Despite losing his World Boxing Organization welterweight title in a questionable decision to Timothy Bradley last June, Manny Pacquiao remained among the elite list of highest-paid international athletes in the world, according to Sports Illustrated.
Pacquiao placed sixth in the ranking, down from second last year. But the Filipino ring icon’s placing was hurt by the fact that the magazine compiled its list of earnings over the period of June 2011 to May 2012, when Pacquiao only fought once, against Juan Manuel Marquez last November.
Sports Illustrated pegged Pacquiao’s earnings over the period at $39 million, behind Roger Federer ($51.4 million), David Beckham ($46 million), Lionel Messi ($41.25 million), Cristiano Ronald ($40.5 million), and Fernando Alonso ($40 million).
Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao’s nemesis for boxing’s mythical pound-for-pound title, topped the magazine’s list of highest-earning American athletes. Mayweather fought twice over the period of the survey, earning him a total of $85 million. Golfers Phil Mickelson ($60.8 million) and Tiger Woods ($56.4 million) take the next two spots, followed by NBA superstars Kobe Bryant ($48.3 million) and LeBron James ($45.9 million), whose earnings were hampered by the league’s lockout last season.