CASHING IT ALL IN: In September Floyd ‘ Money’ Mayweather defeated then unbeaten Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision to stretch his record to 45-0 in the most lucrative fight in boxing history. Tray Waller Photo
The big sports names pop up like bread in a toaster, but of all of the athletes of 2013 none was more pulverizing and made more money than boxing’s Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather who has been name 2013 Sentinel Athlete of the Year.
An argument can be made for both tennis super stars Serena Williams and basketball dynamic LeBron James who dominated their sport and are likely to be annually considered as the best for as long as they choose to compete.
However, I am rolling with the likes of an athlete that we may not see in sport for perhaps the next quarter of a century if not longer than that.
TBE (The Best Ever) as he like to be called fought twice in same the year for the first time one can remember, but the first against Robert Guererro came after stint in a Nevada prison and was arguably the signature of his closing argument.
Mayweather then accepted the challenge to fight Canelo Alvarez for the junior middle weight championship in a bout of the two best pound for pound fighters in the sport and proceeded to post a record for highest-grossing pay-per-view fight of all time, generating $150 million in revenue from 2.2 million pay-per-view buys.
He took a network Showtime from the shadows of boxing giant HBO to the cusp of becoming the leading boxing network in the industry and also boosted the brand of its parent company CBS.
It is the kind of star power that has stamped Mayweather as universally the richest athlete in the world.
Vastly approaching the age of 37, The Money Maker does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon and has targeted either Amir Kahn or Manny Pacquaio as his next possible opponent.
Love him or hate him, Money made the most sense as the top athletic jewel in 2013.
SPECTACULAR SERENA: Compton’s Serena Williams continued to dominated women’s tennis is now approaching sacred ground during a career that could stamp her as the best ever. Associated Press Photo
However, we still had to admire the year that Serena Williams has in the sport of tennis.
She went 78-4 with 11 titles, including at the French Open and US Open, raising her Grand Slam championship total to 17. She compiled a 34-match winning streak. She earned more than $12 million in prize money, a record for women’s tennis. In February, she became the oldest No. 1 in WTA rankings history and never left that perch.
Williams, who grew up in Compton, Calif., and turned 32 in September, produced the finest women’s tennis season in years.
Serena was so good that many people forgot that she had a sister named Venus who blazed the trail for her to get to where she is today.
Father Richard is somewhere on his Palm Beach Garden Estate with his infant son, smiling and laughing and saying to himself, ‘I Told Ya So!
REIGING KING: LeBron James celebrates after leading the Miami Heat to its second consecutive NBA championship and earned MVP of the NBA and the Finals, thus increasing his status among his NBA brethren. Associated Press Photo
When LeBron James left his native home of Akron and the hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, he made a bold promise at his South Beach introductory press conference.
“Not-one…Not two…Not three… “ and then went out and lost to the Dallas Mavericks during the first year with the Heat in the finals.
Critics mocked him; comedians and opposing players line up to take their shot.
Well, who’s laughing now?
The four-time MVP has captured two NBA Championships and is poised to win a third in 2014. Go ahead keep counting!