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British boxer, Anthony Joshua’s surprise defeat to Mexican-American boxer, Andy Ruiz Jr. in New York, on Saturday night June 1, has raised serious doubts among advertisers, who are likely to pull the plug on his multi-million dollars sponsorship deals.
Boxing analysts did not foresee the 29-year-old ceding his WBA, WBO, and IBF titles in such dramatic circumstances.
All the talk before the bout had focused on whether Joshua, previously undefeated in his first 22 professional fights, would next take on a high-profile opponent in Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.
“Anthony Joshua’s invincibility has gone and he is now just a mere mortal,” said former British heavyweight, David Haye.
Anthony Joshua was paid $25 million, while Andy Ruiz Jr. got $7 million for their fight at Madison Square Garden, in which Joshua lost the WBA, WBO, and IBF Heavyweight Championships to Ruiz.
Not only is Anthony Joshua a formidable force in the ring, he boasts of an impressive portfolio of commercial endorsements.
The former heavyweight champion has quickly become a lucrative figure in his own right, striking deals with big name brands such as JD, Lucozade Sport and Beats and many more.
Ranging from clothing to television and cars, Joshua has an extensive collection of endorsements from which he reportedly earned £2.7 million in 2017.
Team AJ brand depends very much on Joshua’s success. With over 240,000 tickets reportedly sold for his previous three fights and an impressive 22-match winning streak, the British star’s image is bigger than ever.
In 2015, Joshua embarked on a joint venture with Freddie Cunningham and set up their own company, AJ Boxing and Commercial, primarily earning money through 13 sponsorship deals.
This collection of sponsors is the marketing force behind ‘Team AJ,’ promoting the brand and its image across a wide range of platforms.
Joshua’s deal with promotional company Matchroom Sport is believed to be worth £100 million in itself, while Forbes reported endorsement figures of $7 million for 2017.
He invested in BXR gym in London and is provided with a set of wheels by Land Rover while the Londoner also has deals with Lucozade, Lynx, JD Sports, StubHub and Bulk Powders.
Joshua reportedly earned £15 million from the bouts with Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam, respectively, with total winnings suggested to be $32 million as of May 2018.
He boasts an incredible record of 21 knockouts from 22 fights, most recently defeating Alexander Povetkin by TKO in September 2018.
According to Forbes, Joshua made $22 million in 2017. The bulk of those earnings ($18.5m) came from his two fights against Klitschko and Carlos Takam. Endorsements added $3.5 million to his total earnings.
A breakout year for the rising talent doubled his bank balance. According to Celebrity Net Worth, as reported by the Daily Star, Anthony Joshua’s net worth is now estimated at around $45 million.
AJ is on the verge of losing out in money spinning endorsement deals and in the next couple of months, and will be preparing for a massive world heavyweight rematch in a bid to reclaim his WBA, IBF, and WBO titles and retain his million dollars endorsement deals.
Making a profit on the night, too, will be Joshua’s sponsors, who are seeking to capitalise on one of British sports most valuable stars.
In February 2019, Globacom, Nigeria’s indigenous telecoms firm, signed Anthony Joshua as its brand ambassador.