By Steve Kim
As has been the case since his bout against Charles Martin last April (when he won his IBF heavyweight title), Showtime will be televising Anthony Joshua's upcoming bout versus Kubrat Pulev on October 28th from Cardiff.
Soon this exclusive deal between the network and Matchroom Sports and Joshua will end in another fight or two. But it's clear that Showtime will make it a priority to keep Joshua on their airwaves.
"Absolutely," stated Stephen Espinoza, the Executive V.P. and G.M of Showtime Sports, to BoxingScene.com. "We were the first ones in on the Anthony Joshua business and we've been supportive throughout. This will be our fifth fight with Anthony and I believe that he and everyone on his team know what a priority he is. We're proud to be the first ones in the U.S. market to recognize his potential and come up with a deal and we want to carry that forward."
The statuesque Joshua (19-0, 19 KO's) is one of the biggest draws in all of boxing. One that doesn't just sell out arenas but is featured in large stadiums. His April fight with Wladimir Klitschko had 90,000 fans pack inside Wembley in London, to watch Joshua unify the IBF, IBO, WBA titles with an eleven round stoppage. And the fight with Pulev has around 80,000 coming.
"He's another critical piece in a heavyweight unification," said Espinoza, who's network is associated with WBC belt-holder, Deontay Wilder. "Not to mention the long career he has in front of him."
Wilder will be showcased on the network a week later, when he makes a mandatory defense of his title against Bermane Stiverne in a rematch from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Wilder, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn, and Espinoza, are all interested in a unification clash at some point in 2018.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com