As it turns out, "Money" is an apropos nickname for Floyd Mayweather. The undefeated boxing superstar heads into his latest fight, a rematch with Marcos Maidana, as one of the richest athletes on the planet with another payday on the way.
Brian Warner of Celebrity Net Worth reports Mayweather carries an estimated worth of $280 million. He also notes the number is even more astonishing because of the limited endorsement deals he's signed, which is a major revenue source for other elite athletes.
Furthermore, he hasn't fought more than twice in a year since 2005. So he's accumulated most of his resources of the past decade without overextending himself. Every one of his fights is viewed as a marquee event, and that hype helps drive up the pay-per-view money.
While the $280 million figure represents the full value of his assets, the recent yearly totals are even more impressive.
Fortune magazine listed him as the top earner among all American athletes for 2014 with a total salary of $105 million. That's without knowing the exact revenue numbers for the upcoming rematch with Maidana, which could push the amount higher:
He will fight again on Sept. 13; who his opponent is will determine the size of his purse, and how popular the fight is will determine the PPV returns, but his people tell us that it's safe to assume a minimum of $35 million from the next fight. That's $105 million in 2014 (but it could be as high as $120 million depending on the PPV payout), not to mention money he makes from his own brand, The Money Team, which sells hats (at price tags of up to $220) and other apparel online.
Mayweather finishing atop the list doesn't come as a surprise. The gap between him and the next athlete on the list, LeBron James, is pretty amazing, though.
James checks in at a shade over $57 million, or nearly $50 million less than the boxer, and he gets $38 million from endorsement opportunities. It helps put how much money Mayweather makes from just his two fights in perspective.
Forbes magazine released a similar list but included other athletes from around the world, as well. Although that added some more competition to the mix, the current pound-for-pound king still finished on top by a comfortable margin.
The outlet also listed him at $105 million, which it notes places him in a category only previously reached by golfer Tiger Woods:
Mayweather is the first athlete besides Tiger Woods to earn $100 million in Forbes' annual tally of the highest-paid athletes. His September 2013 fight against Canelo Alvarez set records for highest pay-per-view gross ($150 million), live gate ($20 million) and total revenue (roughly $200 million). The Canelo fight marked the second bout in the blockbuster 30-month, six fight deal he signed with Showtime in 2013.
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid takes the second spot on the Forbes list with total earnings of $80 million. Unlike James, who finished third in the ranking, most of the soccer star's earnings came from salary ($52 million) rather than endorsements.
Finally, ESPN The Magazine did a separate calculation based solely on salary without endorsements and using the known figures for Mayweather's 2013 fights rather than projecting the rest of 2014. As you'd expect, he still finished on top.
Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Aaron Rodgers and Zlatan Ibrahimovic rounded out the top five.
As for what Mayweather thinks of his status, Lem Satterfield of The Ring provided remarks from the Michigan native, who admitted money is part of the motivation, but not all of it.
"Is it about the money? Absolutely. Is it about the fame? Absolutely. It's everything wrapped into one," he said. "I want to be the best. Not just the best fighter but I want to be the best athlete, period. When I leave, I will be known as 'TBE' and that's the best ever."
Ultimately, regardless of the metric used, Mayweather is bringing in more money than any other athlete in the world right now on an annual basis. It's unknown how much longer he's going to fight. He suggested potential retirement next year, according to Sky Sports, but it won't be easy to walk away from those huge paydays.
Maidana is his sole focus for now, though. The powerful Argentine provided a good test in their first meeting and earned the immediate rematch. It's going to take an even more complete effort from Money to score another victory, which would make him 47-0.
Of course, even if the fight ends with a shocking upset, Mayweather still walks away with a boatload of cash for his effort.