Britain’s unbeaten world champ is now picking up mega-millions but knows men like Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield struggled to deal with such wealth
THE more Anthony Joshua earns, the less he spends.
The unbeaten world heavyweight champ is well aware of boxing’s disturbing history of fortunes won and lost.
And he is making sure he does not get sucked into the kind of financial problems which have blighted the post-fight careers of Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield.
Joshua, 28, picked up £15million for stopping Wladimir Klitschko in April and could pocket a similar fee for this week’s title defence against Carlos Takam.
He has lucrative seven-figure endorsement deals with the likes of Lucozade, Under Armour and Lynx and is well on the way to achieving his declared ambition of becoming a billionaire.
And with restaurants, jewellers and fashion chains all queuing up with offers of freebies, Joshua is finding it almost impossible to splash the cash.
The pick of the gifts so far is a £350,000 diamond- encrusted Audemars Piguet watch. Joshua said: “It’s a bad boy. I was blown away when I first saw it.
“But my lifestyle is set up and I don’t need to spend a lot to get through my day. So even if I were to fight for £300m I don’t think it would change me a lot.
“A lot of opportunities come your way if you win the world title and you can easily lose track if you start to think that you’re the man.
“We all know the stories of Tyson, Bowe and Holyfield and from when I turned pro I have wanted to manage the business side of things.
“I’ve had a team of legal and financial advisors from the start. For them it’s always been a case of, ‘We’ve done a lot of groundwork on his career, so we can leave him to his boxing’.
“We’ve been working towards this point for the last three or four years so now that I am champion it’s not come as so much of a shock.
“I know the people around me are doing better than they were a year or two ago and it’s helping their families. So that’s been the best thing about all of this.”
Joshua’s biggest extravagance so far has been the purchase and renovation of a six-bedroom family home in Whetstone in North London.
He explained: “There’s still work that needs to be done. My uncle is an architect and he’s helping me, but it’s going to be 18 months before it’s ready to move in to.
“I see it as a house for the immediate family but everyone will come for Christmas and birthdays.”
Even having his picture plastered over billboard and TV adverts has passed the grounded champion by.
He added: “I get sent pictures of me on big billboards and I just think that any girl who’s dated me in the past, their boyfriends must hate me! They’ll be going to the gym, seeing my face and thinking, ‘No’.”
But it has not all been work and no play for the most marketable man in boxing, who is favourite to win this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
He said: “I don’t move in celebrity circles but going on shows like Graham Norton are fun. I did that thing with Bear Grylls as well, which was a good experience.
“But I’ll never do that again. That’s nuts.”
Stepping into a ring with a 20-stone opponent trying to knock your head off is not exactly sensible, either. But that is why Joshua gets paid top dollar.