Floyd Mayweather will earn almost as much for 36 minutes in the ring in May as Tim Duncan has made in his 18-year career with the San Antonio Spurs ($235 million).
A source with knowledge of the pay-per-view numbers, which still are not final but have been reported on to a point where a number can be called, told ESPN.com that Mayweather's total for the May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao will add up to between $220 million and $230 million. Based on the agreed-upon 60-40 split, Pacquiao could wind up earning a little north of $150 million, which would be roughly equivalent to the on-court career earnings of LeBron James.
Pacquiao's net take will be significantly reduced after paying off his promoter, Bob Arum and Top Rank, a fee that Mayweather doesn't have since he owns his own company.
The fight, which generated close to $600 million in revenue, is the most lucrative boxing bout of all time.
The money awarded to the fighters is a result of a guaranteed purse, $72 million in ticket sales -- which doesn't include a record $19 million in national closed-circuit revenue at more than 5,000 bars, restaurants and commercial establishments -- and a record $6.9 million in closed-circuit revenue.
What remains to be seen is if the fighters, particularly Pacquiao, and the promoters, particularly Top Rank, will have to give back any money. More than 40 lawsuits were filed against Pacquiao, and in some cases the others involved in the fight, for not disclosing the state of Pacquiao's shoulder injury to the public before fans bought the fight.
In his 14 pay-per-view fights, Mayweather has now generated more than $1.3 billion, a record.
The fight will go down as the fighters' biggest paydays ever. Mayweather took home at least $40 million each in his two fights against Marcos Maidana and north of $100 million for his fight against Canelo Alvarez.
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe did not respond to messages seeking comment, while a Top Rank official said its top executive, Bob Arum, was not available.
Last month, Mayweather told boxing website BoxingScene.com that he thought he would make $275 million from the fight, in which he won in a unanimous decision.