Well, now, this is very interesting. Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is one of the brightest prospects the higher weight classes have seen for many years. It now looks like the biggest MMA promotion is trying to poach boxing’s biggest star…
When Floyd Mayweather met Conor McGregor in the boxing ring last August, the lines between MMA and boxing truly became blurred. Also made more clear was the difference between fighting for sport and fighting for money.
Is there really a difference? Very few fighters would do it for free, so whether it’s a clear ploy for massive ticket sales or not, the bottom line is essentially why these guys compete. That said, there is always going to be a sense of pride and natural competition.
But that competition no longer just exists between fighters in MMA or boxing in their own ranks. Since MayMac, the biggest names in both sports have been talking about crossing over.
Perhaps the biggest of all those names is current WBA (Super), IBF, and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua Chased by UFC
UFC president Dana White has been gushing over Joshua for some time now. The super-talented and highly marketable Joshua is without doubt going to be one of the richest, if not the richest boxer of all-time if he continues on this path.
According to a report by Gareth A Davies of The Telegraph, Joshua is being courted by the UFC after his fight on the 31st of this month, with a reported $500 million (£350 million) contract being put in front of him:
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is making an audacious bid to sign a promotional multi-fight deal with Anthony Joshua which could earn the Londoner $500 million (£353 million) and make him the richest British boxer of all time.
Joshua has become boxing’s biggest star and The Daily Telegraph understands Dana White, the UFC president, will attend his title fight with Joseph Parker in Cardiff on Saturday week and plans to meet the 28-year old and his team.
White has previously stated Anthony Joshua has ‘changed the face of boxing.’ Multiple sources confirm White hopes to lure the heavyweight star away from Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.
Earlier this year, UFC president Dana White said he wanted the UFC to start promoting boxing matches regularly. With the brand’s owners IMG looking to reclaim their $4 billion investment, this could bolster their income.
Then again, the tanking ratings on FOX and what could appear to be a ‘desperate’ reach for more cash could quite easily backfire. Will trying to pry Joshua into their ranks with an eighth of what the UFC is worth work for the biggest MMA promotion?