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Top-10 List of the World's Highest Paid Athletes in 1990

Here is the top 10 list of the highest earning sports people for the 1990 calendar year, from the list of top 30 athletes published by Forbes in August 1990. This is the first time that Forbes created such a list. Boxing was obviously the most lucrative sport in 1990, with three boxers heading the list, and another at equal 8th.

The top ranked women were Steffi Graf at 13th with $6.1 million earnings, and Gabreila Sabatini at 22nd with $4.5 million. Totals include salaries, bonuses, prize money, endorsements and appearance fees. See also the top earning lists from other years.

  Name Sport Nationality earnings ($ million)
1. Mike Tyson boxing USA 28.6
2. Buster Douglas boxing USA 26.0
3. Sugar Ray Leonard boxing USA 13.0
4. Ayrton Senna auto racing Brazil 10.0
5. Alain Prost auto racing France 9.0
6. Jack Nicklaus golf USA 8.6
7 Greg Norman golf Australia 8.5
=8 Michael Jordan basketball USA 8.1
=8 Arnold Palmer golf USA 8.1
=8 Evander Holyfield boxing USA 8.1

next on the list were: Boris Becker, Nigel Mansell, Steffi Graf, Jose Canseco, Wayne Gretzky, Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, Diego Maradona, Don Mattingly.


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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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