According to US business magazine, Forbes, retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jnr is now the richest athlete in the world, with his career earnings now at a staggering US$1 billion.
Mayweather retired from boxing in 2016 but made a dramatic return to the ring in 2017 to take on Irish Mixed Martial Arts champion Conor McGregor in a blockbuster fight, defeating McGregor via a 10th round technical knockout in an August clash.
The boxer regarded as one of the best pound-for-bound boxer of his generation, earned $275 million from last year’s fight which pushed him back to the top of the Forbes list of best paid athletes for the fourth time in seven years.

Mayweather, 41, joins fellow Americans, basketball great Michael Jordan and golfer Tiger Woods as the only athletes to have reached 10-figures in earnings.

Real Madrid and Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who topped the rankings for the last two years, slipped to third in the standings behind his Barcelona and Argentine rival Lionel Messi.

Paris St. Germain and Brazil forward Neymar, who became the world’s most expensive soccer player for $260 million, came in fifth.

Tennis icon Serena Williams, who was the only woman on the list last year, dropped out of the rankings after she took a break from the sport due to the birth of her daughter.

Top 20 (lists under athlete/nationality/sport/estimated earnings):

1. Floyd Mayweather (U.S.) Boxing $285 million

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina) Soccer $111 million

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Soccer $108 million

4. Conor McGregor (Ireland) MMA $99 million

5. Neymar (Brazil) Soccer $90 million

6. LeBron James (U.S.) Basketball $85.5 million

7. Roger Federer (Switzerland) Tennis $77.2 million

8. Stephen Curry (U.S.) Basketball $76.9 million

9. Matt Ryan (U.S.) American football $67.3 million

10. Matthew Stafford (U.S.) American football $59.5 million

11. Kevin Durant (U.S.) Basketball $57.3 million

12. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Formula One $51 million

13. Russell Westbrook (U.S.) Basketball $47.6 million

14. James Harden (U.S.) Basketball $46.4 million

15. Canelo Alvarez (Mexico) Boxing $44.5 million

16. Tiger Woods (U.S.) Golf $43.3 million

17. Drew Brees (U.S.) American football $42.9 million

18. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Formula One 42.3 million

19. Derek Carr (U.S.) American football $42.1 million

20. Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis $41.4 million