Forbes highest-paid athletes of 2018 list includes five golfers

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According to Forbes, the lack of women on the list has a lot to do with the growing popularity of team sports and related licensing deals as opposed to individual sports, such as golf and tennis, where women having typically earned more endorsements.

Barcelona's Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi took second place with $ 111 million in revenue. Incredibly, Mayweather, who sports a 50-0 professional boxing record, earned the incredible payday from a single fight: the August 26, 2017 defeat of UFC star Conor McGregor. Well Mayweather, Ronaldo and Tiger Woods are the only three athletes to top the best-paid list over the past 18 years.

The latest list features athletes from 11 different sports, with basketball leading the way with 40 contenders. "You all are true champions".

Messi's long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo is third on Forbes' list having pocketed $108 million (R 1 379 654 640, 00) in the past year.

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The Notorious is now placed fourth with $99 million. The 100 men earned a cumulative $3.8 billion over the last 12 months. "The Notorious" was No. 24 on last year's list, earning $34 million.

Though Mayweather is the only American in the top five, USA athletes take four out of the next five spots on the list-LeBron James ($85.5m), Stephen Curry ($76.9m), Matt Ryan ($67.3m) and Matthew Stafford ($59.5m)-with Roger Federer ($77.2m) being the only non-American to rank in the second five. He also earned the second-most money from endorsements, at $52 million. The champ definitely knows how to make money and his earrings for 2017 surpassed soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lewis Hamilton led the auto racing field at $51 million.

Jordan Spieth sat right behind him in 23rd ($41.2 million), with Rory McIlroy lying at 27th ($37.7 million).

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