According to reporting from Forbes, it was two boxers that earned the most in the reporting period, from June 2011 to June 2012, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquaio. Mayweather earned a cool $85 million in winnings alone while Pacquaio totaled $62 million between matches and his endorsements of brands like Monster Energy, Hennessy and Nike. Speaking of endorsements, the majority of third place finisher Tiger Woods' earnings, $55 million of his total $59.4 million, came from endorsements with only $4.4 million coming from golf winnings. In fact, endorsements were king for the top nine finishers with NBA stars like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, soccer studs David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis champion Roger Federer and golf pro Phil Mickelson all pulling in huge deals to endorse brands from Rolex to Burger King.
Once you get past the top 10 however, for the most part, steep salaries put these athletes among the highest paid on the planet. According to Forbes, NFL player Haloti Ngata earned $37.1 million in salary and winnings during the year but he wasn't the only football player who cashed in. Larry Fitzgerald and Ndamukong Suh both saw big paydays, earning more than #35 million in salary, not even counting their endorsements.
However these wealthy players earned their money, be it doing as many commercials as humanly possible like quarterback Peyton Manning or simply signing a monster contract to play ball like Alex Rodriguez, these highest-paid athletes are certainly doing something right.
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