Football Football
Horse Racing Horse Racing
Cricket Cricket
Basketball Basketball
Golf Golf

How can Anthony Joshua become boxing’s first billionaire?

To reach his target, the heavyweight world champion must triple the net worth of boxing's biggest box office draw ever...

04 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
How can Anthony Joshua become boxing’s first billionaire?

Having beaten Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley, Anthony Joshua is arguably the biggest star in boxing.

And the heavyweight world champion – whose diet and intense training regime we revealed before the fight – now believes he can become the sport’s first billionaire.

Here, we examine whether he could really be the first fighter to break the £1bn barrier.

Following Floyd

Floyd Mayweather is the benchmark for any boxer with aspirations of becoming the world’s richest sportsman.

The American adopted ‘Money’ as his nickname in the latter stages of his career, and with good reason.

Topping the Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes in the world in 2012, 2014 and 2015, Mayweather earned an estimated $700m from fight purses alone (including $170m for beating Manny Pacquiao in 2015).

In comparison, Joshua – who is in the latest boxing odds to fight and beat Tyson Fury – made just £15m for fighting Klitschko in his biggest payday to date.

His career earnings are now estimated at around £30m.

Even if he did eventually manage to match Mayweather’s numbers, he would still have a long way to go to become a billionaire.

After all, Mayweather’s current net worth is only – yes, only – $400m.

So to reach the £1bn mark, Joshua would have to more than triple the net worth of the biggest box-office draw in boxing history, who fought 49 times, was undefeated and held titles in five different divisions.

Good luck, Josh.

Break America

Joshua is already a huge star in this country, and he has the potential to make more money than any British boxer that has come before him.

His fight with Klitschko broke the UK box-office record of 1.5m buys set by Mayweather and Pacquiao in 2015, and eclipsed the 900,000 purchases of Carl Froch v George Groves at Wembley – which, up until last weekend, was the biggest fight ever held in Britain.

Where Joshua will make his real money, however, is in America.

Fights in the US never attract the huge gates that are available in Britain, but they gross much more thanks to pay-per-view prices of up to $100 and a massive audience willing to pay.

Lennox Lewis’ fight with Mike Tyson in 2002 grossed $112m dollars – the most of any bout involving a British fighter.

Only by becoming a star like Lewis and headlining shows in Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden can Joshua reach a level of wealth that no other British fighter has achieved.


This is the one area in which Joshua does have a clear advantage over Mayweather, and indeed any other boxer.

While the American, once described by CNN as “the star athlete no sponsor will touch”, was largely avoided by high-profile brands due to his domestic violence convictions, Joshua is already one of the world’s most marketable sportspeople.

He had 13 big-money sponsors heading into the fight with Klitschko, including brands such as Under Armour, Lucozade, Jaguar and Beats by Dre.

Barry Hearn believes he can become an even bigger global icon than David Beckham, and there is no doubting the 27-year-old’s crossover appeal.

Endorsements provide a hearty source of income, but there is a ceiling to how much can be earned from them alone.

Of the 10 highest earners on last year’s Forbes list, only Roger Federer cracked the $60m mark from sponsors.

For Joshua to get anywhere near the £1bn mark, then, he must combine huge purses with endorsement deals like Michael Jordan’s relationship with Nike.

His best bet is buy a stake in an emerging business which is then bought for huge money. A bit like Mathieu Flamini did with renewable energy.