Boxing is dead, nothing but a niche sport, a half-step up from horse racing. Yet...somehow, some way, the world's highest paid athlete, according to Forbes, in the last 12 months, is a boxer. One nicknamed, accurately if somewhat flagrantly, "Money."
OK, the news drops at a strange time, what with "Money" in the pen, serving out an 87 days or less sentence for a domestic scrap with his ex. I will leave it to the reader to interpret the moral of the story, or even if they think there is one here...
Mayweather, according to Forbes, made $85 million to fight Victor Ortiz, and then Miguel Cotto. He unseated Tiger "No Relation" Woods. Woods was in the top slot since 2001, according to Forbes. That money figure comes purely from his earnings for boxing; Forbes has Mayweather as earning $0 dollars from endorsements, an interesting tidbit, but I guess not a surprising one since come to think of it, Floyd doesn't do any cell phone, or liquor ads, or what have you, to my recollection. Hey, he does quite well without that side dish, right? I do wonder if going forward any company will try to link up with Floyd and get him to rep their merch. Readers, who would be a good fit?
And guess what sportsman has the No. 2 slot of most moneyed men in sports over the last 12 months? One Manny Pacquiao; the Congressman earned $56 million to fight Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. (A good chunk of the Bradley money will be forthcoming, once PPV tallies are finished.) And he also got $6 million for repping merch like Hennessy and Monster Energy drink, for a tidy total of $62 million. He didn't draw a dime, to my knowledge, for touting the bible as the manual for life. Pacquiao pledged about $50,000 right after his fight with Timothy Bradley to help victims of devastating floods in his homeland. Rounding out the top ten are Woodsy, at $59.4 million, at No. 3; hoopster LeBron James at No. 4 ($53 million); Roger Federer, the tennis standout who made $52.7 mill is No. 5; Kobe Bryant, who has rebounded nicely from his sexcapade of a few years back, to hit No. 6 with $52.3 mill; golfer Phil Mickelson at No. 7, with $47.8 million; No. 8 is Becks, with $46 million; someone named Ronaldo is at No. 9, earning $42.5 million; and Peyton Manning, the ex Colt QB who is coming off neck surgery, rounds out the top ten, with $42.4 million.
Interesting to note that no mixed martial artist made the Forbes list. Is there grumbling in those circles, among the elite, or do those guys realize the sport is in its relative infancy, and thus, needs to percolate for a few decades to reach boxing in earning power for the athletes?
Thoughts, TSS Universe? Please, no jokes about how much Cheese Whiz and Ritz crackers $85 million buys at the Clark County Detention Center commissary. That's just cruel.