Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not just one of the world’s best boxers. He’s also the highest paid athlete ever.
The boxing champion will earn a record $41.5 million for next week’s bout with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez – a guaranteed amount that could go even higher if pay-per-view gives him a cut of its earnings.
"Floyd is the biggest star in the sport and the best in the sport, and when you're the biggest star and you are the best, you get paid the most money," his adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, told ESPN.com. "So this comes along with the territory."
The amount he’s earning for the bout surpasses the record-breaking $33 million Evander Holyfield got for his 1997 fight against Mike Tyson. Mayweather will earn at least $73.5 million this year.
The highly anticipated bout between Mayweather and Alvarez, dubbed “The One,” was sold out less than 24 hours after the tickets went on sale.
"It's [a] blessing to be in that position, to make that kind of money. Floyd has worked hard to put himself in this position,” Ellerbe said. “He deserves every penny of it. He's the only athlete that has dominated his sport for the last 15 years, and now he is fighting the best guy he can possibly fight."
Alvarez's purse is still under wraps, but ESPN reports he could earn more than $10 million.
The fight is expected to generate at least $19 million. That could break the record previously held by Mayweather’s bout against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, which earned $18.4 million.
Mayweather, 36, is unbeaten in 44 fights, with the last a unanimous 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero on May 4 in defense of his 147-pound title.
"The Earth is my turf," Mayweather said recently. "You can put me in any ring and I will always come out victorious."
Alvarez, a 22-year-old star from Mexico, is 42-0-1 and unified the 154-pound titles in April with a unanimous victory over Austin Trout on April 20.
"In the sport of boxing, it's everybody's time, and this is my time," Alvarez said while promoting the fight.
The 12-round fight will be contested at 152 pounds with both men's super welterweight/junior middleweight titles on the line — Mayweather's WBA super welterweight "super" championship, and Alvarez's WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine super welterweight championships.
"In every sport, there are certain rare occasions when you have the best fighting the best," said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. "The Super Bowl, Final Four, the college football national championship. Sept. 14 will be one of those occasions with the two biggest stars in the sport, the two biggest fan bases."
"We have America's No. 1 fighter versus Mexico's No. 1 fighter. We have the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport versus the No. 1 new star in the sport," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.