Anthony Joshua’s popularity won’t diminish if he loses to Oleksandr Usyk again says AK Reyes
By Barry Holbrook: Anthony Joshua is famous enough to easily absorb another loss to Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch on August 20th without seriously harming his career.
As DAZN’s Akin ‘AK’ Reyes points out, Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) is so famous now that he can afford to lose to IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) without it draining his fanbase to any great extent.
Joshua can lose ten or more fights and remain a massive star among casual and hardcore boxing fans of the sport. That’s likely what DAZN is banking on with their recent decision to pay Joshua colossal money for him to sign to their platform this week.
Looking at the move from a sporting angle, it sounds like a poor decision on DAZN’s part to sign a fading fighter, Joshua, that has lost two out of his last four fights and is heading for a likely third defeat next August when he faces Usyk in their rematch.
If this were the NFL or NBA, the team owners would be disappointed because they can’t use a depleted player without hurting their team’s ability to compete against the best.
To be sure, the famous fading player would help sell tickets to the games, but he would ultimately hurt the team’s ability to compete against the best and make it to the playoffs. In boxing, it’s different.
It’s all about selling tickets and bringing in pay-per-view buys. Winning is secondary to money-making in boxing, so you get fighters that are still highly valuable like Joshua, even though he’s clearly past it and his chances of future success are dim.
“This is a heavyweight boxer. Anthony Joshua is a star; we saw what happened after that loss against Ruiz. We saw how many people he brings to the ring against Usyk,” said Akin ‘Ak’ Reyes to the DAZN Boxing Show.
“The guy’s a star, and he’s not going to lose his star power if he loses another fight,” AK continued about the 32-year-old Joshua.
“If he wins the fight, it’s better for his career moving forward. Of course, it’s better if he wins. Anthony Joshua is becoming more and more popular in America.”
“A lot of fighters do this at the end of their career. They chase the money because they already got their legacy, already got their titles, and they already did their numbers. Now they want their money.
“Now, they want to be more than just an ambassador for the sport. They want to be a partner; they want equity,” said Sergio Mora to DAZN’s JABS, reacting to Joshua signing a landmark deal with DAZN this week for his fights on that streaming platform.
“Anthony Joshua is not only a boxer but a businessman as well, so he’s coming over for that. Floyd Mayweather, who set the blueprint for this, almost became a billionaire doing this,” said Mora.