World's highest paid athletes: Floyd Mayweather way ahead as three Brits make top 20

Cristiano Ronaldo the highest paid footballer in 2015, according to Forbes

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The Independent Football

Boxing king Floyd Mayweather earns almost twice as much as the second highest paid athlete, according to Forbes.

The American business magazine has released its list of the world's highest paid athletes with golfer Rory McIlroy the highest-paid Brit at No 12 with a total pay, combining salary, winnings and endorsements at $48.3million (£31.2m).

That pales in comparison to 'Money' Mayweather who earned $300m (£194m) for his mega-fight with Manny Pacquiao - the Filipino is second on the list with a pay of $160m (£103.5m), just over half of Mayweather.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's highest paid footballer, just in front of rival Lionel Messi.

Along with McIlroy, the only other two Brits in the top 20 are Formula One world Champion Lewis Hamilton (No 15) and Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale (No 18).

Only two women make the top 100 on the list, both tennis stars, Maria Sharapova at No 26 and Serena Williams at No 47. Sharapova makes the majority of her money through endorsements, raking in around $10m more than the dominant Williams sister.

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