Athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period from this summer.
- Value for money
- Home market
- Willingness to be marketed
- Crossover appeal
British, 26, Boxing
Heavyweight boxing’s destructive, redemptive force
Representatives: Matchroom Sport
Key partners: Under Armour, StubHub, RDX Sports, ORS Hydration Tablets
2015 ranking: 35
Anthony Joshua was the last British gold medallist of London 2012. His Olympiad as super-heavyweight champion is still not over but already, at 26, he has his hands on a world professional belt, taking the one sanctioned by the IBF in April. Only Joe Frazier has managed that feat before.
Until now, the powerful yet affable Watford man has won his fans as effortlessly as most of his fights. His regal dismissal of ‘Prince’ Charles Martin at the O2 was a telegenic spectacle but it was also a reminder that he must still find his level – a dangerous process in boxing, heavy with the risk of defeat. But Joshua’s profile now brings considerable scale to prospective match-ups with David Haye, Deontay Wilder or the division’s wayward new kingpin, Tyson Fury. Any of those contests would be among the most watched heavyweight bouts in a decade or more.
Boxing’s prospects are only ever one bad night from disaster; its matchmaking eccentricities can mean a fighter’s true calibre is difficult to grasp. Yet there is something special about Joshua, the sense that he can restore some lustre to one of world sport’s classic titles. Lustily backed by Sky Sports in his homeland, he now has a TV deal in place with Showtime in the US. This is a local favourite poised to become a global star. EC
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