Joshua willing to give up $8 million to face Fury behind closed doors
By Tim Royner: Anthony Joshua is willing to lose out on $8 million from the gate to face Tyson Fury behind closed doors to make the fight happen. Joshua worries that if he doesn’t take the match with WBC heavyweight champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) now, he could lose out permanently when he walks away from the sport.
$8 million is a drop in the bucket for the fabulously healthy Joshua, who’s net worth is estimated at $80 million. Joshua will still make HUGE money fighting Fury from the pay-per-view. It’s not a big deal that he’ll lose out on $8 million, but it would be for a stars. They’re not likely to be nearly as willing to part with $8 million.
IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua admits that it’ll be difficult for him to fight in an empty arena without the crowd there. Joshua is the type of fighter who likes to hear the fans screaming, and he feeds off the adrenalin.
If boxing events are going to be taking place without fans, it’ll be a difficult transition for Joshua. Whether Joshua can self-motivate remains to be seen. He’ll need to if he wants to be successful moving forward for fights against Fury and Deontay Wilder.
Joshua worried Fury might retire
Although the 31-year-old Fury hasn’t talked of wanting retire yet, Joshua doesn’t have faith that he’ll stick around. Fury disappeared once before after he after a big victory of Wladimir Klitschko, so he might do it again.
There’s no telling when boxing will be able to return to the arenas due to the global pandemic. With that in mind, the promoters are already planning on taking fights behind closed doors to keep the sport going. However, not all fighters are willing to fight behind closed doors.
Like I said, some fighters don’t want to give up the gate money unless they’re paid extra for what they would be receiving. Unfortunately for those fighters, they could be sitting for a long, long time if they insist on only fighting in front of fans.
“If Eddie Hearn said he managed to secure the Tyson Fury fight, but it is behind closed doors, I would take it,” Joshua told DAZN.
“If I don’t take it now, then I don’t think Tyson Fury will be around by the time this all comes around again when big hall shows are available. I have to take the opportunity while they’re there.”
It’s silly for Joshua to think that the Fury fight won’t be there for him. Unless Fury loses to former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Joshua will get his chance to face him.
Other than Wilder, Joshua is the only big money fight available for Fury. So, of course, Fury isn’t going to retire without facing AJ. There’s too much money on the line, and Fury likes coin.
AJ fighting for the love of the sport
“Economically, I’m taking a big hit like the rest of the world,” Joshua. “I would definitely fight for the love of my sport, and economically I’ve got that hunger in me, even if I drop five dollars or pounds, I’m turning back to get it.
“I’m never too big to earn a buck. 100% I would fight for $8m less [from no gate receipts]. 100% I would take the opportunity to fight at the drop of a hat.”
The main problem with Joshua – or any boxer – waiting until the significant events are permitted to take place is it could take years. Neither of the last two global pandemics have disappeared quickly. But even if the current one does end in 2021, it’ll still be risky to stage events with large crowds.
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