‘Money’ knocks Tiger off sport rich list summit- 20 Jun 2012 00:00:00
American boxer Floyd Mayweather has overtaken Tiger Woods at the top of Forbes magazine's list of the 100 highest-paid sports personalities over the past year, after earning £54.25m (R701.7m) – despite currently serving a three-month jail sentence for domestic assault – a figure strengthened by promoting his own fights.
Tiger Woods dropped to third having received £37.92m (R490.5m) over the last year, with boxer Manny Pacquiao rising to second with earnings off £39.57m (R511.8m).
Beckham is the highest footballer on the list in eighth with earnings of £29.36m (R379.8m).
Golfer Phil Mickelson's £30.51m was enough to beat Beckham into 7th place on the list, while arguably the highest profile athlete of London 2012, Usain Bolt, was only 63rd with £12.96m - just a quarter of Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather's earnings.
Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo is closing in on the top footballer placings, now just one behind Beckham in 9th after earning 27.10m and also boasts the largest annual salary of any athlete in any league at £12.75m.
Woods has topped the Forbes list since 2001 but saw a drop in his earnings of £10.21m from the previous year - down by half from his peak in 2009 – following a sex scandal, as well as a dip in form.
Miami Heat star LeBron James ranks fourth at £33.84m, the highest of 13 basketball players and on the list, with Swiss tennis star Roger Federer in fifth at £33.64m.
Only two women made it on to the list - Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was 26th at £17.79m, thanks largely to huge global endorsement totals, while China's Li Na was 81st overall, after becoming the first Asian-born player to win a Grand Slam singles crown at the 2011 French Open – banking £11.72m throughout the year.