Great Britain's Anthony Joshua, who won super heavyweight gold at the London 2012 Olympics yesterday by defeating Roberto Cammarelle of Italy, says that he's got no plans to turn professional at the moment, and is looking forward to having a long run as a top amateur.
“This has never been about money. I will stay stay amateur for as long as possible. I quite like the sound of Rio 2016.”
Lennox Lewis and Amir Khan were among those who applauded the decision, with both citing the fact that as a 21-year-old heavyweight and still a baby to the sport (Joshua only started boxing a few years ago), he has a lot of time to mature in the amateur ranks. Keep in mind also that Great Britain funds their program very well, and these kids aren't exactly out there scraping by.
What do you think of the decision? Personally, I can understand it -- in four years, he'll be 25 years old, with plenty of pro career left if that looks like the idea after Rio. While I can also see the reasons to turn pro -- he'll get handled with kid gloves for a while, plus as a big-time gold medal winner, he already has a fan base, will already have major support, and can make good money pretty quickly.
But Joshua says it's not about the money. And again, he won't be starving or looking to hock his medal or anything because the funding is legit and he's doing fine under the program, with plenty of time to go.
So the question isn't really, "Should he turn pro for money?" It's more, "Should he turn pro because it would make him a better professional fighter to do so now instead of in four years?"