In Depth

How Anthony Joshua can become boxing's first billionaire

British heavyweight has a commercial operation that is as impressive outside the ring as he is inside it

In the build-up to his fight with Wladimir Klitschko this weekend, British heavyweight Anthony Joshua declared he wanted to become the first billionaire boxer.

Victory at Wembley in front of 90,000 fans on Saturday night would represent a significant step on that path, but what lies in store for the Watford boy after his fight against the 41-year-old Ukrainian?

"Win, lose or draw, Joshua is expected to earn at least £15m from the highly-anticipated showdown against one of boxing's all-time heavyweight greats," says the Daily Mail. "He is taking part in the record-grossing fight on British soil but he will also benefit from his 13 main sponsors."

Joshua's sponsorship portfolio already covers most bases. He wears Under Armour training gear, has the support of sports drink company Lucozade and has his own range of smart shakes, protein supplements and multivitamins through EQ Nutrition. He has also teamed up with Dubai-based firm Altitude Masks, which provides training kit.

It's not just brands related to his profession that are behind him. "He smells good because of his partnership with Lynx, he drives a nice car due to his deal with Jaguar and now he wears a sparkling watch thanks to his association with [Swiss jeweller] Audemars Piguet," adds the Mail.

In addition, Joshua has signed deals with Sky Sports, which shows his fights, and StubHub, the ticket company that sells them out. He also has a stake in BXR gym in London, which is said to be popular with Victoria's Secret models.

Bizarrely, he even has the support of an Essex-based scaffolding contractor, Texo, not to mention Beats by Dre headphones and Philippines-based betting company Dafabet.

His commercial operation is impressive, says BoxingScene, and puts many US fighters to shame. "His polished, manicured and highly professional set up has launched his brand into the stratosphere," it adds, but the marketing "juggernaut... will only be maintained if Joshua maintains his destructive ways in the ring".

If he wins on Saturday, the sky's the limit, says Business Insider. "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."

Such events could generate £100m each, while the profile of Joshua's BXR gyms would soar. He already has a following in the US and more endorsements there could follow.

"You only have to look at American athletes to see the true value of 'off-court' endorsements," says Business Insider. "LeBron James reportedly receives $48m (£39m) through sponsorship deals, while Kevin Durant nets $36m (£29m) million.

"Anthony Joshua is already a household name in Britain, and it could be just a matter of time before he captivates America."

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