Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou set for eight-figure paydays
Only a year ago, UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was faced with ‘fumbled the bag’ claims when he turned down a three-fight, $8million deal (£6.29M), ato leave MMA’s premier promotion in search of bigger paydays elsewhere.
‘The Predator’ first silenced his critics by signing a lucrative MMA contract with the Professional Fighters League [PFL] before announcing a big boxing bout against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Ngannou made a reported $10m (£7.86M) for his fight with Fury in October 2023, a figure confirmed by ‘The Gypsy King’ in a press conference ahead of the October showdown.
The 37-year-old surprisingly dropped WBC king Fury and almost sprung a monumental upset in his professional boxing debut achieving a split decision reverse after 10 rounds, when previously he had been given very little chance against an unbeaten heavyweight world champion.
Fury won but lost credit as novice Ngannou was the big winner as he earned tons of respect and plaudits, as well as a coveted WBC #10 world ranking.
His pro bow saw him earn a fight purse worth more than all 14 of his UFC fights combined, and now he is set to make even more money in his fight with Joshua.
Ngannou’s manager, Marquel Martin, told Sports Business Journal that his star client will make much more than $10m (£7.86M) when he takes on AJ this year.
He said Ngannou made just $600,000 per fight in the UFC, “Francis is the baddest man on the planet and his pay reflects it. And the best part is he’s earned every penny. [I] couldn’t be more happy for him.”
Forbes predicts Ngannou will make up to $20m (£15.72M), and that’s before pay-per-view sales and sponsorship kick in to potentially provide him with an even bigger payday.
The American business magazine was less precise with its prediction for Joshua’s purse but did confidently state that the Englishman will be earning more than his opponent on fight night.
According to his friend and former three-time opponent, Derek Chisora, Fury made $50m (£39.29M) for his fight with Ngannou, but that figure has never been confirmed by the Tyson himself.
Forbes believe Joshua asked for a similar number and will make more than $20m (£15.72M) on his return trip to Saudi.
A win over Ngannou will set him up for a shot at the IBF heavyweight title, which is expected to become vacant immediately after Fury and Oleksandr Usyk clash on February 17.
AJ has spoken about his burning desire to become heavyweight champion for a third time and will get his wish if he can survive a night in the ring with the big punching Ngannou.