 million), Phil Mickelson ($47.8 million), David Beckham ($46 million), Cristiano Ronaldo ($42.5 million) and Peyton Manning ($42.4 million).

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