Maybe we should call him Anthony “Money” Joshua. That nickname is of course exclusive property of one Floyd Mayweather Junior; currently the richest, most successful prize fighter in boxing history. However, as stinking rich as he is, Mayweather never earned himself the staggering total of a $billion.
But Joshua, in speaking with GQ Magazine, says that this is now the goal he has to aspire to. Reflecting on how the status of having made it big has changed drastically in today’s world, Joshua says that becoming a millionaire is no longer the huge achievement it once was.
“When I first started, the aim was to become a multimillionaire. But now there are ordinary people, grandmas and granddads, who are worth millions just because of property prices,” Joshua said. “So the new school of thought is that I need to be a billionaire. Being a millionaire is good, but you have to set your sights higher. If I’m making £10 million from my next fight, my next target has to be making ten times that. And if I get to £100m to 150m, then why not go for the billion?”
Why not indeed! If this is the first interview, or segment of an interview, with the reigning IBF heavyweight champ you have read, chances are you might be a little turned off, so transfixed and motivated by money he comes across as. But Joshua is also hugely motivated to become the best, the undisputed champion and a true global superstar. It just so happens that in today’s world, monstrous, at one time unthinkable paydays come with the big, big fights.
How times have changed. Back in 1974, in the epic, biggest of its time, Ali-Foreman fight, it was almost seen as vulgar that the two heavyweights were splitting a whopping $10 million payday. Now, Joshua is looking at such a sum as almost a mere formality. How rich can AJ become? This will depend on his upcoming fight with Wladimir Klitschko (a fight and a payday that will ensure Joshua is comfortably set for life, win or lose).
But with the kind of crazy numbers Joshua is talking about, it’s clear he has ambitions even moneybags Mayweather would be impressed by.