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Forbes: Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James highest paid athletes

Floyd Mayweather is on top of the Fobes higest paid athletes list for the second time in three years. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Floyd Mayweather is on top of the Fobes higest paid athletes list for the second time in three years. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Floyd Mayweather has regained the top spot on Forbes' annual highest-paid athletes list, followed by Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, and Miami Heat's LeBron James.

The magazine estimates that Mayweather brought in $105 million over the last 12 months thanks to his record breaking fight against Canelo Alvarez as well as his victory over Marcos Maidana on May 3.

Ronaldo and James both received big boosts in the rankings from their endorsement paychecks, with $28 million going to the Real Madrid star and $53 million to James courtesy of their marketing power, bringing the stars total paydays to $80 million and $72.3 million respectively.

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The top five in the 2014 list is rounded out by FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, $64.7 million, and Los Angeles Lakers veteran Kobe Bryant, $61.5 million. Last year's number one, Tiger Woods, slipped to the sixth spot with $61.2 million because of his lucrative EA Sports video game franchise coming to an end.

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Matt Ryan is the highest ranking NFL player on the list, coming in at tenth thanks to $43.8 million in estimated earnings, while Cliff Lee is the top earning baseball player with $25.1 million in salary and another $200,000 from an endorsement with a Philadelphia-based garbage collection company.
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