Floyd Mayweather tops Forbes' list as highest-paid athlete

"Boxer Floyd Mayweather was voted Forbes world’s highest paid athlete with a $275 million pay cheque over the last 12 months

The 29-year-old Kohli is also the lone Indian on the annual list of the world's 100 highest paid athletes, published by Forbes magazine on Wednesday.

The Forbes list factored in prize cash, salaries and bonuses earned between June 1, 2017 and this past June 1. This was due mainly to his cross-combat superfight against mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in August 2017.

Mayweather was the victor in 2014 and 2015 before Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo came out on top for two years on the trot.

Among the world's top boxers, soccer, basketball and football players, Lewis Hamilton clocks in #12 on the list with estimated earnings of $51M split up between a $42M retainer from Mercedes and $9M worth of personal endorsements.

Ronaldo ($US108 million; $142 milion) fell to third, behind soccer rival Lionel Messi ($US111 million $146 million).

Completing the top 10 were basketball's LeBron James (85.5), tennis's Roger Federer (77.2), basketball's Stephen Curry (76.9) and quarterbacks Matt Ryan (67.3) and Matthew Stafford (59.5).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Unsurprisingly, the National Basketball Association dominates the list, with 40 players, 19 of whom are in the top 50 as opposed to the NFL's nine.

Swiss ace Federer remains the most attractive athlete for sponsors, with endorsement deals accounting for $65 million of his earnings.

There are no women on the list this year, after the previous sole entrant, Serena Williams, dropped out of the chart.

Kohli is the only cricketer to feature in the top 100. The 100 top-paid athletes - coming from 23 different countries with an average age of 31 - earned a collective $3.8 billion over the past year, with 65 of those athletes hailing from the United States.

No Australian made the list with French basketballer Nicholas Batum claiming the 100 place with earnings of US$22.9m.

Forbes said it was harder than ever to qualify for the 100 highest-paid athletes, with the cutoff up Dollars 1.5 million to USD 22.9 million.

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