Top dollar ‘Money’

2014-05-04 15:00

There’s a ­reason Floyd ­Mayweather Jr’s nickname is ‘Money’, says Timothy Molobi

After the release of the list of the highest-paid athletes for 2013, young South Africans will have to think hard before deciding which sporting code to follow.

What the list makes evident is that it’s not necessarily a sport’s popularity that counts. According to the figures, golfers were top earners in South Africa, Ernie Els topping the list with $18.2?million (R191?million).

Steven Pienaar, who plays for top-flight English club Everton, came in as the fifth-highest South African earner, with a $5?million payout on a list dominated by golfers.

Former Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis came seventh, with rugby players Jaque Fourie and JP Pietersen coming in at eighth and ninth, respectively.

Floyd Mayweather Jr was the highest-paid athlete in the world last year, according to figures released by ESPN last week.

This is hardly surprising as Mayweather’s pay is boosted by the fact that he controls the purse strings through his company Mayweather Promotions.

According to this week’s contract figures released by the Nevada State Athletics Commission, Mayweather was guaranteed a minimum purse of $32?million for this morning’s welterweight unification fight with Marcos Maidana of Argentina.

They don’t call him “Money” for nothing, although he sweats for his loot.

Last year, Mayweather fought just twice, earning about $73.5?million in minimum purses ($32?million against Robert Guerrero in May and $41.5?million against Saúl Álvarez in September).

Football, the world’s most popular sport, claimed three spots in the top five – Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ronaldo, the Portuguese Real Madrid striker and reigning world footballer of the year was ranked second, with earnings of at least $50.2?million.

Argentinian star Messi was less than $100?000 behind Ronaldo. Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ $40?million earnings put him in fourth spot.

In South Africa, many youngsters want to become professional footballers, but they will have to be really exceptional to even dream of getting closer to Ronaldo or Messi.

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