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Anthony Joshua will pocket £15million for his world title defence against Oleksandr Usyk this weekend.

Joshua will face his mandatory challenger for the unified heavyweight world title at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night.

The world heavyweight champion is making 50 per cent more than his last outing against Kubrat Pulev in December thanks to the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

Only 1,000 fans were allowed into the SSE Arena Wembley last year while as many as 63,000 fans will stream into Tottenham’s home ground.

As such, Joshua will earn the considerable pay rise, although it is a significant amount less than his initially planned matchup with Tyson Fury would have made him had they met as planned in August.

The two world heavyweight champions were supposed to fight for the undisputed title in Saudi Arabia, with a purpose-built stadium being developed.

But plans were scuppered when Fury was ordered in court to fight Deontay Wilder in a trilogy, or pay what he claims was £80m as a settlement.

Fury and Wilder had agreed to a rematch clause for their second fight in 2020, but when the coronavirus scuppered their plans to meet in July of last year, Fury attempted to move on to the undisputed title.

That bout would have had a 50/50 split of the £100m purse being offered, which when you factored in PPV buys or subscriptions to streaming platforms, would have risen even further.

But if what Fury says is true, then he still would have ended up losing millions of pounds on taking the fight, which means it wasn’t viable, and immediately he was scheduled to fight Wilder while Joshua’s mandatory challenge from Usyk was triggered.

Joshua is still earning considerably less than his career-high payday for his rematch with Andy Ruiz in 2019 that was held in Saudi Arabia, which saw him take home £66m, as well as the WBA, WBO and IBF world titles for a second time.

He earned between £19 and £21m for the first Ruiz fight, which was a big night for DAZN, his US broadcaster, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Joshua also reportedly earned £20m for his fight with Alexander Povetkin at the Wembley Stadium in 2018, so he’ll likely be back up in that region once boxing and the live event industry in general has fully bounced back from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Joshua’s payday for the Usyk fight is, however higher than for his crowning achievement; defeating Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in 2017.

The pair split a £20m purse 50/50, meaning Joshua took home £10m, while he would later make £18m to face Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Joshua vs Usyk is the biggest boxing event to happen in Britain since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

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