Take one look at Anthony Joshua and you’ll see an athlete built like a god who speaks with intelligence – but beneath the surface is a man who’s been steadily building an empire since his professional debut ten years ago.
The British heavyweight – who fought American Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena on Saturday – got into boxing with his motto “Stay Hungry, Stay Humble”, but has made no secrets about his lofty ambitions.
One of those is to become the greatest fighter of all time and to inspire the youth. He is a role model for thousands of children across the UK who want to get involved in boxing. But we also know that money is a great motivator for him, too.
“When I first started working, the goal was to become a millionaire,” he told GQ in 2017. “But now there are ordinary people, grandmothers and grandfathers, whose fortune is worth millions just because of real estate prices. So the new school of thought is that I need to be a billionaire.” .
“Being a millionaire is all right, but you have to set your sights higher. If I make £10m from my next fight my next target should be ten times that. And if I get £100m to £150m why I don’t go for a billion pounds? I know self-made billionaires. It’s hard, but it’s possible.
Anthony Joshua has admitted that money is his “love language” ahead of his next fight
Joshua enjoyed a rags to riches story after growing up on a council estate in Watford – and now boasts a huge car collection and a lavish lifestyle
This may be a stretch for a boxer. Floyd Mayweather has claimed to be worth over £1 billion and his nickname is literally ‘The Money’. He is 13 years old in Joshua and has had time to build an empire for fighting, merchandising, exhibition fights, merchandise and endorsements.
Joshua has a way to go to get to this level. Today, he is believed to have around £109m in the bank, according to Mirror magazine, after more than a decade of battles and multi-million sponsorship deals. But the position he finds himself in is impressive given where he started.
His story is a rags-to-riches tale of a man growing up on a city council estate with an early life of causing trouble, dealing drugs, and racing to police and court dates. He had an electronic tag on his ankle for a while as he worked his way up the ranks.
After achieving success in the 2012 Olympics and catapulting to fame and fortune, he hasn’t been shy about flaunting his wealth. We know Joshua is a bit of a petrolhead – and that’s reflected in the impressive car collection he’s amassed over the years.
His garage is worth around £1m and includes a £150,000 Range Rover SVO – which was custom made with his name inscribed on the tread plates – and a £93,000 white Jaguar XJR. This is one of his favorite cars that he cherishes very much – because it makes him stand out.
Joshua owns a Range Rover SVO worth £150,000 and even a Rolls-Royce Phantom stretch car valued at £600,000
“When I park the Jag, it’s like clockwork,” he told the Guardian. There are certain hours that everyone has, but there are certain hours that only a few people know about. The Jag is a car only some people know about.
And that’s before we even mention the £600,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom stretch, his £146,000 Mercedes v8 BiTurbo or his relatively ‘modest’ Audi A3 S-Line.
However, he did not forget his loved ones around him. He instilled his mother Yetta’s love of cars by buying her a Range Rover – and also bought a house in North London for her in 2013.
This was his first venture into the real estate world – he’s now made quite a mark. Between 2019 and 2020 he spent around £7.5m on property, according to The Mirror, with his spending on new homes totaling around £10m.
Joshua has already taken steps towards becoming a promoter and has signed a handful of young stars for his management company 258 Management. But he also got into the housing market with the creation of 258 Investments – which runs his real estate empire for him.
Joshua is said to have around £109m in the bank after building a number of endorsements and a business empire that includes a management company and a trading arm.
He has more than a dozen properties in his portfolio – including a £1m property in north London and three in Watford worth a combined £1.5m.
Joshua is a smart guy. He has his own website where fans can stock up on his AJBXING gear – selling boxing gloves, sportswear, hats and fitness accessories.
He has deals with Jaguar Land Rover, William Hill, Hugo Boss and sports giant Under Armor – who take him around the world on their private jet. These deals earned him £8,453,578 in the year to February 2021.
However, that star commercial power seemed to be fading a bit – after it was revealed that Joshua’s 258 set had lost around £3m in sponsorship after Oleksandr Usyk defeated him in 2021 – the fight that saw him vacate his world titles.
In the subsequent financial year, to February 2022, his endorsements almost fell through, bringing the company just £5,527,952, which was a loss of 35 per cent.
Joshua – who would lose again to the Ukrainian last August – remains a huge draw and a standout despite his lack of world title belts. But it is not surprising that he is so eager to return to the competition in the biggest battles and the lucrative rewards that they promise.
He says money is his biggest motivator ahead of his match with Jermaine Franklin on Saturday
The 33-year-old is already promised a money-spinning match with nemesis Tyson Fury this summer if he can outrun Franklin this weekend. A fight of this magnitude could be played in Saudi Arabia – whose officials were charging a record £125m site fee when the match was initially planned for 2021.
Joshua told Hearn that the main thing that pushed him was during his first press conference for this fight.
Money, money, money, said Joshua. I love making money. Straighten up. This is a combat sport.
‘I was broke.’ My family is broken. I know what that means *** and I do it because I’m good at it and I work hard.
When all is said and done, no one will care about me anymore. So, I have to make the most of it while I’m here.
Money is Joshua’s buzzword nowadays. In his own words – it’s the “love language” he uses to help his people, as he did to his mother, friends and entourage. He says it’s not a tool to show off, but a tool to help him support those he cares about.
Joshua is often seen enjoying lavish holidays in Dubai and relaxing with his entourage
The heavyweight has been photographed all over the world enjoying the relaxed lifestyle he has developed over the past decade
“Just at this time, money is the first thing that comes to mind,” he told The Independent this week. “Money is part of a big puzzle. The reason I say “money” is just because I know how much it helps people. This is my love language. I can’t be there for you emotionally, and I can’t be there physically, because I’m working – but I can send you some money!
“I don’t say ‘money’ because I walk around, like I get 50 Range Rovers and say, ‘Damn you, you can’t come and sit in my car.’ I’ll bring 50 Range Rovers to say, ‘Everybody come in and feel what it’s like to sit in a Range Rover. And let’s make a plan so you can get one too.”
Spread love – as Joshua said. He has been seen on countless vacations where he has enjoyed trips to Dubai, riding jet skis with his best friends and touring pools and rooftop bars.
Most recently, he’s been working hard at his training camp with trainer Derrick James in Texas before his fight with Franklin, but in recent years Joshua has been seen on ski trips, sipping coconuts on the beach — and even shadowboxing on top of a skyscraper.
Stay Humble may not be a perfect fit for AJ’s character anymore – but his rise to the top of the sport, and the dynasty he forged – is something to admire.
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