When take home a minimum of $100 million. It should be no surprise, then, that Mayweather, who ousted his MMA-turned-boxing opponent with a 10th-round knockout, ranks first on Forbes' 2018 list of highest-paid athletes. Leapfrogging soccer stalwart Cristiano Ronaldo, the 41-year-old boxer earned an estimated $285 million in 2017 alone -- $275 million in pay and another $10 million in endorsements.in August 2017, it was said the winner of that anticipated Las Vegas crossover fight would
The undefeated "Money" Mayweather has been a staple of Forbes' annual ranking of rich athletes, topping the list from 2012-2014.
If the list were based on just endorsement earnings, 36-year-old tennis superstar Roger Federer would take the crown after raking in an estimated $65 million in that department in 2017. Regularly among the top earners in tennis thanks to partnerships with Nike and numerous Swiss brands, he also made an estimated $12.2 million to bring his total yearly earnings to a No. 7-ranked $77.2 million.
Besides Ronaldo, the Real Madrid and Portugal national star who brought in $61 million in pay and $47 million in endorsements for the No. 3 ranking, future NBA Hall of Famer LeBron James may have been the most well-rounded earner of 2017. The 33-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers star and free agent-to-be ranks sixth on Forbes' 2018 list but had a relatively even split between salary ($33.5M) and endorsements ($52M), for which he has been known since coming out of high school.
Soccer's Lionel Messi ranked second on the list, while McGregor (4) and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar (5) rounded out the top five.
Also notable: No female athletes cracked the top 100, with Serena Williams just missing out with an estimated $18 million in earnings. Williams has been on previous editions of the list, as well as rival Maria Sharapova, who was Forbes' highest-paid female athlete for 11 years straight, starting in 2004, .
The NFL makes its first appearance on the ranking at No. 9, where Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is said to have earned $67.3 million in 2017. Auto racing first appears at No. 12 with Lewis Hamilton ($51 million), golf gets its first representative with Tiger Woods ($43.3 million) at No. 16, and baseball doesn't show up until No. 37 with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw ($34.5 million).
Here's the full rundown of the top 10 highest-paid athletes, according to Forbes' estimates:
- Floyd Mayweather Jr. ($285 million)
- Lionel Messi ($111 million)
- Cristiano Ronaldo ($108 million)
- Conor McGregor ($99 million)
- Neymar ($90 million)
- LeBron James ($85.5 million)
- Roger Federer ($77.2 million)
- Stephen Curry ($76.9 million)
- Matt Ryan ($67.3 million)
- Matthew Stafford ($59.5 million)