Floyd Mayweather is one rich man. If the fact that his nickname is “Money” didn’t tip you off to that already, then all the news stories about his ridiculous purchases and bets sure have. To give just a few examples, he owns an estimated $50 million in cars, at least $6 million in watches, and pays a personal chef $1,000 for every meal. He has made several bets of over a million dollars on sporting events, including a $5.9 million dollar bet on the Miami Heat back in 2013. When he signed the official contract to fight Manny Pacquiao in the “Fight of the Century”, he did so with an 18-karat gold pen worth about $4,000. Even crazier is that he claims he will never use the pen again.
So yes, Floyd Mayweather has more money than all but a select few people in the world could ever dream of having. However, is it deserved? Over the last twelve months, Forbes reported that Mayweather earned roughly $300 million dollars, making him the highest paid athlete in the world…by $120 million dollars. It is also the largest amount of money any sports figure has made in one year ever. I don’t blame you if at first you thought you read that incorrectly. That is the actual figure. But surely that must come from several fights and tons of sponsorship deals, right? Wrong. Over the period of June 2014-May 2015, the timespan Forbes used for this report, Mayweather participated in just two fights, a rematch against Marcos Maidana in September, and the legendary bout with Pacquiao, who ended up comfortably in second place in Forbes’ list. How comfortably? Well, Pac-Man’s earnings doubled that of third place Cristiano Ronaldo. However, Money Mayweather still topped him by $120 million, primarily due to the 60/40 split on revenue from their fight.
Endorsements only contribute $15 million, or just 5 percent of the $300 million number. The only other athlete in the top 10 of the earnings list with fewer money from endorsements is Pacquaio. There are two primary reasons for this. The first is that boxing just isn’t near as big of a sport as it once was, while many other sports are only growing in popularity. The other reason is that Mayweather has a horrible reputation, having plead guilty to domestic violence charges three times, and has been arrested or given a citation on at least seven occasions. Not many companies want someone like that as the face of their brand.
So at the end of the day, Mayweather has made $285 million from two 36-minute fights, and $15 million from endorsements, for a grand total of $300 million. That number is higher than the COMBINED earnings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, LeBron James, and Roger Federer, owners of spots 3-6 on the list, who’s combine earning total roughly $285.2 million. However, if we only consider salaries and discard endorsements altogether, Mayweather’s $285 million eclipse that of the four aforementioned players, plus Kevin Durant, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, Rory McIlroy, Novak Djokovic, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, everyone from #3-#14 on the list, with over $26 million to spare. These are twelve of the best athletes on the planet. Does it really make a lot of sense for a fellow athlete to make have a higher salary than all of them combined? I understand that Mayweather is constantly training to be in peak physical condition, but aren’t all athletes? I understand that the majority of his payment comes from people buying his fights on Pay-Per View, but no one should make that much money for what in the end totals 72 minutes of actual performance.
Let’s look at this from a different angle. Tim Duncan is a no-doubt first-ballot Hall-of-Famer when he retires, and his career makes a strong case for him to be labeled one of the 10 best basketball players of all-time. During his 18-year career so far (he is returning for another season, even at age 39), he has won five NBA Championships, is a 3 time NBA Finals MVP, 2 time NBA MVP, and 15 time All-Star, among many other achievements. According to spotrac.com, he has earned $230,381,050 in his NBA playing career (salary, not including endorsements). In the Mayweather-Pacquaio fight alone, Money Mayweather earned somewhere between $220-230 million. We’ll use $225 million for the upcoming calculations. And yes, this does mean that Mayweather’s one fight was almost worth more than Old Man Riverwalk’s 1,572 career games played.
If Mayweather’s $225 million is divided by the 36 minutes the fight lasted, then for each minute of the fight, Mayweather made $6.25 million. Tim Duncan has played 54,984 minutes in his career. When this is divided by his career salary, we can say each minute of Duncan’s career has been worth $4,189.97. Lastly, if we divide Mayweather’s per-minute earnings by Duncan’s, we can conclude that one minute of Floyd Mayweather fighting Manny Pacquiao is worth roughly 1,492 times more than a minute of Tim Duncan playing basketball in the NBA. This is a seriously jaw-dropping number.
I wanted to take this a little further though, and calculate using the average salaries for players in the 5 major North American sports leagues how long it took Mayweather in that fight to eclipse the average annual salary for players in each league. The result is this graph.
So as you can see, even the NBA, which boasts the largest average salary of any professional sports league in the world, just can’t compete with Floyd Mayweather for even a single minute. And poor MLS, Floyd Mayweather had earned more than the average MLS player does in a year just three seconds into his fight. I feel these numbers show better than any other how much more Mayweather makes comparatively versus fellow athletes. They all dedicate their lives to training and practicing, but Mayweather just isn’t even in the same universe as anyone else.
Here’s one last statistic sure to blow your mind. As I’ve already stated, Mayweather made roughly $225 million off his fight with Manny Pacquiao. According to International Monetary Fund, in 2014 there were THREE ENTIRE COUNTRIES with a lower GDP in terms of purchasing power: Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu. So basically, in 36 minutes, Mayweather made more than three countries did in a year. And while these are very small countries, Kiribati has a population of over 100,000 people. It may be understandable with someone like Bill Gates, who has had a tremendous impact on the world, but for an athlete to make more than a country? It’s absurd to think about it.
So to conclude, Floyd Mayweather is one very wealthy person, and while I don’t believe he should have as much money as he does, I can’t argue with his dominance and popularity within his sport, doing more than his fair share to keep boxing alive. I just wish he could toss me a couple million.