Tyson Wins as Highest Paid Athlete : Income: Buster Douglas and Sugar Ray Leonard are Nos. 2 and 3 on list compiled by Forbes magazine.

From Associated Press

Dethroned heavyweight champion Mike Tyson still packs a punch at the bank. With an estimated $28.6 million in income this year, he’s the highest paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

Buster Douglas, little known until he upset Tyson for the heavyweight title in February, is second at $26 million, followed by another boxer, Sugar Ray Leonard, at $13 million.

Next come two race car drivers, Ayrton Senna at $10 million and Alain Prost at $9 million.


Forbes lists the top 30 athletes by income in its Aug. 20 issue and says they will make about $230 million this year, including salary, winnings and money from endorsements. The magazine said about one-third of the income for the top 30 comes from promotional activities.

In the top 10 are four boxers, three golfers, two race car drivers and one basketball player. The top 30 include six tennis players, five from baseball and four each from boxing, golf and auto racing.

Jack Nicklaus is sixth on the list at $8.6 million, followed by fellow golfer Greg Norman and basketball’s Michael Jordan tied at $8.5 million.

Golfer Arnold Palmer and boxer Evander Holyfield are tied for ninth at $8.1 million.

Boris Becker, the top-paid tennis player at $7.2 million, is 11th. Jose Canseco, the highest paid baseball player, is tied for 14th at $6 million, although that includes the $3.5 million signing bonus from his five-year contract extension that begins in 1991.

Wayne Gretzky is the highest paid hockey player at $6 million (tied with Canseco), and Diego Maradona of Argentina and Italy’s Napoli club is the top soccer player at $5 million (19th overall). Cyclist Greg LeMond is tied for 26th at $4.2 million.


Two women are on the list, both tennis players: Steffi Graf is 13th at $6.1 million and Gabriela Sabatini is tied for 22nd at $4.5 million.

Tyson will make $27 million from boxing this year and $1.6 million in outside income, the magazine says. Douglas will make $25 million from boxing and $1 million from endorsements.

The biggest shares of the two boxers’ earnings come from matches they have signed to fight this year, plus any future deals for which they’re receiving money this year. Tyson is fighting Alex Stewart in September. Douglas is fighting Holyfield in October.

Nicklaus and Palmer head the outside income list, each at $8 million. The magazine estimates Nicklaus will earn $600,000 from golf this year and Palmer $100,000.


NEW YORK--The 30 highest-paid athletes for 1990 according to Forbes Magazine:

Mike Tyson boxing $28.6 million Buster Douglas boxing $26 million Sugar Ray Leonard boxing $13 million Ayrton Senna auto racing $10 million Alain Prost auto racing $9 million Jack Nicklaus golf $8.6 million Greg Norman golf $8.5 million Michael Jordan basketball $8.5 million Arnold Palmer golf $8.1 million Evander Holyfield boxing $8.1 million Boris Becker tennis $7.2 million Nigel Mansell auto racing $7.0 million Steffi Graf tennis $6.1 million Jose Canseco baseball $6.0 million Wayne Gretzky hockey $6.0 million Andre Agassi tennis $5.5 million Stefan Edberg tennis $5.5 million Ivan Lendl tennis $5.3 million Diego Maradona soccer $5.0 million Don Mattingly baseball $4.8 million Bo Jackson baseball $4.5 million Gabriela Sabatini tennis $4.5 million Magic Johnson basketball $4.5 million Robin Yount baseball $4.5 million Joe Montana football $4.4 million Patrick Ewing basketball $4.2 million Greg LeMond cycling $4.2 million Gerhard Berger auto racing $4.0 million Curtis Strange golf $3.8 million Will Clark baseball $3.8 million