Floyd Mayweather tops Forbes highest paid athletes list 2012; Manny Pacquiao is number 2

Floyd Mayweather has been named as the number 1 Highest Paid Athlete in the World according to the 2012 Forbes list. Forbes used the earnings of athletes over the past 12 months, including both their direct earnings and winnings, as well as sponsorships and other secondary income derived from their sporting careers. At the end of the day, at the top of the 2012 Forbes Highest Paid Athletes list was Floyd Mayweather, and guess what? Manny Pacquiao came in 2nd, giving the boxing world a 1-2 punch of high earners at the very top of this list.

According to Forbes, Mayweather raked in a cool $85 million in the last year, based on his two fights against Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto. That’s an average of $42.5 million for each fight, and placed him easily at the number 1 position on the list.

He has been a part of the 4 highest grossing non-heavyweight fights in history, including the highest grossing bout of all-time, his 2007 match against Oscar De La Hoya.

Pacquiao came in 2nd, with $62 million, and he also fought twice in the past 12 months, against Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. That places him $23 million in earnings behind Mayweather, justifying Floyd and his well-earned moniker of “Money”.

[Check out our photo gallery: The Flashy Lifestyle of Floyd Mayweather]

Another intriguing note is that Pacquiao’s earnings include $6 million from endorsements. That’s a huge plus for him, whereas Mayweather does not have any major endorsements. However, it lowers his per-fight earnings figure to just $28 million.

As the Forbes 2012 Highest Paid Athletes introductory article notes, Mayweather makes about 50% more than Pacquiao per fight. This is due not only to increased Pay-Per-View sales, but more importantly, the fact that Mayweather serves as his own promoter, and therefore gets a much larger cut of the overall pie, while he also outlays the expenses and costs, including his opponent’s salary for the fight.

With how much these guys make, it’s easy to take on both sides of the argument in terms of  a potential Mayweather vs. Pacquiao super-fight. How could not they fight each other and make even more money together? Conversely, why would they care about fighting one another when they make this much on their own?

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