Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao aren’t only the biggest stars in boxing, but they’ve also proven to be the highest-paid celebrities in the world. The fighters have topped Forbes’ 2015 Celebrity 100 list, which ranks entertainers based on the amount of money they’ve earned over the last 12 months.
The two welterweights were among the top paid celebrities in 2014, but their mega-fight on May 2 took them to new heights this year. The pay-per-view generated 4.4 million buys and set an all-time record with close to $600 million in total revenue, according to ESPN.
Mayweather was paid more than $200 million for one night’s work, beating Pacquiao in a unanimous decision. His total earnings for the year totaled $300 million, according to Forbes, helping him top the list. Mayweather’s fight with Marcos Maidana in September also helped him take the No.1 spot, as he was guaranteed $32 million for the bout, ultimately making even more because of PPV revenue.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 1, 2015
For the last few years, Mayweather has topped the list of highest-paid athletes. Without facing Pacquiao last year, Mayweather still earned $105 million from just two fights. He’s the sport’s biggest draw, and has been guaranteed at least $32 million in each of his last six fights.
Mayweather might not be near the top of the list in 2016, since he has maintained that he’ll retire after his next fight in September. Pacquiao will be out until at least the end of the year because of shoulder surgery.
Pacquiao agreed to a 60-40 split of the purse for his fight with Mayweather, but he still earned more than nine figures in a 12-round loss. Forbes estimates that Pacquiao’s fights with Mayweather and Chris Algieri earned him $160 million over the last 12 months, making him the No.2 highest-paid celebrity in the world. Pacquiao was guaranteed close to $25 million for his one-sided victory over Algieri in November.
A rematch between the two boxers could be incredibly profitable, but one doesn't seem likely. After saying he'd give Pacquiao another fight next year, Mayweather said he no longer has any interest in taking on Pacquiao again.
Singer Katy Perry comes in third on the list with $135 million in earnings. One Direction and Howard Stern round out the top five.
Cristiano Ronaldo follows Mayweather and Pacquiao as the highest-paid athlete, earning $79.5 million and placing 10th on the list. LeBron James was the second highest-paid American athlete of the last year, making $65 million.