U.S. boxer Floyd Mayweather topped the Forbes rankings of the world's top 100 earning athletes after earning US$275m ($361m) for his match in August against UFC star Conor McGregor, who claimed fourth position on the rankings (Lionel Hahn/PA Wire). Lionel Messi clocked in at $111 million while Ronaldo followed at $108 million.
Forbes earnings figures include all salaries, bonuses and prize money earned between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018.
Ronaldo has been the highest paid athlete the two previous years but fell to third.
Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods - at number 16 this year - are the only three athletes to top the best-paid list over the past 18 years.
Surprisingly, the "World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2018" compilation is an all-male affair with no women being featured in the list.
"Yet like the Indian cricket mega-stars who have come before him, Kohli's big payday comes off the pitch" where he's partnered with top brands such as Puma, Pepsi, Audi and Oakley, Forbes said. "The soaring National Basketball Association salaries are a result of an increased salary cap, driven by the league's $24 billion TV deal, which tipped off with the 2016-17 season".
Kohli jumped six places from his previous year's position as no women feature in the 100-athlete list.
For the second year in a row, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is baseball's highest paid player, earning $34.5 million. "But basketball players dominate the top 100 overall thanks to a soaring salary cap triggered by the NBA's $24 billion TV contract". The top 100 earned Dollars 3.8 billion, a 23 per cent jump over a year ago.
American golfer Phil Mickelson (47) was the oldest athlete in the top 100 with earnings of $41.3m while Greek basketballer Giannis Antetokounmpo (23) was the youngest with earnings of $35.5m.