May 17, 2018
May 17, 2018
Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder

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DON’T just take his promoter Eddie Hearn’s word for it. It’s now official: Anthony Joshua, the current WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion, is wealthy and marketable and perhaps the hottest commodity in boxing.

That’s according to a Forbes boxing rich list which recognises Joshua as boxing’s biggest earner for the first time in his five-year professional career. In reaching top spot, the Londoner surpasses Mexican star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and consensus pound-for-pound number one Gennady Golovkin. He also vindicates the long-held view of his promoter, who has claimed, pretty much from day one, that Joshua would become the biggest star in boxing.

He’s certainly getting there. With an estimated £18 million received from a heavyweight unification fight with Joseph Parker in March, Joshua, 21-0 (20), now looks for bigger and better, both in terms of legacy and financial reward, and seemingly has an abundance of lucrative options.

For starters, there’s the reported offer of $50 million on the table for him to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder this autumn. (Plenty more where that came from, too, should he accept the Wilder challenge and then go on to win the fight and complete the collection of heavyweight belts.)

Wilder, by the way, also showed up on the Forbes’ list, coming it at number five following a career-high purse of $2.1 million for a heavyweight classic against Luis Ortiz back in March.

Anthony Joshua

The full list:

  1. Anthony Joshua (Up from 2nd)
  2. Gennady Golovkin (Up from 3rd)
  3. Canelo Alvarez (Down from 1st)
  4. Vasyl Lomachenko (Non-mover)
  5. Deontay Wilder (Up from 7th)
  6. Errol Spence (Down from 5th)
  7. Terence Crawford (Down from 6th)
  8. Sergey Kovalev (Non-mover)
  9. Daniel Jacobs (Non-mover)
  10. Mikey Garcia (Non-mover)
  11. Jermall Charlo (Up from 14th)
  12. Jermell Charlo (Up from 13th)
  13. Adrien Broner (New entry)
  14. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (Down from 11th)
  15. Keith Thurman (Down from 12th)

Now for an update on Anthony Joshua’s proposed showdown with Deontay Wilder, otherwise known as the most important fight in boxing today.

It would seem, according to the LA Times at least, that the fight, expected to go ahead this year, is likely to end up taking place in American rather than the United Kingdom.

The understanding is that active negotiations – described as “moving in the right direction but very slowly” – concern the guaranteed $50 million offer to Joshua made by Wilder’s managers, Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel. This offer, we’re led to believe, hinges on the fight being in the US on pay-per-view, shown during US prime time. Alas, having the fight staged in the UK, where it wouldn’t be shown live during US prime time, would mean no $50 million guarantee.

Should Joshua vs. Wilder land in the United States, early frontrunners to host the fight, according to the LA Times, include Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Deontay Wilder