Arguably the biggest star in boxing right now, world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has been heavily linked to negotiations with the UFC…
The idea of boxers crossing over to MMA or vice versa is no longer scoffed at. Although it was nowhere near a competitive contest, Conor McGregor’s trip to the world of boxing to face Floyd Mayweather truly opened the floodgates.
UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic started the banter with current IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight boss Anthony Joshua, things seemed to just get crazier from there. Joshua responded in kind, claiming he actually trains a bit of Muay Thai himself.
Then came the reports of the UFC’s staggering offer to Joshua; $350 million to join their ranks in what would probably be an instant title shot due to his marketability and global fame.
Dana White Speaks
Speaking with the MMA Roasted Podcast, the UFC president said a $350 million offer was inaccurate, but also revealed Eddie Hearn was insulted that he and AJ had met to discuss business:
“His contract was coming up and I said, ‘Listen, I would like to talk to you guys.”
According to White, discussions were held with Joshua but the Londoner quickly revealed to him that he had no intention of leaving Matchroom Boxing.
“He made it very clear to me that he wasn’t going to leave Eddie and that he wanted to stay with Eddie,” he said.
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“And I said, ‘Yeah, ‘I’m not looking for you to leave Eddie.
“I think we can all work together and I think we can do a lot for you in the United States. So I think we get together and figure out how to work as a team.’”
“Eddie Hearn hasn’t been in the business that long,” White continued.
“Eddie Hearn was very oversensitive over the thought that Anthony Joshua and I would even talk and was almost insulted by it. And that really wasn’t the conversation we had or the intent.”
“But if you’re Anthony Joshua, they know that we have money and they know what we’re capable of doing. It’s not a bad thing for Anthony Joshua to be in all of the newspapers and all over the internet that I made a $500m (£350m) offer.”
With the UFC already stating their interest in cross-promoting boxing, the talks with boxing’s biggest star should come as no surprise.
Joshua has a belt-unifying clash with wild-swinging “Bronze Bomber” Deontay Wilder likely coming up this fall. He and Wilder have reportedly agreed to terms, and a win for Anthony Joshua would open the door to a myriad of possibilities in boxing and/or MMA.
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