How Floyd Mayweather Became The Richest Athlete Of The Decade

Recently, Forbes listed the former five-weight class world champion as the highest-paid athlete of the decade. Mayweather bested the world’s top-paid athletes by $115 million, with soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo as the runner up.

Over the last ten years, Mayweather made $915 million. Yes, just short of a billion dollars in only ten years. If you count the purses made from his professional start in boxing in 1996, he’s made well over a billion as a professional fighter.

The best part: he did it as his own promoter and with no sponsorship deals. Now that’s not something you hear every decade.

The Mayweather Method

More interesting than the proof that “Money” is who he’s always said, is the way in which he generated the income. In 2006, Mayweather negotiated his release from promoter Top Rank for $750,000 and it was the best money he ever spent.

That year, Mayweather had his infamous fight against Zab Judah en route to his 2007 showdown versus Oscar de la Hoya. The fight was the first heavily branded appearance of his exaggerated persona, “Money Mayweather” and also the debut of HBO’s De La Hoya vs. Mayweather 24/7.

The behind-the-scenes reality show would become a staple in the fight business spawning ALL ACCESS by SHOWTIME once Mayweather famously signed with the network in 2013.

From 2010-2017, Mayweather fought only ten times. You read it right, ten times. Within that time period, he fought a who’s who of combat sports notables: Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, and Conor McGregor to name a few.

His 2015 Pacquiao fight is still global pay-per-view’s highest watched followed only by his 2017 fight against Conor McGregor. The two sold a combined 10 million PPV’s that paid him more than $500 million.

The two events will go down as the biggest one-night payouts in the history of sports.

Hate it or love it, but the underdog from Grand Rapids, Michigan is on top and with him teasing a return in 2020 there looks to be no stopping him.


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