1-Floyd Mayweather
Athlete, Boxing
2018 The World's Highest-Paid Athletes Earnings — as of 6/5/18 $285 M

Money Mayweather ranks as the world's highest-paid athlete for the fourth time in seven years. It only took 36 minutes in the ring against Conor McGregor for Mayweather to earn $275 million (he added $10 million more outside the ring). The fight, pitting the biggest stars in boxing and UFC, generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys and more than $550 million in total revenue from all sources. Mayweather earned three times as much as McGregor as the "A" side and his role as promoter, while McGregor was forced to share his cut with the UFC where he is under contract. The fight pushed Mayweather's career earnings to $1 billion, joining Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods as the only athletes to reach 10-figures in earnings. Mayweather padded his 2017 earnings with endorsement deals with Hublot and Tequila Avion ahead of the McGregor bout. Hublot released a limited edition of 100 watches, priced at $28,300, as well as 10 numbered editions of the Mayweather timepiece set entirely in yellow gold and adorned with more than 400 diamonds. The numbered edition cost $93,700 and both watches came with a boxing glove signed by Mayweather.

2-Lionel Messi
Athlete, Soccer
2018 The World's Highest-Paid Athletes Earnings — as of 6/5/18 $111 M

Messi finished the 2017-18 season as the top scoring player in the Top 5 European Leagues with 45 goals in all competitions. In November 2017, he agreed to a contract extension with Barcelona that will keep him with the club through 2020-21 and pay him an annual salary and bonus in excess of $80 million, making him the highest-paid for his work on the pitch. He will pad that with a lifelong deal with Adidas. Other deals include Gatorade, Pepsi, Ooredoo, Huawei and Hawkers. A theme park based on him, Messi Experience Park, is set to open in 2020 in the Chinese city of Nanjing.

3-Cristiano Ronaldo
Athlete, Soccer
2018 The World's Highest-Paid Athletes Earnings — as of 6/5/18 $108 M

Ronaldo netted 44 goals in 43 matches in all competition this past season, and added a fifth Ballon d'Or, given to the world's best player, and his fifth Champions League title to his trophy shelf. His current contract with Real Madrid is set to pay him over $50 million for the next three years through his 36th birthday. His lifetime Nike contract is worth upward of $1 billion. He has an array of other deals including Herbalife, EA Sports and American Tourister, along with a growing line of CR7 branded products including shoes, underwear, fragrance, jeans, a children's line (for which he models with his son), a line of hotels and soon-to-open restaurants in Brazil. He remains the most popular athlete in the world with 322 million social media followers.

4-Conor McGregor
Athlete, UFC
2018 The World's Highest-Paid Athletes Earnings — as of 6/5/18 $99 M

The UFC's biggest star has not stepped foot in the Octagon professionally since November 2016, but Conor McGregor scored his biggest payday to date thanks to a 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. McGregor banked an estimated $85 million for the fight, more than five times his previous top paycheck. The fight had 4.3 million PPV buys and generated more than $550 million in revenue. The Irishman signed a slew of deals over the past 12 months with the buzz around the Mayweather fight. His current partners are Burger King, Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, David August, BSN, Anheuser-Busch, HiSmile and Betsafe. He also has a residency deal with the Wynn Las Vegas for all of his afterparties, and his digital properties, Conor McGregor FAST Program, MacMoji App, MacTalk App and the Mac Life, also generate cash.

Athlete, Soccer
2018 The World's Highest-Paid Athletes Earnings — as of 6/5/18 $90 M

In August 2017, the Brazilian superstar signed a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain worth a total cash outlay of more than $600 million. Of that, $250 million was paid to his former club Barcelona to release him from his contract there. The remaining $350 million will be paid in salary through his playing contract that lasts until June 2022. The 26-year old works off the pitch with global sponsors Nike, Red Bull, Gillette, McDonalds and Beats by Dre. He was the first soccer player to have his own custom Air Jordan sneakers made by the Swoosh.

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