No gain no pain says a popular adage. Definitely there will be blows and punches some of them too painful for comfort but at last both victor and vanquished will smile to the bank. That is the best way to describe the much talked about rematch between Nigeria born British pugilist Anthony Joshua and Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk
Both boxers it has been confirmed will each receive a guaranteed minimum of £33.2 million ($40m) for their world heavyweight championship rematch tonight.
This is the second highest purse ever paid to a British boxer, since Joshua’s own record of $60 million for the rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in which he regained the WBA, IBF and WBO titles following his first career defeat.
This weekend’s bonanza could rise close to $50 million for either Joshua or Usyk if pay-per-view television sales reach a level sufficient to justify adding a bonus for the winner.
The Saudis paid a basic $80 million to stage this Saturday night’s fight in the Jeddah Sports City’s 10,000 seat Arena.
That includes the acquisition of global broadcasting rights, which Sky Sports have purchased for $25 million for their Box Office channel.
That is likely to make the UK the biggest single source of additional revenue since the DAZN digital streaming platform, which is under-subscribed for boxing, is covering most of the rest of the world.
These numbers will be a temptation for Tyson Fury to recant his retirement once more.
The Gypsy King declared as final his decision to quit the ring on his 34th birthday last week but the WBC have given him until next Friday to think again before they declare their title vacant.
The Saudi Kingdom is expected to raise the ante for a fight for the undisputed world heavyweight title involving the winner of Usyk v Joshua. Perhaps as high $100 million (£82m) if Fury is the opponent.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says: ‘They want more big events here, especially the undisputed title, and would prefer it to include Fury.’