Anthony Joshua has revealed he turned down a £10million offer to leave Eddie Hearn and join a new promoter just months before winning his first world championship.
The Watford native is currently the unified heavyweight world champion and is set to face Oleksandr Usyk in a fight that could set up an undisputed clash with Tyson Fury.
But just a matter of months before winning the first of his titles, Joshua was approached with an offer to leave his promoters, who had taken him from his Olympic days to the brink of a pro world championship within just three years.
Speaking with Gary Neville on his show The Overlap , Joshua discussed the offer while talking more broadly about the nature of his relationship with Hearn and promotional company Matchroom Boxing.
“It truly depends on your marketability,” Joshua explained when asked about the breakdown of where money goes in a fighter’s contract.
“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.”
That timeline would put Joshua anywhere between his 11th and 15th pro fights, while he won his first world championship; the IBF title, in his 16th in early 2016.
He defeated Charles Martin at The O2 arena in February 2016 to capture the gold, which he defended twice against Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina before fighting Wladimir Klitschko for the unified title.
Joshua wouldn’t be drawn on who made the offer, but explained how instead he has decided to take a more hands-on approach with Hearn and Matchroom, with whom he has been signed since his amateur career.
Joshua is currently on the last fight of his deal with Sky Sports to broadcast his bouts on pay-per-view, with the rest of Matchroom Boxing now exclusively broadcast on DAZN.
He is now worth a considerable amount more than £10m, and is considered one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in the history of the sport.
“If you bring a lot to the table, you can find yourself able to do a business deal where we take the risk together,” Joshua said of his fighter-promoter relationship.
“Eddie and I take risks together… He’s a big player but he understands my value, and I understand his value, it’s honestly down to your value and negotiating skills.
“It’s also down to what Eddie wants from the relationship as well, off the back of signing me he could sign another 100 athletes.”