Mayweather banked $300m (€264m) to put him top of Forbes list of the world’s top 100 earning athletes in 2015. Endorsements accounted for just $15m dollars (€13m) of his income, with the majority of the American’s earnings coming from last month’s super-fight against Manny Pacquiao.
McIlroy, who has won two majors in the last 12 months, banked $48.3m (€42.6m), including $32m in sponsorship, to be 12th on the list.
For his part Pacquiao’s takings of $160m comfortably making him the second-highest earner.
In third place was Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who may have lost out to Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on the field but his earnings of $79.6m (€70m) were nearly six million more than the Argentinian’s.
Tiger Woods retained his place in the top 10 despite a dreadful year of injuries and loss of form thanks to his $50m endorsements, compared to winnings of just $600,000.
Highest-earning British footballer was Gareth Bale, whose $25.5m salary at Real Madrid, put him 18th on the list with $35m.
Forbes’ earnings figures include salaries, bonuses, prize money and appearance fees, as well as estimates on licensing and endorsement income for the past 12 months. The list only includes athletes active during the last 12 months.