Back before Tiger Woods' crazy porn star-filled scandal, it was kind of a given that he was one of the highest paid athletes ... well, ever. Now that he's lost some endorsements and hasn't won many major tournaments recently, the title was up for grabs. I thought it could have gone to a football player, or an NBA player, but nope, the title goes to: Floyd Mayweather.
Poor Floyd can't even celebrate his new title, as he's currently sitting in jail. The 35-year-old is serving a three-month sentence after pleading guilty to reduced domestic battery charges after allegedly attacking his former girlfriend while two of their children watched.
Still, the controversial fighter made $85 million in income this year from his two fights Victor Ortiz ($40 million) and Miguel Cotto ($45 million). Holy moly!
Honestly, call me naive, but I had no idea this much money went into boxing.
Mayweather draws in so much hype because he remains undefeated. I'll admit to watching HBO's 24/7 series featuring boxers, and I become more invested in the outcome of his matches than I thought I could be. But what makes this even more surprising is that, after watching Mayweather on the series, he doesn't come off as the most likable guy -- and I think his dynamic, contentious personality lends to his fans' fascination.
When Tiger was the highest paid athlete (back before the scandal), it kind of made sense: he played a "gentleman's" sport, with huge winnings potential, he was a family man, with a wife and beautiful children, and he was so exciting to watch. Any company would have paid millions for him to endorse their stuff. Plus, his matches were far more accessible on major network television stations, while lots of people miss big boxing matches because you usually have to pay for them. It made sense for Woods to have been Forbes' highest paid athlete since 2001.
So color me surprised that Mayweather unseated him, and not someone like David Beckham or LeBron James. It's made even more ironic by the fact that as of right now, taxpayers are currently paying for Mayweather's meals and lodging.
Here's the top 10 if you're interested:
#1 Floyd Mayweather
Total earnings: $85 million
#2 Manny Pacquiao
Total earnings: $62 million
#3 Tiger Woods
Total earnings: $59.4 million
#4 LeBron James
Total earnings: $53 million
#5 Roger Federer
Total earnings: $52.7 million
#6 Kobe Bryant
Total earnings: $52.3 million
#7 Phil Mickelson
Total earnings: $47.8 million
#8 David Beckham
Total earnings: $46 million
#9 Cristiano Ronaldo
Total earnings: $42.5 million
#10 Peyton Manning
Total earnings: $42.4 million
Were you surprised to learn Floyd Mayweather was the highest paid athlete this year?
Image via Chamber of Fear/Wikimedia