Anthony Joshua is reportedly set to pocket a cool £100million from his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua lost his heavyweight belts to Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September. A rematch between the two men has been in the pipeline ever since, but it was recently put under threat after Usyk returned to his native Ukraine to fight against Russia.
Their blockbuster bout now looks set to place in Saudi Arabia, offering both fighters the chance of a huge payday. Estimates reckon Joshua earned £66million from his fight against Andy Ruiz Jr in the Middle East – but he could be set to double that figure and then some when he takes on Usyk for a second time.
According to GiveMeSport, AJ will collect an eye-popping £100million if Saudi Arabia hosts the event. Although the location has not been confirmed, Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk gave strong hints during an interview earlier this week.
“Saudi is the place we are in discussions with at the moment,” Krassyuk told the BBC. “Late June is the date we are looking at. Nothing has been confirmed on paper. We are working on it.”
Joshua has already earned colossal amounts of money during his boxing career, including a reported £20million apiece from his first bout against Ruiz and his victory over Alexander Povetkin.
But this would be, by some way, the biggest payday of his career so far. The rematch had been planned for May, but was delayed after Usyk enlisted in Ukraine’s military.
However, the 35-year-old heavyweight king has now left his native Ukraine and is reportedly back training for his fight against AJ. He confirmed the rematch on Instagram, saying: “I decided to start preparing for a rematch with Anthony Joshua.”
Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn revealed last week that Joshua was raring to go for the fight. “He’s excited by the news, he’s over the moon,” he said.
“I saw him at the UFC and he wants to fight now. He was getting to a stage where he had to fight, and this has really forced the issue with Usyk because we said to them that we understood the situation, but we needed to know now.”
“They said they would make their decision and this is their decision, he’s going for it. AJ’s over the moon. He turned down a lot of money not to step aside and then he might not have got the fight without any money. He just wants the fight and he just wants to fight.”
Hearn suggested he would like the rematch to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – the scene of Joshua’s dramatic defeat to Usyk in September last year. But admitted there were several tempting offers from around the world.
“We’d like to do it in the UK, but there have been a lot of big offers to stage it abroad,” he said. “We’ve had offers from the Middle East, a couple of countries in the Middle East, America, the UK, yeah, so I think we have to sit down with Alex and say these are the offers we’ve had and which one do we move forward with.”