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Tyson Fury ahead of Anthony Joshua in Forbes’ highest paid athletes list

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

By Charles Brun: Tyson Fury surprisingly came out ahead of Anthony Joshua in Forbes’ highest-paid athlete’s list from June 2019 to June 2020 with an earning of $57 million. That’s a lot of money for Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), who only had one compelling fight during that 12 round time against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

Fury’s other two contests during the last 12 months were throwaway clashes against Tom Schwartz and Otto Wallin. Those were tune-up fights to get him ready for his February rematch with Wilder.

Top Rank and ESPN let Fury have two soft fights against Wallin and Schwarz rather than insist that he face top-level opposition for the money they’re paying him.

Fury out-earning Joshua might not sit right with the Matchroom Boxing star, as his promoter Eddie Hearn proclaimed this week that AJ is the bigger commercial draw worldwide. If that’s the case, then his earnings aren’t reflecting that. However, Fury was a little busier than Joshua in the last 12 months, fighting three times rather than twice.

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

Fury earned more than Joshua, Canelo, and Wilder

Who would have ever thought that Fury, who doesn’t have the most entertaining fighting style, would out-earn Canelo Alvarez, Wilder, and Joshua from June 2019 to June 2020? The that sets Fury apart from those fighters is his outside o the ring theatrics.

He’s a lot more witty and vocal than those three stars, and that could be the reason for his vast earnings. Canelo chooses not to speak English, and he doesn’t joke around like Fury. As such, it’s tougher for a lot of Americans to warm to Canelo as they have with Fury.

Here’s Forbe’s list:

  • 11 – Tyson Fury – $57 million
  • 19 – Anthony Joshua – $47 million
  • 20 – Deontay Wilder – $46.5 million
  • 30 – Canelo Alvarez – $37 million

It’s kind of surprising that Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) is trailing Fury, Joshua, and Wilder, seeing that he’s viewed as the most popular fighter in the U.S by a lot of fans. But with Canelo no longer fighting on pay-per-view, that could be the reason why he’s not up there with the rest of the guys. However, even if Canelo was still fighting on pay-per-view, his fights against Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

Canelo would have made more money if he hadn’t been reluctant to face Gennadiy Golovkin in a trilogy match. The Mexican star played it strategically by letting GGG age more by delaying that fight. While Golovkin took on a tough opponent in Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Canelo fought two fading fighters in Jacobs and Kovalev.

The Gypsy King wants a new contract

“I know we can make history with the biggest fight deal in the history of boxing, bigger than Floyd Mayweather, bigger than Canelo, bigger than Mike Tyson and bigger than anybody,” said Tyson to IFL TV. “I think it’s very possible, and I always aim high with my achievements, and that’s my next aim.

“After I wipe out Wilder and Joshua, then the world is my oyster, and then I want to see that big, big contract from ESPN and whoever is out there that wants the Gypsy King on their station,” said Fury.

Tyson has two more fights left on his contract with Top Rank and ESPN, and we’ll see if they choose to re-sign him. You have to believe that Fury will want an increase in his contract from what he previously made. That could be a problem because these lean times in the U.S, and it might not be worth the risk for Top Rank and ESPN to dump a bunch of money into Fury.

Boxing fans would like to see Fury face Joshua and Wilder, but if the Americans don’t have the disposable income to order those fights, then they would purchase them.

Given the choice of eating or paying to see Fury fight AJ and Wilder, the Americans will choose to eat. So if ESPN and Top Rank are going to pour a mountain of money into an investment in Fury, they could be sorry for it.

If they think that they can get a significant return on the pay-per-view revenue from Fury’s trilogy match with Deontay and a unification with Joshua, they could be wrong. With over 30 million Americans out of work, this isn’t the best time to be hawking Fury’s fights against Wilder and Joshua on pay-per-view.

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

Fury’s next three fights: Wilder and Joshua x 2

All three of Fury’s next three matches will be sold on pay-per-view against Deontay and Joshua x 2. Fury will be fighting Wilder later on this year, and then Joshua twice in 2021, as long as he wins his next fight against Kubrat Pulev. Fury will need to beat Wilder for him to fight Joshua after that.

Things could go wrong for Fury if he loses to Wilder or if Joshua gets beat by Pulev. It wouldn’t be the end of Fury’s big paydays, but it would delay his two planned big-money fights against Joshua.

When you put a fighter with a chin problem as the one Fury has against two big punchers, things could go wrong for him. You’re asking a lot of Fury for him to get through three consecutive fights against those two sluggers without going to sleep again.

Fury was saved from being knocked out by referee Jack Reiss in his first fight with Wilder in 2018, and he probably would have lost if another ref had worked that fight.

Calzaghe picks Fury as the top guy

“I think Tyson Fury [is the #1 heavyweight] because I was so impressed with his last win over Deontay Wilder,” said former two-division world champion Joe Calzaghe to BT Sport Boxing.

“Against Deontay Wilder, he [Fury] showed that he could adapt his skills and his styles in the fight. In his last fight, he showed that he has punching power, and he backed the guy up—AJ a close second.

“Deontay Wilder, even though he’s a big puncher, I just believe he’s not as good as the other two. He showed his vulnerabilities when he got knocked out by Tyson Fury. I think when they fight again, the same thing will happen.

“If they fought now, I think Tyson Fury has to be the favorite,” said Calzaghe in picking Fury to beat Joshua. “I think judging by you’re only as good as your last fight, And I believe Tyson Fury would be the favorite right now. I think he’s the best fighter in the world, judging by his previous match.

“Don’t get me wrong. AJ is a top fighter as well. That’s a fight that I want to see down the line.

“I think it would be fantastic for British and worldwide fans to see Fury against AJ. How amazing would that be for the world to have the two top heavyweights being from Britain,” said Calzaghe?


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