Opinion | Jun 27 2016

How much does an Anthony Joshua fight generate?

Suffice to say Anthony Joshua is a big hitter outside the ropes, writes John Dennen
UK boxing
Anthony-Joshua  |  Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

THE Anthony Joshua juggernaut rolls on. On Saturday night, in front of 20,000 roaring fans, Joshua cooly dismantled America’s Dominic Breazeale over seven rounds. For a boxer who is, let’s remember, only 17 fights into his professional experience, he’s doing the business in the ring. And he’s doing real business outside the ropes.

As well as selling out the O2 arena, his fights since boxing Dillian Whyte in December 2015 have been on pay-per-view. If he’s watched by around 500,000 households, that generates around £8.5 million. The gate at the O2, we’re told, raises about £3 million and on top of that will be money from international television and sponsorship.

Joshua himself clearly appeals to big companies. Under Armour, Lucozade and Beats for example were prominent during this fight week. Those are major brands and major endorsements infrequently associated with British boxing. “You could say [an Anthony Joshua fight generates] 13, 14, 15 million pounds,” promoter Eddie Hearn told Boxing News. That would be money generated by the event as a whole, to be shared amongst the relevant players. “That’s revenue, you’ve got to take out Breazeale, Sky – we [Matchroom promotions] don’t get £16.95 and 20 percent of that is VAT by the way, so it’s £14 net. He’s in a position now, there’s not many fighters that earn the kind of money that Joshua does and there’s a very select club and that club is Pacquiao, Mayweather, Canelo and Joshua. Basically that’s it. I’m talking multi-millions every time they fight. Whereas the others are earning ones and so forth. But away from that is the endorsement side also, there’s no fighter that is earning what he’s earning via endorsements.”