Boxers land biggest pay punch

Floyd Mayweather (left) and Manny Pacquiao easily "knocked out" other contenders to top Forbes' 2015 list of the world's highest-paid celebrities with the reward from their mega fight. Musicians and athletes dominated the top 10 spots which had room
Floyd Mayweather (left) and Manny Pacquiao easily "knocked out" other contenders to top Forbes' 2015 list of the world's highest-paid celebrities with the reward from their mega fight. Musicians and athletes dominated the top 10 spots which had room only for two women - Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.PHOTO: REUTERS

Mega bout puts Floyd, Manny in top 2 spots on Forbes' list of 100 highest-paid celebrities

NEW YORK • Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have topped Forbes' list of the world's 100 highest-paid celebrities - on the heels of their lucrative clash in Las Vegas in May.

With an estimated US$300 million (S$400 million) in earnings over the past 12 months, American Mayweather more than lived up to his nickname "Money" and was the undisputed champion.

Filipino icon Pacquiao was second, making US$160 million over the past 12 months.

Their May 2 bout, which Mayweather won by unanimous decision, spawned a record 4.4 million pay-per-view buys and became a huge talking point when it was broadcast around the world.

Once everything is counted, it is expected that the fight will gross more than US$600 million.

  • TOP-EARNING ATHLETES

  • 1 Floyd Mayweather (boxing)

    US$300 million

  • 2 Manny Pacquiao (boxing)

    US$160 million

  • 3 Cristiano Ronaldo (football)

    US$79.6 million

  • 4 Lionel Messi (football)

    US$73.8 million

  • 5 Roger Federer (tennis)

    US$67 million

  • 6 LeBron James (basketball)

    US$64.8 million

  • 7 Kevin Durant (basketball)

    US$54.1 million

  • 8 Phil Mickelson (golf)

    US$50.8 million

  • 9 Tiger Woods (golf)

    US$50.5 million

  • 10 Kobe Bryant (basketball)

    US$49.5 million

"His (Mayweather's) US$300 million shattered the record for athlete earnings, which was previously held by Tiger Woods who managed to bank US$115 million in 2008," Forbes' Natalie Robehmed, said in an interview.

"It is above and beyond anything anyone has ever done."

Mayweather earned US$285 million in winnings and a further US$15 million in endorsements.

Singer Katy Perry's massive Prismatic World Tour helped her nab third place with US$135 million, followed by British boyband One Direction with US$130 million and TV and radio host Howard Stern with US$95 million.

Musicians and athletes dominated the top 10 spots which included only two women.

Country music star Garth Brooks was No. 6 with US$90 million while pop singer Taylor Swift tied for No. 8 with actor Robert Downey Jr with US$80 million.

Forbes compiled its annual list of the most powerful celebrities from the worlds of sports, television, music and books by estimating pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2014 to June, 1 2015.

Management, agent and attorney fees were not deducted.

More than one-quarter on the list play sports for a living.

Other athletes on the list are Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo (No. 10, US$79.6 million), Argentina's four-time World Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi (13th, US$73.8 million), Swiss tennis star Roger Federer (16th, US$67 million), basketball giant LeBron James (18th, US$64.8 million) as well as American golfers Phil Mickelson (36th, US$50.8 million) and Woods (37th, US$50.5 million).

Other interesting sports figures on the list include British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (55th, US$39 million), Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni (82nd, US$31 million) and women's tennis star Maria Sharapova (88th, US$29.7 million).

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline 'BOXERS LAND BIGGEST PAY PUNCH'. Print Edition | Subscribe