By Gregory Doyle
Lately, it has been well documented that the contract with Anthony Joshua and Matchroom boxing is nearing an end with it being rumoured the WBA and IBF Heavyweight Champion has one more year left on his deal. This week the talk has massively escalated on the matter. This could be because we are literally a week away from Joshua’s next and biggest fight of his career, a unification with WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium or it could be because there is just some genuine truth to the matter. On Thursday the Telegraphs Gareth Davies reported that UFC President Dana White who has been linked with a move into boxing is set to offer Joshua a $500 Million Dollar deal to sign with the tycoon. Joshua has been with Matchroom since turning professional back in 2013 and has had his career carefully but excellently guided by Eddie Hearn. Hearn often comes under scrutiny but the fact is he has taken a rough diamond and moulded him into a unified World Champion in 19 fights. If Joshua decided to leave Matchroom tomorrow there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that every leading promoter in the world would be queuing for his signature, Frank Warren has commented lately he may be tempted to make an offer as has various promoters from across the pond but its the Dana White approach that has everybody’s attention.
White who has transformed the UFC into a superpower in the combat sports world is also close to announcing a brand new television deal for the UFC which will bring its own financial benefits plans to meet Joshua and his team for talks. That aside this could also be of interest to Eddie Hearn, if he and White can work together especially with the future of Joshua then this could be massive for the sport. If it makes good business it makes sense right?
Joshua has spoken lately of his commitment and loyalty to Eddie Hearn which could play vital in any decision, however, we all know the phrase ‘money talks’ and if White can come up with the financial package mentioned then surely it would be very difficult for Joshua to turn a blind eye. Could we even be potentially looking at a multi-promotional contract between Matchroom and White, who was also a big part of the organisation behind the blockbuster Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight? Its been well noted that Joshua fancies a crack at the American market and could White be the gatekeeper to his full exposure. Signing with White also offers the potential in the future for Joshua to cross into the MMA world whether this is in the octagon or another top UFC star again returning to try their hand at the Gentleman’s sport. White has gone on record stating he will definitely be trying his hand in boxing sooner rather than later but will still be involved with the UFC also.
After next week things will become a lot clearer. Will Hearn announce a new deal immediately after the Parker fight if Joshua is victorious? White is also going to be ringside its rumoured or is there still an unknown identity waiting to make their move. So many questions at the moment with so few answers but one thing is for certain, the chase for Anthony Joshua is on.