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Boxer Mayweather, footballer Messi world's highest-paid athletes

LOS ANGELES: Boxer Floyd Mayweather reclaimed his place at the top of Forbes' annual ranking of the 100 highest-paid athletes on Tuesday, but no woman featured on the list for the first time.

Forbes reported that Mayweather, 41, topped sports highest-earners after banking US$275 million dollars from his cross-combat superfight against mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in Aug 2017.

With an additional US$10 million in endorsements, Mayweather earned a total of US$285 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, comfortably eclipsing the second-placed figure on the list, football star Lionel Messi, who made US$111 million.

However, female athletes notably failed to break into the top 100 for the first time since Forbes began publishing its ranking.

Tennis star Serena Williams, who last year was the only woman to feature on the list at 51st place with earnings of US$27 million, dropped out of the rankings after taking a break from the sport due to the birth of her daughter.

Former welterweight king Mayweather, who came out of retirement to face McGregor in Las Vegas, topped the rankings for the fourth time in seven years.
McGregor meanwhile vaulted up the rankings to fourth spot, thanks to his US$85 million cut of the Mayweather purse.

A further US$14 million in endorsements took the Irish fighter's earnings to US$99 million, just behind Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who was third with earnings of US$108 million.

Brazilian footballer Neymar was fifth on the list with US$90 million in earnings, his salary boosted by his record-breaking transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last year.

NBA icon LeBron James was the highest-paid basketball player to feature on the list, coming in at sixth with total earnings of US$85.5 million, just ahead of men's tennis king Roger Federer, who earned US$77.2 million.

Swiss ace Federer remains the most attractive athlete for sponsors, with endorsement deals accounting for US$65 million of his earnings.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was the only other NBA player to feature in the top 10, with earnings of US$76.9 million.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is the highest earning NFL player, coming in at ninth with US$67.3 million. Ryan's earnings were swollen by a US$45 million dollar signing bonus after he agreed a new contract earlier this year.

Another NFL quarterback, the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford rounded out the top 10 with US$59.5 million.

Elsewhere, Britain's Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid figure from motorsport to feature, coming in at 12th with US$51 million.

Tiger Woods, who has not won a tournament for five years and who has barely played over the previous three seasons, remains the highest earning golfer with US$43.3 million, with US$42 million of it coming through endorsements. – AFP

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