Sports Illustrated Names Floyd Mayweather Jr. The Highest-Earning Athlete Of 2013
Everyone wants to talk about how the sport of boxing is “dead” right now. Despite the fact that people still shell out $50 (or more!) to order PPV fights, the sport’s lackluster heavyweight division has hurt the boxing brand and caused many potential fans to turn away from it. But, according to Floyd Mayweather‘s bank account, boxing is definitely alive and well. In fact, you could make the argument that business has never been better for boxing than it is right now.
Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated put Money Mayweather at the top of their “Fortunate 50″ list. And in doing so, they declared him the highest-earning athlete in American sports. It marks the second straight year that Mayweather has earned the honor. And it proves that boxing isn’t as dead as we all thought. After all, Mayweather is projected to make about $90 million in 2013, which is more than $30 million more than the No. 2 athlete on the list LeBron James. And Mayweather has the potential to make as much as $130 million this year if things go his way. It’s pretty amazing, especially when you consider that, just a few years ago, Mayweather was staring down a jail sentence that very easily could have derailed his career. He’s been able to capitalize on his popularity, though, and turn it into pure gold (literally!) as he’s continued to use boxing to make himself filthy rich.
For now, let’s stop talking about how boxing is “dead.” Because if Mayweather has proved anything by topping SI‘s list, it’s that there’s the potential for boxing to be really, really big again one day. All it needs is more stars like Mayweather, who are willing to promote fights well in exchange for big payouts. Mayweather just proved that you don’t need 50 different endorsements—he doesn’t have a single one!—to become rich as a boxer. You just need skills in the ring and a loud mouth off it. And who knows? If you have those two things, you might just turn yourself into one of the richest athletes on the planet. Floyd Mayweather just showed that it’s possible.