Win or lose, IBF world heavyweight title holder Anthony Joshua is expected to pocket £10 ($12.5) million for his April 29 showdown with boxing great Wladimir Klitschko.
However, the 2012 gold medal Olympian has his heart set on making £1 ($1.25) billion in total career earnings.
“When I first started [my career] the aim was to become a multimillionaire,” Joshua recently told GQ.
“But now there are ordinary people who are worth millions just because of property prices. So [now] I need to be a billionaire. Being a millionaire is good, but you have to set your sights higher.”
There is no doubt that Joshua is ambitious. After all, if he were to become a self-made boxing billionaire, he would have earned four times as much as the sport’s “money man” Floyd Mayweather, who has a net worth of $340 (£276) million according to Forbes.
However, while it’s easy to scoff when somebody reveals ambitions of becoming a billionaire — particularly when that somebody is an athlete who competes in a niche sport — Joshua has a three-step process to accomplish his goal.
1. He’s targeting £100 million paydays for every fight he has.
“If I’m making £10 million ($12.5 million) from my next fight, my next target has to be making ten times that,” Joshua told GQ.
Joshua has amateur-level pedigree, an Olympic gold medal, a world heavyweight championship belt, and is about to contest his first legacy fight against renowned combatant Klitschko.
Should he defeat Klitschko, it’s likely Wembley Stadium fights in front of 90,000 fans would become a regular staple in his boxing calendar, while super showdowns with the likes of Deontay Wilder under the Las Vegas lights loom on the horizon.
It’s not unheard of for boxers to generate “$100 million plus” paydays, as the highly-anticipated Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao mega-fight made both fighters that much richer, according to Forbes.
Mayweather and Pacquiao were rivals for six years before they shared the ring in 2015, but Joshua is not shy of a potential nemesis in Wilder, Tyson Fury, or even David Haye.
“If I get to £100 million to £150 million [per fight paydays], why not go for the billion [in career earnings]? I know self-made billionaires. It’s hard, but it’s possible.”
2. His “boutique fitness facilities” could spread throughout the UK.
Joshua is a partner in BXR London, a boutique boxing gym that lists Victoria Secret models as members.
Joshua wants BXR London to become a pitstop for fight fans looking to make a pilgrimage “like Gleason’s Gym in New York or the 5th Street Gym in Miami,” he told GQ.
With 12,000 square feet, there is plenty of space for everybody, and GQ claim it could be the first of many across the UK.
If BXR follows in the footsteps of GymBox — a boutique gym with eight sites across London — this could key to Joshua’s financial success.
Last year, GymBox founder Richard Hilton was reportedly sounding out buyers that would have placed the value of the business at £60 ($75) million, according to the Evening Standard.
3. Joshua has lucrative commercial contracts with Lucozade, Under Armour, Beats by Dre, and Sky Sports.
Away from sport, it is also possible for athletes to generate multi-million pound wages through sponsorship agreements.
Anthony Joshua’s current commercial sponsors include Under Armour, Beats by Dre, Lucozade, StubHub, Jaguar, EQ Nutrition, Dafabet, BXR Gym, Lynx, Audemars Piguet, and Texo Construction, according to The Telegraph. He is also a Sky Sports ambassador.
Second only to Nike in the sportswear stakes, Under Armour continue to invest in Joshua and recently agreed a three-year extension to their current deal with Britain’s top heavyweight boxer, according to City A.M.
You only have to look at American athletes to see the true value of “off-court” endorsements. LeBron James reportedly receives $48 (£39) million through sponsorship deals, while Kevin Durant nets $36 (£29) million, according to RT.
Anthony Joshua is already a household name in Britain, and it could be just a matter of time before he captivates America.
Renowned US boxing promoter Bob Arum, who once represented Muhammad Ali, called Joshua “the real deal,” according to The Telegraph.
On current form, who are we to argue?