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Mayweather and Wladimir Klitschko make list for top 25 highest paid athletes in 2013

Floyd Mayweather Jr Wladimir KlitschkoBy Chris Williams: Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Wladimir Klitschko made the list for the top 25 highest paid athletes in 2013. It’s impressive that two boxers would make the list for the highest paid athletes, because boxers are competing with mainstream sports like football, basketball and baseball, and those sports pull in a lot of viewers, both on television and in the live gates.

Mayweather Jr came in first in 2013 as the highest paid athletes overall with an income of $73.5 million from his two big fights against Robert Guerrero and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Mayweather made $32 million for the Guerrero fight, and $41.5 million for his fight against Canelo.

Wladimir Klitschko, the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion, hauled in $24 million for 2013 and his position was at No.20 on the list. Wladimir made $6.5 million for his fight against Francesco Pianeta last year in May, and then a career payday of $17.5 million in his less than thrilling performance against former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin last year in October.

Despite holding down heavyweight titles since 2006, Wladimir doesn’t routinely make the big money that smaller fighters like Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao made for some reason. The fans don’t get excited in the same way that they do for those fighters’ bouts. Wladimir also doesn’t usually fight in the United States, and it’s unthinkable that he would ever have a pay-per-view bout in the U.S., no matter who he were facing.

Mayweather will be fighting for the first time in 2014 next month against WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana, and he’ll likely make in the neighborhood of $30 million for that. For Mayweather’s second fight of the year in September, he could bring in as much as $40 million if he takes on a big name like Canelo or Miguel Cotto. You can forget about Mayweather fighting Pacquiao, because he’ll still be with Top Rank at that point, and that means no Mayweather. It’s pretty much a given that Mayweather will be the No.1 highest paid athlete in 2014, because there’s no one making the kind of green that Mayweather is right now, not in any sport.

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