Two of the most dominant forces on last year’s Forbes Highest Paid Athletes list have dropped out of the running considerably in the newly-released 2019 edition – which takes the last calendar year from the date of publication into account.
Last time around, the top spot was taken by boxer Floyd Mayweather, who managed to bring in a whopping $285 million on the back of his 2017 showdown with the MMA star Conor McGregor, who himself came in fourth with $99 million.
The two positions that separated the previous edition were occupied by footballing superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who posted earnings of $111 million and $108 million respectively – a narrow margin that in many ways mirrored the razor-thin nature of their rivalry.
Now, the latest update to the annual list has been released and unsurprisingly, both Mayweather and McGregor have dropped off significantly.
The 50-0 boxer Floyd Mayweather no longer features due to his semi-retirement – even after his somewhat farcical showdown with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa at RIZIN 14 late last year.
McGregor, on the other hand, fell just outside of the top 20 to #21 after just one appearance inside the octagon in 2018, a fight that earned him $32 million on top of an impressive $15 million in endorsements.
Boxing made some serious waves with #13 Anthony Joshua ($55 million), and #4 Canelo Alvarez ($94 million) but in the end, it was last year’s second and third-placed earners who managed to run out with the most impressive numbers of the lot.
Cristiano Ronaldo still wasn’t quite able to catch his great Argentinian adversary, coming through with $109 million’s worth of earnings over the last 12 months.
Of course, with Ronaldo in the runner-up position, Lionel Messi was the man to take home the top prize, a massive $127 million – by far the highest of his career to date.
If you want to read the list in full, you can do so here.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena