Floyd Mayweather Is Highest Paid Athlete Of Decade Having Earned Nearly £1 Billion

by : Emily Brown on : 28 Dec 2019 12:25
Floyd Mayweather is highest paid athlete of the decadePA Images/Floyd Mayweather/Instagram

Floyd Mayweather has emerged as the highest paid athlete of the decade, despite being retired for almost half of it. 

The former professional boxer earned a whopping $915 million in the last 10 years alone, racking up $115 million more than the next closest athlete, Cristiano Ronaldo.


Mayweather’s wealth has not come from team owners or sponsorship deals, which is where many athletes earn the big bucks. Instead, he managed his own fights and promoted them through Mayweather Promotions after parting ways with promoter Top Rank in 2006.

Floyd MayweatherPA Images

Doing things his own way obviously paid off for the 42-year-old and he decided to retire in 2015 as an undefeated champion after taking on the likes of Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather wasn’t quite ready to hang up his boxing gloves for good, though, and he made a comeback in 2017 with a highly-anticipated bout against Conor McGregor.


The fights against Pacquiao and McGregor contributed hugely to Mayweather’s income as the events generated a combined 10 million pay-per-view buys which paid the boxer more than $500 million, resulting in the two biggest one-night payouts in the history of sports, Forbes reports.

Conor McGregor Ready for Rematch Against Floyd MayweatherPA Images

After beating McGregor, Mayweather retired once again with a perfect, unbroken record of 50-0 and two years on he’s set to end the decade with the big bucks.

However, despite having a satisfying number of wins and a very healthy bank account, last month the 42-year-old announced he’s going to continue his career into the new decade by returning to the ring in 2020.


Writing on Instagram, the professional boxer simply said:

Coming out of retirement in 2020.

View this post on Instagram

Coming out of retirement in 2020

A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on

Mayweather’s comeback will likely keep him near the top of the list of high-earning athletes in the coming years, though there may be some fresh faces appearing by the end of the next decade to give him a run for his money.


When it comes to the 2010s, however, Mayweather is, like in the boxing ring, unbeaten. According to a list compiled by Forbes, which considers salaries, prize money, bonuses, endorsements, appearance fees and licensing income, Ronaldo earned second place with $800 million, followed by Lionel Messi who racked up $750 million.

Also in the top 10 were LeBron James with $680 million, Roger Federer with $640 million, Tiger Woods, who earned $615 million, Phil Mickelson with $480 million, Mayweather’s opponent Manny Pacquiao, who brought in $435 million, Kevin Durant with $425 million and Lewis Hamilton, who took 10th place with $400 million.

Altogether, the top 10 highest paid athletes of the decade made $6.1 billion. So, I think it’s safe to say they’re doing okay.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Sport, Athletes, Boxing, Conor McGregor, Cristiano Ronaldo, Floyd Mayweather, Football


Forbes and 1 other
  1. Forbes

    The Highest-Paid Athletes Of The Decade: Mayweather, Ronaldo And LeBron Dominate

  2. Floyd Mayweather/Instagram