Unbeaten boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has his next big fight coming up next week. But after that, could he have a future in the UFC?
Veteran combat sports journalist Gareth A. Davies on Wednesday reported in The Telegraph Joshua (20-0 boxing) is someone the UFC wants to sign to a multi-fight deal. That deal, Davies reported, would be worth in the neighborhood of $500 million when converted from British pounds to U.S. dollars.
Joshua puts his WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles on the line against Joseph Parker (24-0) in Wales next week. On a conference call supporting that fight, Joshua said he and his management team are “all ears” about the potential to move over to the UFC and work with UFC President Dana White, who reportedly will attend Joshua’s fight.
“If it’s good business, it makes sense,” Joshua said, as transcribed by SportsJoe.ie. “… We’ll listen and 100 percent, if it makes sense, we’re all ears, man. So I’m happy that Dana’s coming into the game. Hopefully, he can add some excitement, and we can progress forward and make some good money and make some good fights.”
Joshua’s name has come up in MMA conversations before. UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has talked about wanting to box Joshua. Once UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor got to cross over to boxing to fight Floyd Mayweather this past August, it seems everything changed and nothing is off the table anymore.
“I’m a boxer,” Joshua said on the call. “I’m not into the UFC, so I don’t know what their plans are. But anytime I’ve been asked about UFC, it’s if I would make that crossover like McGregor did with Mayweather.”
A deal in that reported $500 million range would make Joshua by far the UFC’s highest-paid athlete and likely would ruffle plenty of feathers.
It’s not known if Joshua would be an MMA fighter, or would be sticking to boxing under the planned but not yet official Zuffa Boxing banner.
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