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    Pacquiao just behind rival Floyd in rich list

    Jun 19, 2012

    The world’s highest paid athlete is unbeaten but in jail. The second-richest lost his world titles barely 10 days ago.

    Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are on top of Forbes’ list of biggest money-making athletes during the past 12 months.

    With US$85 million mainly from his last two matches, Mayweather Jr. takes first place from superstar Tiger Woods, who slipped to third after reigning supreme since 2001.

    Mayweather’s last fight in May against Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico generated $94 million in pay per view receipts.

    The flamboyant Floyd Jr. is in a Nevada jail serving an 87-day sentence for domestic battery, but according to Forbes his earnings for each fight is usually 50 percent higher than what Pacquiao gets.

    Mayweather basically earns much more because his own company Mayweather Promotions handles his fights while Pacquiao is under contract with Top Rank Promotions.

    Pacquiao recently lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown to unbeaten American Timothy Bradley on June 9, but takes the second spot with earnings of US$62 million.

    US$56 million of that came from the two fights, plus around US$6 million from endorsements deals with an apparel company, an information technology corporation, energy drink and cognac brand.

    Woods has clawed his way back from outside the top 50 to fourth in the world rankings but his earnings are down US$16 million from last year to $59.4 million. Sponsors left him hanging while he faced personal issues two years ago and the economic climate has kept his golf course design business in the rough.

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    The highest-placed American in the world golf rankings, Woods bagged more than US$2 million from wins in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and The Memorial at Muirfield Village.

    Thirteen NBA players are on the list headed by Miami Heat star LeBron James in fourth place at $53 million.

    Endorsement deals helped keep James’ earnings up despite a lockout that cut NBA players’ salaries by around 20 percent, Forbes said.

    Quarterback Peyton Manning is the highest among 30 National Football League players that made the top 100 list, making US$42.4 million.

    Two women are in the top 100.

    World No. 1 Maria Sharapova is in 26th with earnings of US$27.9 million. The Russian tennis star recently completed a career Grand Slam with victory in the French Open,  but that only paid US$1.6 million. Most of her earnings are from sponsors including an apparel company, timepieces and electronics company.

    Forbes said her ballet flat is the best-selling female shoe for Cole Haan.

    Chinese tennis player and last year’s French Open champion Li Na is 81st with US$18.4 million.

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