Floyd Mayweather, Lionel Messi Top Forbes' 2018 List of Highest-Paid Athletes

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2018

Floyd Mayweather Jr., attends a news conference after a super welterweight boxing match against Conor McGregor, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

For the fourth time in the past seven years, Forbes named boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. the highest-paid athlete in the world Tuesday.

Mayweather topped the 2018 list with total earnings of $285 million, followed by Barcelona's Lionel Messi ($111 million) and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo ($108 million).

Here is a rundown of the top 10:

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (boxing): $285 million

2. Lionel Messi (soccer): $111 million

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer): $108 million

4. Conor McGregor (boxing/MMA): $99 million

5. Neymar (soccer): $90 million

6. LeBron James (basketball): $85.5 million

7. Roger Federer (tennis): $77.2 million

8. Stephen Curry (basketball): $76.9 million

9. Matt Ryan (football): $67.3 million

10. Matthew Stafford (football): $59.5 million

The list takes both salary and endorsements into account.

Mayweather earned $275 million for his August 2017 fight with McGregor, per Forbes. "Money" won the dream bout by 10th-round technical knockout, which improved his career record to 50-0.

The fight also propelled McGregor to new financial heights, as he made roughly $85 million from it and added another $14 million in endorsements to finish fourth among all athletes.

Mayweather wasn't among the highest-paid athletes in the world in 2016 or 2017 following a temporary retirement; however, he topped the list in 2015.

Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar have become fixtures on the list as soccer's three biggest stars, as have James and Curry in the NBA and tennis' biggest draw in Federer.

Ryan and Stafford are new members after receiving large contract extensions over the past year. Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers will be in their position next year when he inks a record-breaking extension in the near future.

Other notable athletes outside the top 10 include Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (No. 11), golfer Tiger Woods (No. 16) and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 28).

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