We’ve been here before and now here we are again – talking about potential purses for a potential Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua blockbuster.
Cast your mind back to May 2021, when it was gleefully announced that the pair were set to meet in the biggest fight in British boxing history – in Saudi Arabia – on August 14.
The Saudis were reportedly putting up a record site fee of $155million to stage the bout, and most experts were expecting each man to come away with $100million from the world heavyweight title unification showdown. With a rematch already planned to follow.
Well we know how that ended – within hours the dream was in tatters as Deontay Wilder won an arbitration ruling to force a trilogy fight with Fury. Leaving Fury vs Joshua as just a pipedream.
Now though there is at least a tiny glimmer of hope that that fight could now happen before the end of 2022, with Fury at something of a loose end due to Oleksandr Usyk’s preference to wait until 2023 for a unification fight.
‘The Gypsy King’ has now offered Joshua the chance to step in and challenge for his WBC and lineal heavwyeight titles – according to his promoter Frank Warren at a UK venue, and hopefully in November.
How much would Fury and Joshua get paid?
Okay so we know this pair would earn a small fortune from this fight. But the smart money says not as much as they would have fighting last August.
The first thing to mention is the purse split. Last year the pair had agreed a 50-50 split – pretty fair given both were going in as world heavyweight champions. Not any more.
This time Fury is calling the shots as the unquestioned ‘A side’. He does though appear to have been pretty fair, suggesting a 60-40 split. Some voluntary world title defences call for much more one-sided figures.
Venue and PPV revenues
The big difference in revenues would surely come in terms of the site fee that a venue pays to stage the bout. Surely even Wembley Stadium would not be matching the sort of figures put forward by Saudi Arabia in 2021.
A significant crumb of comfort for Fury and Joshua though is the live gate – if Wembley did host the bout then it would absolutely sell out with more than 90,000 on hand. Fury managed that easily for his mandatory title defence vs Dillian Whyte in April.
The other big thing here is the TV revenue – and it also presents what would likely be the biggest sticking point. The two men are signed up to different broadcasters – Fury with BT Sport Box Office and Joshua with DAZN in the UK. In the U.S. Fury’s recent fights have aired on ESPN while AJ is again tied to DAZN.
The difference is not insurmountable – last year it was expected that a joint PPV would have been the solution, and that is likely what we’d expect here.
The one imponderable that nobody can predict is whether the fight would be as big a PPV draw as it was in August 2021. Then it was two British world champions fighting to crown boxing’s first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis back in 1999. Now it’s a somewhat different picture.
While Fury has enhanced his reputation with that trilogy win over Wilder and an easy KO of Whyte, Joshua has now lost two consecutive fights to Usyk – and three of his last five.
Does this fight retain the same ridiculous off-the-charts potential it did a year ago? Likely without the Sky Sports marketing machine there to sell it? Only time will tell.
We remain sceptical the fight will happen next – there is little runway to build a promotion of such magnitude. Hopefully we are wrong, and it is time to finally get the popcorn ready.