Report: UFC Looking to Give UK Boxer Anthony Joshua $500M Contract

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2018

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - MARCH 21:  Anthony Joshua looks on during a media workout at the English Institute of Sport on March 21, 2018 in Sheffield, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

UFC is reportedly eyeing a lucrative partnership with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. 

According to the Telegraph's Gareth A. Davies, Dana White's promotion wants to sign Joshua to a "multifight deal" that could be worth as much as $500 million. White is reportedly angling for a sit-down with Joshua and his camp this weekend.  

Joshua responded to the report during a conference call with reporters Wednesday: 

Other specifics regarding the proposed deal have yet to be disclosed, but Davies noted UFC has applied for a boxing license in Nevada "and plans to become heavily involved in the sport."

"It's still early. We're still working on it. I've got to get my [stuff] together, but I'm getting into boxing, man," White told the Los Angeles Times' Lance Pugmire in November. "It's coming."

In a separate interview with ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto, White outlined how he plans to recruit prospective boxers to his promotion: 

"We're going to meet. I'm going to walk you through this new facility, show you the gym, the trainers, all the amenities. Free supplements, physical therapy, we'll cook your food exactly how you like it three times per day. You'll get health insurance.

"Who can offer you a better deal than me in combat sports? F--k boxing, MMA, whatever it is. Who can offer a better deal than me? The answer is nobody.

"This is what we do. Keep doubting us."

If White wants to make a splash as the UFC prepares to make a foray into boxing, Joshua would be the man to target.

The 28-year-old is 20-0 lifetime with 20 knockouts, and he's helped infuse the heavyweight division with some serious juice thanks to his punishing power. 

Joshua's next bout will come Sunday in his native United Kingdom when he squares off against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.

Should Joshua avoid an upset, he figures to continue his unification quest in a highly anticipated clash with American knockout artist Deontay Wilder—who defended his WBC world heavyweight title in dramatic fashion against Luis Ortiz on March 3. 

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