Floyd Mayweather is world's highest paid athlete

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was the highest paid athlete the two previous years. Footballer Lionel Messi took second place with earnings of $111 million (£82.7m) while Cristiano Ronaldo dropped from first place to third, with earnings of $108 million (£80.4 million).

"Yet like the Indian cricket mega-stars who have come before him, Kohli's big payday comes off the pitch" where he's partnered with top brands such as Puma, Pepsi, Audi and Oakley, Forbes said.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Kate Dale, lead of Sport England's This Girl Can campaign, said "it matters" that there are no women on the list as "sport has the power to change more than the sporting world itself". There are no hockey players on the list.

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Tennis star Serena Williams was the only woman to make the prestigious list a year ago, but dropped off after taking time to give birth to her daughter Olympia. "But basketball players dominate the top 100 overall thanks to a soaring salary cap triggered by the NBA's $24 billion TV contract".

Mayweather now has been the highest-paid athlete four times in the last seven years. Neymar ($90m) 6. LeBron James ($85,5m) 7. The contract guarantees Kohli an annual retainer of Dollars 1 million. However, Kohli's earnings are less than one-fourth of Mayweather, who earned $285 million in the same period.

Do you think Messi deserves to earn more than Ronaldo?

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He added: "Forbes' lists of top-earning athletes have always been testosterone heavy". He jumps 13 spots to fifth with an income of Dollars 90 million, including USD 19 million from endorsement partners. He jumps 13 spots to fifth with an income of United States dollars 90 million.

Forbes said it was harder than ever to qualify for the 100 highest-paid athletes, with the cutoff up $1.5 million to $22.9 million.

The Forbes list factored in prize cash, salaries and bonuses earned between June 1, 2017 and this past June 1.

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In the top 100 list the National Football League had 18 athletes, 14 were baseball players and nine were footballers.

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