US power broker Stephen Espinoza, the man who signed Floyd Mayweather to a record £155m deal for six fights, insists he can turn Anthony Joshua into a huge star in the United States.
Espinoza is the Vice-President of the Showtime network, which aired Joshua’s fight with Klitschko on Saturday to US audiences and believes they could be the network to turn the Brit into a global star.
“The fight had a phenomenal reception,” Espinoza told USA Today.
“The result and finish sequence went viral on social media immediately, it just caught fire. For much of the US audience, this would be their introduction to Anthony Joshua.
“It couldn’t have been a better introduction.
“We are salivating (at the thought) of working with Anthony here in the US, but at this point the world is his oyster.”
Should Joshua decide to work with Espinoza across the pond, a fight with American Deontay Wilder, a man on a similar upward trajectory to Joshua, looks certain to be on the cards.
Wilder like Joshua, has an undefeated professional record with 38 wins, including 37 knockouts, and Espinoza stressed earlier this month that the fight should be a priority.
“Ultimately from the US perspective, the ultimate destination would seem to be - at some point in the next year - hopefully Joshua vs Wilder.” Espinoza said.
The TV chief also mentioned that discussions with both Joshua and his promoter about a possible partnership had already taken place. Speaking before Joshua’s victory over Klitschko, Espinoza said:
“In our discussions with both Eddie Hearn and Anthony, coming to the US is definitely a priority.
“I believe he is going to take a little bit of time off after this fight. Whether there is a rematch or not remains to be seen. But I know that having a fight in the US, in the next couple of fights is definitely a priority.”
There is a rematch clause in the Joshua-Klitschko contract but it’s currently unclear whether Klitschko will be pursuing that possibility.
In the meantime, Joshua ‘called out’ Tyson Fury at Wembley following Saturday’s win and a bout between Britain’s biggest two heavyweights looks to be on the cards before anything else.
Despite this though Espinoza has stressed that Joshua should be looking to ‘capture’ the US fanbase, as his popularity is through the roof.
Espinoza added: “He (Joshua) is becoming a global star.
“It has been a long time since a British athlete has generated this kind of popularity... without ever having been to the US.
“The US represents uncharted territory and another fan base for him to capture.”
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