Anthony Joshua cemented his status as a sporting icon in his native land by attracting 78,000 fans to watch him fight an unheralded mandatory challenger for his IBF belt. Where ”AJ” goes, people follow – and last month it was to the Welsh capital Cardiff, where Joshua ground down Carlos Takam to force a 10th-round stoppage.
Since becoming heavyweight champion in April 2016, Joshua has fought at four different British venues – London’s O2 Arena (16,000 fans), Manchester Arena (21,000 fans), London’s Wembley Stadium (90,000 fans) and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium (78,000 fans) – and filled out each one.
He is 20-0 (all by knockout), owns the WBA, IBO and IBF belts, and is resetting his targets as he heads into 2018.
The targets, are unifications with WBO champion Joseph Parker and WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Right now there are ongoing discussions with Parker's team, who are hoping to get at least 40% in a 60-40 deal with respect to the financial terms.
Former WBC cruiserweight champion and current heavyweight contender Tony Bellew believes Parker, despite his record and world title, is in no way entitled to receive 40% of the money.
"Parker is dreaming if he thinks he can take 40 per cent of an Anthony Joshua fight at Wembley. That's absolutely ridiculous," Bellew said to Metro.
"A fight with Joshua is probably five times more than Parker has ever earned. He's not entitled to that. The best fight on his record is Carlos Takam and that was a narrow victory. Joshua won every single round against Takam in Cardiff. Parker's team are dining out on this WBO title and they should be very, very careful what they wish for.
"There's several heavyweights out there that can beat Parker. I'm one of them. If I was Parker I wouldn't even think of going to Russia to fight Alexander Povetkin, he would lose that fight. And then he'll be kicking himself for turning down a record payday fight with Joshua."