Eddie Hearn has revealed the fine print of Anthony Joshua ‘s sponsorship deals with the likes of Under Armour and Hugo Boss affected talks of his domestic clash with Tyson Fury.
Heavyweight champion Fury said he would end his retirement by offering Joshua a long-awaited fight on December 3 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. ‘AJ’ accepted the terms but missed Fury’s proposed deadline to sign a contract and the fight is now seemingly off after negotiations between the two sides collapsed.
For most of his career, Joshua has been the A-side in his fights but given his consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk that would no longer be the case in a domestic clash against Fury. Hearn admitted that terms of his sponsorship deals got in the way of negotiations with Fury, telling the Daily Mail : “It is no longer as simple as fighters signing for the purse split. AJ could find himself in breach of contract with his business deals.”
The specific clause in Joshua’s many sponsorship deals that affected his negotiations with Fury is unclear, with ‘AJ’ also being sponsored by the likes of Jaguar, Lynx and JD Sports. Fury’s promoter Frank Warren said Joshua’s team must be “deluded” to still think they are the A-side in negotiations given the Brit has lost three of his last five fights. “Either Joshua or someone in his team is delusional in thinking he is still the biggest name here,” he said. “We have always wanted this fight. Have they? Really?”
With his fight against Fury now off the table, Matchroom boss Hearn is hoping to have Joshua fight at Wembley Arena on December 17 but his opponent is yet to be announced. ‘The Gypsy King’ is still planning on ending his retirement promise to fight on December 3 and has sent contracts to both Manuel Charr and Derek Chisora.
Joshua lost out in £3million worth of sponsorship money after his first defeat to Usyk last September, as financial records for his company 258 Management revealed a 35 per cent reduction in turnover from February last year through to February 2022. In the financial year leading up to last February, the former two-time heavyweight champion made almost £8.5m through endorsement deals with the likes of Under Armour, Hugo Boss and Beats but that figure dropped to almost £5.5m for this February’s financial year.
A statement in the accounts of Joshua’s company recognised the damage Usyk’s first win did for the Brit’s star power, with third parties putting “less value” on Joshua’s name after the defeat. Suffering a £2m loss in revenue from the Non-EU area, a silver lining for ‘AJ’ was that his stock didn’t drop as much in the UK, with the value of marketing and sponsorship revenues in region falling by £600,000.