Tuesday 17 July 2018

WATCH: Conor McGregor set to pass Cristiano Ronaldo on Forbes rich list just one year after he predicted he would

Jack O'Toole

Conor McGregor is set to overtake Cristiano Ronaldo on the Forbes rich list after his professional boxing debut with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday.

McGregor will receive in excess of $100 million (€83 million) for the fight, which would put him on top of the 2017 Forbes annual 'world's highest paid athlete' list, which measures the salary and endorsement earnings of the world's top 100 highest grossing athletes.

Ronaldo topped the list this year with a total pay of $93 million (€77.65 million), which more than doubled his 2013 earnings, while McGregor's total earnings from the fight alone will eclipse that mark, before sponsorships and endorsements are taken into account.

The Dubliner told Ronaldo last year that he would catch him on the list when the two met in Las Vegas before McGregor's rematch with Nate Diaz.

"You were number one on the Forbes list," McGregor told Ronaldo in a video posted to the Dubliner's website The Mac Life last year.

"I was like number 35 or something. I'll get up. Maybe next year I'll get you." Before Ronaldo replied: "I don't think so."

Rob Pearson, Associate Director at Teneo PSG, says that McGregor will pass Ronaldo on next year's list and that he could earn as much as $60 million (€50 million) in 2018 after earning $34 million (€28.4 million) last year.

"By stepping into the ring with Mayweather, McGregor made more in one night than Cristiano Ronaldo, the highest earning athlete in 2016, made in the entire year.

"McGregor is pay per view royalty and has historically negotiated well with the UFC for a generous share in pay per view sales which make up the bulk of the UFC’s and his annual earnings.

"This fight is set to challenge for the top selling pay per view fight of all time, a record held by Mayweather for his 2015 fight against Pacquiao which sold 4.6 million pay-per-view buys.

"Mayweather will take the lion’s share of the fight purse, $100m to McGregor’s $30m, but when the pay per view numbers are tallied those earnings are likely to jump to closer to $220m and $100m apiece before taking personal sponsorships and endorsements into account.

"McGregor has transcended Mixed Martial Arts and into mainstream consciousness. He is no longer the biggest fish in the UFC pond but a global star and one of the most marketable athletes in the world.

"He knows the power of his brand and sponsorship and endorsement negotiations are expected to starting at a cool million dollars.

"The hype and build-up to this fight was on a scale never seen before but despite the cynicism of boxing purists it captured the imagination of world and cemented McGregor’s sporting legacy and financial security.

"While the odds are against him ever landing a bigger one off payday he looks poised to cash in on his enhanced celebrity status with potential sponsorship earnings in 2018 of $30 million and a minimum of $10m for every time he steps in the octagon - $60m in 2018 is on the cards."

Online Editors

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