Anthony Joshua has been backed to become boxing’s first billionaire by promoter Barry Hearn, who also claims he will overtake David Beckham’s brand after beating Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old climbed up off the canvas after being knocked down by the Ukrainian for the first time in his professional career to win the fight via an 11th-round stoppage.
That victory in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley has earned him £15m after drawing record numbers from Box Office views as Joshua added the WBA and IBO belts to his IBF strap.
Sports promoter Hearn, father of Joshua’s own promoter Eddie, thinks the heavyweight has a greater worldwide appeal than Beckham, with a number of companies lining up to sign him to sponsorship deals.
Joshua already has lucrative deals with Beats by Dre, Apple, Lucozade, Sky Sports and Under Armour – among other – and Hearn expects there to be a flood of others to come.
“He’s already a wealthy man. He could easily be the first billionaire in boxing,” Hearn told The Sun.
“He’s still young. At 27 he has at least ten years ahead of him in the ring and if he keeps winning the money will keep coming.
“His commercial potential outside the ring is huge, way beyond Beckham and the world’s top footballers. He has a much bigger cross-over in terms of potential.”