Anthony Joshua's 22nd professional fight — against Alexander Povetkin of Russia at Wembley Stadium next Saturday — will not be a sellout but he may yet become the highest earning boxer of all time.
Promoter Eddie Hearn says more than 80,000 fans will still turn up.
And the assertion last year by Hearn's father Barry that Joshua 'could easily be the first billionaire in boxing' is taken seriously by Joshua's team.
His business manager Freddie Cunningham told the MoS: 'Anthony has always been ambitious.'
Hearn Snr said: 'If he keeps winning, the money will keep coming. His commercial potential outside the ring is huge, way beyond David Beckham and the world's top footballers. He has a much bigger cross-over in terms of potential.'
Floyd Mayweather holds boxing's income record to date, with last year's fight against Conor McGregor nudging his career earnings past $1billion (£763m).
Sportsmail analysis suggests Joshua has a chance of beating that.
The three biggest revenue streams for any fighter will be broadcast income, not least from pay-per-view sales, ticket sales and sponsorship and endorsement deals.
Working on the basis that Joshua is 29 next month and insiders expect him — if fit — to have two fights a year between now and 2024, it is plausible Joshua may indeed become the first £1bn boxer.
Our projections are based on PPV income of around £600m over the next six years, ticket sales of £300m and a sum that could rise well above £100m in sponsorships.
'It all depends on length of career, injuries and opponent which, as we know, is a significant driving factor in the PPV market,' Cunningham says.
It will also be dependent on whether Joshua can crack America and become a bona fide — and marketable — global star akin to Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James, each of whom earned between £35m and £50m from sponsors in the past year.
JOSHUA'S REVENUE STREAMS
Sponsors 2018: £7.5m
Joshua has a portfolio of 'main' sponsors including Under Armour, Beats By Dre, William Hill, Lynx, Jaguar Landrover, StubHub, Hugo Boss, Audemars Piguet (which produces the £350,000 watch he is paid to wear), JD Sports, Bulk Powders, Lucozade Sport, Sky Sports and BXR. His average income from each is just over £500,000 a year, or £7.5m. This will grow gradually if he remains champ — and soar if he becomes a household name in the USA, where the biggest brands pay the biggest bucks. By 2024, he could have trebled his current annual endorsement earnings, and if he's cracked America double it again.
TV 2018: £45m
Joshua's fight earlier this year with Joseph Parker grossed £29m from 1.457 million PPV sales on Sky Box Office at £19.95 each. The Povetkin bout is not expected to be as popular but sales of 750,000-plus would be respectable. Joshua has had 5.8m PPV sales across his seven PPV bouts to date. Floyd Mayweather had 16 PPV fights, with 24m sales (average 1.5m) grossing almost £1.3bn. His Pacquiao fight took £306m from 4.6m buys, at £67 each. The key to huge money for Joshua will be a high-priced US-based fight on American PPV. That's when his income will go from tens of millions to above £100m.
Ticket sales: £20m
By next weekend, Joshua will have sold 322,000 tickets for four fights since the start of last year, two each at Wembley and in Cardiff. On Saturday, seats range from £40 to £2,000, and a full house can gross up to £11m. Joshua's hopes of making much more than £10m from tickets from a single fight rest with a future 'megabout' in one of Vegas's casinos. Official figures show the highestgrossing fight from tickets alone was Mayweather v Pacquiao in 2015 at the MGM Grand, taking $72m (£55m) at an average price of £3,398 for each of the 16,219 tickets sold. Mayweather-McGregor last year took £42.3m. Two huge fights in a year could net Joshua £60m.
Retail 2018: £500k
Joshua's clothing brand and sports management firm are nascent, the latter starting to put together a roster of future stars. Joshua has established platforms via his website, as well as Instagram (7m followers), Facebook (2.5m) and Twitter (2.1m) to market goods. He expects his clothing line to become a multimillion pound business. But growing that will be largely dependent on his ring results.