Anthony Joshua explains why he turned down £10 million offer to leave Eddie Hearn

  • Tom Ward
Anthony Joshua reveals why he rejected £10 million offer from a rival promoter to leave Eddie Hearn in 2015.

Anthony Joshua has explained why he decided to turn down the advances of two rival boxing promoters to stay loyal to Eddie Hearn. 

Joshua will defend his world heavyweight titles against Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in White Hart Lane, London, Matchroom boss Hearn said last week on Twitter. 

During a recent chat with former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, Joshua revealed that an unnamed individual had approached him about a very lucrative contract in 2015.

However, ‘AJ’ turned down their offer and instead opted to stay at Matchroom HQ as Hearn’s vision for the future convinced him to stick to his roots.  

“It truly depends on your marketability,” he told The Overlap when discussing the pitfalls facing those who wish to pursue a professional career in boxing.

“I could just offer you a fee, so it’s not like I own you but I could buy your image rights and say I want to buy rights to all of your future earnings.

“So you could go to any Tom, Dick or Harry or any network, and I’ll always own a little piece of you and I was offered that twice in my amateur career.

“There was one guy who was always around the amateur gym and then one day when I was in court one day for a legal issue, someone came up to me with a contract for £250,000.

“I was like ‘where’s that pen?’ But I love the documentaries and I’d studied a lot of the horror stories so I swerved that.

“Then I was offered £10m for someone to sign me, probably in about 2015, but nah it wasn’t tempting, I said no straight away because I just backed myself.”

Read more: Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk: Date, Odds, Tickets, Stats, Live Stream, Card And Everything You Need To Know

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Joshua is the hefty favourite to beat the 34-year-old Ukrainian, which could then set up a high-profile showdown against Tyson Fury.

However Hearn, Matchroom Sport’s chairman, said it will most likely take place in February and – despite coronavirus restrictions being lifted and crowds allowed back in stadiums – will probably be hosted overseas. 

Speaking recently to talkSPORT, he said: “We wanted to do it in December, but I think with AJ fighting September 25, Fury now delayed until October, I think February is more realistic.

“They had a huge offer from Saudi Arabia to do the fight there. Ultimately in the fight game, which is extremely dangerous and these guys are putting themselves on the line, it is about generating as much money for the fight as possible.

“With fans back in the UK is that an option? Las Vegas? We’ll see. But first things first, let’s just beat Usyk, because if that doesn’t go to plan, we can forget about it.”

Read more: Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury: AJ vows to ‘smoke’ the Gypsy King

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