Boxing: Sport's biggest hitter Lewis weighs in at pounds 10.5m

Click to follow
The Independent Online
LENNOX LEWIS, Britain's world champion boxer, is also the country's undisputed heavyweight earner among sportspeople, according to a survey released yesterday. For the 12 months from 1 October 1992 Lewis raked in pounds 10.5m, more than twice as much as the man in second place, the motor racing driver Nigel Mansell. Thirteen others passed the pounds 1m mark.

Thanks to television, boxers are a well-rewarded breed, although the figure for Lewis, revealed in the Guinness Sports Yearbook to be published on Monday, is excessive as it ignores management fees. Lewis is joined in the telephone number bracket by fellow boxers Frank Bruno (the pugilist and pantomime king who weighed in sixth with pounds 2.5m), Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank.

While a few minutes' work can set a handful of boxers up for life, the other sportsmen in the millionaires' club need longer. Mansell's IndyCar contract is less lucrative than his Formula One deal but still helped net him pounds 5m. The golfer Nick Faldo, in third place with pounds 3.5m, took a drop in his on-course earnings but his appeal to sponsors remains undimmed.

Three team players topped pounds 1m. Domestic clubs cannot sustain massive salaries, although the spiral in football is accelerating upwards, so three footballers needed to go abroad to pick up serious money. The astute David Platt, once released by Manchester United, resides in fourth with pounds 3.1m, helped largely by a pounds 1m-plus signing-on fee from Italian employers, Sampdoria. Despite possessing twice Platt's skill, Paul Gascoigne, Lazio's unreconstructed Geordie midfielder, earns slightly less, a mere pounds 2.6m, while the angelic Gary Lineker, winding down in Japan, is on pounds 1.5m.

It's not all thud, sweat and tears: two snooker men made the high table (Hendry and Davis) as did chess's Nigel Short. Women are still under-paid: closest were athletes Sally Gunnell and Liz McColgan, who earned less than pounds 500,000.

TOP EARNERS (in the year starting 1 Oct 1992): 1 Lennox Lewis (boxing) pounds 10.5m; 2 Nigel Mansell (motor racing) pounds 5m; 3 Nick Faldo (golf) pounds 3.5m; 4 David Platt (football) pounds 3.1m; 5 Paul Gascoigne (football) pounds 2.6m; 6 Frank Bruno (boxing) pounds 2.5m; 7 Linford Christie (athletics) pounds 1.75m; 8 Nigel Benn (boxing) pounds 1.7m; 9= Chris Eubank (boxing) pounds 1.5m; 9= Gary Lineker (football) pounds 1.5m; 11 Stephen Hendry (snooker) pounds 1.4m; 12= Steve Davis (snooker) pounds 1m; 12= Pat Eddery (horse racing) pounds 1m; 12= Nigel Short (chess) pounds 1m; 12= Ian Woosnam (golf) pounds 1m.

Comments