Joshua vs Ngannou Purse: Record Breaking Night Proves Gap Between Boxing And MMA



Joshua vs Ngannou Purse: Record Breaking Night Proves Gap Between Boxing And MMA

On Friday night in Saudi Arabia, it’s the latest battle heavyweights in the Middle East and should put the winner in line for a future world title fight. But let’s be honest, there wouldn’t be anyone rushing to fight in Saudi Arabia if it wasn’t for the money and that’s no different when it comes to the Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou purse.

We’ve got all the info and news for the boxing fighter pay ahead of this weekend’s huge fight in the largest weight division. 

It’s going to be a massive boost to both men’s bank balances come the end of the night, with a huge amount of money being paid to the two boxers just for turning up and hearing the opening bell.

Joshua vs Ngannou Purse: Here’s What The Main Event Stars Are Expected To Earn

Saudi Arabia have been handing out some massive purses and boxing fighter pay in order to get the biggest names to the country. Clearly, their plan has been to have the most recognizable stars from the heavyweight division compete against each other, with Joshua, Ngannou, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker having already fought there and Oleksandr Usyk set to add his name to the list in May.

It’s no wonder then that both men are going to be earning career-high paydays, and that’s a huge boxing bonus for them.

For MMA star Ngannou it’s very different to living in poverty earlier in his life, in Cameroon, before moving to Paris to try to become a professional boxer. His MMA career made him some good money but the most he ever earned was ‘only’ $650,000 on his UFC heavyweight title defense against Cyril Gane.

His entire UFC career is claimed to have made him around $4 million. That’s good for most of us but it’s nothing compared to boxing fighter pay. 

He more than doubled that in his debut boxing fight with Tyson Fury, grabbing a $10 million pay day. However, that’s going to pale in comparison to the $20 million boxing purse he’ll earn for taking on Joshua.

The 2012 Olympic champion is also going to be earning incredible fighter pay in Riyadh this week. After picking up a check for around $12.75 million against Otto Wallin back in December, AJ should now be earning a record $50 million for one night’s word against Ngannou.

The former boxing heavyweight world champion has a net worth of around $80 million, having been involved in some of the biggest fights in the modern era of boxing, and becoming a two time world champ.

As well as earning big fighter pay from his boxing bouts, the British fighter also makes decent money from his endorsements. The 34-year-old has some mega endorsements and has worked with the likes of Under Armour, Jaguar Land Rover, Beats by Dre, Hugo Boss, Sky Sports, and DAZN in the past and currently. 

In 2022, he had the chance to stay with Sky Sports or move to DAZN, after Matchroom Boxing moved their deal in the UK to the streaming service. He decided to follow Eddie Hearn and signed a lifetime deal with the Matchroom chief. 

On Friday night, both Sky Sports and DAZN will show the fight on pay-per-view in Britain, whilst in the US it is exclusive on DAZN. 

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou Fighter Pay

There has been plenty of debate about UFC’s ability to put on the biggest fights due to Dana White’s company by far the biggest show in town when it comes to MMA. As such most of the best fighters in the world are signed to White’s promotion and match making is much easier.

In boxing, several TV companies and promoters are involved making things far tougher when it comes to making sure the biggest fights take place. Certainly that’s been the case before Saudi Arabia got involved. 

But it’s also allowed White to pay his fighters a reported 20% of the company’s revenue, far less than the equivalent pay in other sports organizations. NFL, NBA and NHL players are closer to 45-50% of revenue. 

UFC and White have been criticised for their pay structure in the past, and it’s one of the reasons Ngannou, and others, have looked towards boxing instead. The chance to fight the biggest draws has certainly helped, with AJ and Fury the first two opponents for Ngannou, despite never having had a professional boxing fight before. 

The two men’s net worths ahead of this one is proof enough that ‘the Predator’ has made a good choice in switching sports.

He also knows who he will fight in his return to MMA and his PFL debut, after Renan Ferreira won at the PFL vs Bellator event recently.

Ryan Sidle is a sports journalist with nearly a decade in the industry. He's been interested in boxing since Mike Tyson vs Frank Bruno and his MMA fandom was sparked by Michael Bisping and Anderson Silva.