Action Images/Lee Smith
ANTHONY JOSHUA may already be a superstar in the UK, but after his titanic win over Wladimir Klitschko last month the unbeaten Londoner’s profile is rising in other countries at a rapid rate.
For just the third time in history, HBO and Showtime collaborated on the fight so that they both aired it in the US.
With America now firmly aware of Joshua’s destructive talents and magnetic character, the 27-year-old is now fielding requests from numerous territories.
“I’ve been banging the drum in America for a while and that was his fourth fight on Showtime. The first three were OK, this is obviously another level,” his promoter, Eddie Hearn, told Boxing News.
“The important thing is that [American] people will tune in and go, ‘that’s Britain. That’s British boxing.’ We’ve had offers from America, Dubai, China so now it’s a case of what’s best for Joshua, what’s best financially, what’s best to further his career, it’s a new environment, he’s not boxed abroad as a professional.”
The IBF and WBA heavyweight champion has never boxed outside of the UK as a pro, but he is now one of the most recognisable sportspeople in the country, arguably behind only tennis star Andy Murray.
He is an enormous draw both at the gate and on pay-per-view and, as such, has no pressing need to box abroad in the immediate future, particularly after dramatically announcing himself in front of a global audience.
“He doesn’t need to fight abroad yet,” Hearn conceded.
“The way people watch sport now is different, everybody saw it [the Klitschko fight]. It went to 140 different countries live. A million in Poland, 10.5[million] in Germany, America was solid. Loads of places. That was before they’d really had a chance to get to know him, now they know him and Klitschko played a big part in that. He [Klitschko] was obviously a name that people did know, some of those territories – Poland for example – they know of Joshua but they probably tuned in for Klitschko.”
Though Joshua can generate huge amounts of money in the UK, Hearn has previously spoken about their plan to have him box in other countries.
As it stands, Cardiff – more specifically the Principality Stadium – and Las Vegas are the front-runners for Joshua’s next fight, provided it’s a rematch with Klitschko.