Boxing promoters and reigning WBC champion Fury revealed this week that a two-fight deal had been agreed for him to face IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO king Joshua in a double-header next year, in what promises to be the biggest bouts in British boxing history.
Before the fight could happen, Fury will complete his trilogy with America’s Deontay Wilder – whom he stopped in February to pick up the WBC title – later this year, while Joshua will defend his titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria.
However, with a deal between the two Brits essentially agreed in what promises to be the biggest bouts in British boxing history, promoters are already lining up a bumper payday for a bout that would command mammoth interest in the UK and beyond.
The first fight alone could see Fury and Joshua bank up to £100 million (US$125 million) each in a 50/50 purse split, The Times has reported, citing a source.
That would be a considerable increase on each fighter’s last ring outing. Fury earned $57 million in the past financial year, according to Forbes, which included defeating Wilder in their rematch in February to win the WBC world heavyweight title.
That made the Manchester fighter the highest-earning combat sports star in the world, while Joshua was further down the rankings with an estimated income of $47 million from a financial year which included his rematch against Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia last December, which he won by unanimous decision.
However, concerns have been raised over the involvement of alleged Irish mob boss Daniel Kinahan in making the deal happen.
Kinahan was named several times by Fury in his video post announcing the fights, but is alleged to be the head of an Irish drug cartel, despite not having any criminal convictions to his name.
Fury, 31, is already salivating at the prospect of facing Joshua, 30, vowing that he would “smash” Wilder before facing his fellow Brit.
He said: “One problem… I’ve just got to smash Deontay Wilder’s face right in in the next fight and then we go into the Joshua fight next year.
“The Gypsy King vs. AJ is on for next year,but there is a hurdle in the road called The Bronze Bomber, AKA the knockout king.
“And I will get onto him and knock him spark out and then we will get onto the big fight.”