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Under Armour along for the ride as boxer Anthony Joshua’s star rises

Anthony Joshua,an Under Armour endorser and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, defeated <runtime:topic id="PESPT0016898">Wladimir Klitschko</runtime:topic> in front of 90,000 fans in London on Saturday night.
Anthony Joshua,an Under Armour endorser and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, defeated Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 fans in London on Saturday night. (Dan Mullan / Getty Images)

Boxing does not enjoy widespread appeal, but the sport is getting a lift from Anthony Joshua — a charismatic, 27-year-old British heavyweight — and Under Armour is along for the ride.

Joshua, an Under Armour endorser and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, defeated Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 fans in London on Saturday night.

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He's an important asset for Under Armour because he's demonstrating crossover appeal — the ability to attract new fans to the sport. He's particularly valuable because Under Armour, whose biggest market is North America, is seeking to extend its global reach.

Heavyweight has long been the sport's glamour division, but it often lacks boxers with the personality to take advantage of the spotlight.

Joshua, 14 years younger than Klitschko, was the favorite in the fight. But it was still considered an important test.

After Joshua's victory, Under Armour collaborated with English rapper Kano on a video. The Baltimore apparel, footwear and accessories company called the video "a tribute with a motivational message of willpower and determination."

In a news release, Under Armour said Joshua's ambition is "to be a generation-defining champion."

In 2015, Under Armour, which also has a deal with Mexican boxing star Canelo Alvarez, reached an agreement to begin using the likeness and images of Muhammad Ali, the sport's best-known champion who died in 2016.

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