Forbes magazine has revealed their list of the top 100 richest athletes and surprisingly there is not a single female on the list.
Retired boxer Floyd Mayweather lived up to his ‘money’ nickname, grabbing top spot thanks largely in part to the $275 million (R3 513 713 500, 00) he earned for just 36 minutes of work in his fight against Connor McGregor in August last year.
The 41-year-old also earned $10 million (R127 771 400, 00) from endorsement deals with companies like Hublot and Tequila Avion.
Barcelona’s star man Lionel Messi was second on Forbes rich list, walking away with $111 million (R 1 417 978 380, 00) from his football exploits and commercial dealings. In November 2017, the Argentine signed a new contact with the club until 2021 that will see him take home an annual salary and bonuses in excess of $80 million (R1 021 966 400, 00).
Messi’s long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo is third on Forbes’ list having pocketed $108 million (R 1 379 654 640, 00) in the last year. His two biggest pay cheques are from his club side Real Madrid, who pay him $50 million (R638 717 500, 00) a year, while he has a lifetime contract with Nike worth upward of $1 billion (R 12 774 350 000, 00).
Forbes top ten of richest athletes is completed by UFC Champion Connor McGregor, Brazilian superstar Neymar, the NBA’s MVP LeBron James, 20-time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer, NBA Champion Stephen Curry and NFL stars Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford.
It’s the first time in eight years that no women features on Forbes' list.
Serena Williams was the sole female representative last year, coming in at 51st.
Having not played much over the last 12 months due to the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., the 23-time Grand Slam champions earned just $18 million (R 229 938 300, 00).
Speaking to CNN, Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes' senior editor, said had the magazine counted just endorment deals, Serena would have firmly been in the top 10.
"Serena is still killing it off the court, “he said about the younger Williams earning potential. “She's more popular than ever with corporate sponsors. By our count she banked $18 million with those partners who she still continues to be engaged with, whether it's IBM, Nike, Wilson, so she does a lot off the court. Her endorsement earnings would put her up in the top 10 in the world. She just hasn't any prize money to go with that. I expect once Serena is back on the court and raking up those millions in prize money we'll see her back on the list next year."
Here’s the list and how much each star earned in 2018.
10. American footballer Matthew Stafford – $59.5m
9. NFL quarterback, Matt Ryan – NFL quarterback, Matt Ryan
8. NFL quarterback, Matt Ryan – $76.9m
7. Tennis player Roger Federe – $77.3m
6. Basketball player LeBron James – $85.5m
5. Soccer player Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior – $90m
4. Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor – $99m
3. Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo – $108m
2. Soccer player Lionel Messi – $111m
1. Boxer Floyd Mayweather – $285m