UFC targets Anthony Joshua for £353m multi-fight deal
Contract would make the WBA and IBF champion Britain’s richest ever boxer
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is reportedly set to offer Britain’s world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua a $500m (£353m) promotional contract for a multi-fight deal.
Joshua, who’s currently in training for his world title fight with Joseph Parker on 31 March, is a target for UFC president Dana White and the organisation’s boxing division, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The Telegraph says that White is expected to attend the Joshua-Parker unification fight in Cardiff next week and plans to meet the 28-year-old and his team. The UFC is “impressed” with Joshua’s global appeal and ability to fill stadiums after 90,000 attended his bout with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April 2017.
If WBA and IBF title holder Joshua did switch to the UFC’s boxing arm the multi-fight deal would make him the richest British boxer of all time.
But Joshua remains under contract with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. The fighter says that even though he’s open to doing business with the UFC he has no intention of leaving his long-time promoter.
Joshua told ESPN last night: “Listen, I’m riding with Eddie. He got me from the get-go. I’m not into the UFC, so I don’t know what their plans are. I’m interested because we can all work together.
“Remember, mine and Eddie’s relationship is a really good working relationship. And I’m sure Eddie has an interest in working with Dana White. If it’s good business, it makes sense.”
The boxer added: “I’m happy that Dana is coming into the game. Hopefully, he can add some excitement and we can progress forward and make some good money and make some good fights.”
White and UFC moved into boxing promotions when Conor McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas last year. The Telegraph says that the UFC has applied for a boxing licence in Nevada and plans to become “heavily involved” in the sport.
There is no indication that the UFC would want Joshua to fight against non-boxers.