Anthony Joshua has committed his peak years to Matchroom by signing a three-year contract extension with the promoter.
The WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion has become perhaps the world’s highest-profile fighter since making his professional debut with them in 2013 and next fights Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on September 22.
There had long been an expectation within boxing circles that Joshua would eventually sign for an American promoter – traditionally the most lucrative and influential – but his agreement with Matchroom is a further demonstration of British boxing’s growing power.
Matchroom have received significant investment to continue expanding into the US market with DAZN, while Joshua’s appeal – the fight with Russia’s Povetkin will be his fourth in succession at a stadium – means he has little incentive to fight elsewhere.
“They’ve worked very hard to give me a platform to showcase my skills and tell my story,” the 28-year-old said.
“So choosing to renew our deal was always a matter of when not if.
“We have created history together and we are dedicated to keeping the UK scene in high demand for all boxers and boxing fans, but for me personally, the journey is nowhere near finished yet.
“When I decided to become a professional boxer I felt the boxing market was stagnant and in need of new energy, both Matchroom and Sky have backed me and have given me opportunity after opportunity and I will always deliver.”
Though expected, Joshua’s ongoing commitment to Matchroom and Sky Sports will likely prove problematic when the time comes to negotiate terms for a domestic fight with Tyson Fury, who is signed to Frank Warren and BT Sport.
It is hoped that a fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder will follow for Joshua in 2019, and that his most significant match-ups – undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine has become a further target – will follow in the coming years.
“I am delighted to extend our promotional agreement with Anthony and also extend his relationship with Sky Sports,” said Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn.
The World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final between George Groves and Callum Smith will be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on September 28.
In what will also be Groves’ third WBA title defence, Smith’s first world title fight, and both fighters’ chance to win the Muhammad Ali trophy, they will meet at the King Abdullah Sports City.
Confirmation of the location comes after venues in Manchester, the Midlands and London were also considered for what represents Groves’ biggest fight since his rematch in 2014 with Carl Froch.
The 30-year-old defeated Jamie Cox in the competition’s quarter-finals in October, and then Chris Eubank Jnr in the final four in February, when a dislocated shoulder threatened his participation in the final against Smith.
He was then passed fit to fight in May, and he said: “It’s fantastic news that we now have a confirmed date and location for the final.
“I’m incredibly excited that the fight has been formally confirmed to take place in Jeddah. I’m excited and sure this final will eclipse every WBSS fight to date for excitement and drama.
“I have been in camp for a while already but am now looking forward to stepping the training up now that the date’s been set.”
The promising Smith, 28, hopes to become the second of four boxing brothers – following Liam – to win a world title.
After defeating Nieky Holzken and Erik Skoglund to challenge Groves, he said: “It has been a long time since my semi-final win over Holzken.
“But the most important thing to me is that my opponent is George Groves. It means that by the end of September I have the chance to be the WBA champion and the number one super-middleweight in the world. I believe I will do it.
“I am excited to be part of such a big night of boxing. It began with the red carpet treatment (at the competition draw) in Monaco and will end with more of the same in Jeddah.”
The final of the cruiserweight edition of the WBSS concluded last weekend in Moscow, where Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk impressively outboxed Murat Gassiev of Russia in a fight that unified all four of the division’s world titles.
Anthony Joshua has already accomplished plenty in his stellar career, but the 28-year-old unified heavyweight champion believes he still has another decade to go.
Speaking at a press conference for the September 22 bout with Alexander Povetkin, Joshua made it clear he has no plans to hang up his gloves anytime soon, citing advancements in science and the longevity of former boxers as evidence for why he can keep going.
“I think I’ve got 10 years left in boxing and I really want to cement my legacy,” Joshua said.
See what else Joshua had to say and his praise of Povetkin in the video below.