Yes, it's sometimes astonishing to hear the earnings of professional athletes. After all, they get paid big bucks just to play a game on TV.
Moreover, it boggles the mind to hear what athletes in certain sports pull in each year given the amount of perceived effort they exert competing in their chosen profession. For example, more than 200 PGA golfers broke the $100,000 mark in 2014 - just for chasing a little white ball around. Even baseball, America's pastime, doesn't seem to warrant some of the exorbitant eight (and nine) figure contracts of many of its players.
On the other hand, it seems more logical why athletes in other sports - say, rugby or football - make substantial stacks of cash. After all, they put their bodies and heads on the line on a daily basis, right? The ultimate extension of this logic is the fat payouts in the world of professional boxing. Sure, the bouts themselves aren't very long, but given that you're stuck in a ring with an opponent who is trying to beat the crap out of you, they seem pretty justifiable.
Lots of boxers have earned oodles of cash over the years. Some have done a poor job of hanging on to those winnings (Mike Tyson) while others have leveraged their relatively scant winnings into even fatter bank accounts (like boxer-turned-developer Tom Moyer, who passed away in November). But now that we're into 2015, here are the 15 richest former and current pro boxers by net worth:
15 T14. Wladimir Klitschko - $30 Million
14 T14. Anthony Mundine - $30 million
13 Shane Mosley - $35 million
12 T11. Bernard Hopkins - $40 million
11 T11. Ricky Hatton - $40 million
10 Marvelous Marvin Hagler - $45 million
9 Vitali Klitschko - $65 million
8 Muhammad Ali - $80 million
7 Manny Pacquiao - $110 million
6 Naseem Hamed - $105 million
5 Sugar Ray Leonard - $120 million
4 Lennox Lewis - $140 million
3 Oscar de la Hoya - $175 million
2 George Foreman - $250 million
1 Floyd Mayweather, Jr. - $280 million
In contrast, Mayweather has made all of his dough inside the ring (he has no endorsement deals), where his prize money has totaled a whopping $405 million. "Money" is undefeated in 47 professional fights and is the current WBA, WBC, and The Ring Welterweight and Super Welterweight champion. He's supposed to announce his opponent for an upcoming May bout very soon; and the top contenders are Amir Khan or Miguel Cotto (or perhaps Pacquiao) for the Middleweight bout. His top challenger in the Super Welterweight class is Mundine, but there's no scheduled date for that meeting. One thing's for sure - whenever Mayweather fights, he gets paid - a minimum of $25 million for each of his last ten matches.
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