Anthony Joshua to defend heavyweight titles against Jarrell Miller in NYC

by Samuel Abasi Last updated on April 18th, 2019,

Anthony Joshua will make his U.S. debut when he defends his WBA (Super), IBF and WBO titles against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller” on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Joshua took to his Instagram account Wednesday to announce the exciting news.

A superstar who has routinely sold out stadiums in the United Kingdom — including a British-record of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in London for his 11th round knockout of Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 — the knock by many boxing pundits on the unified heavyweight champion is that Joshua hadn’t fought in the United States and needed to do so in order to become a global star. Now, the 29-year-old will touch American soil and clash with an opponent that he’s established a heated rivalry with.

After Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) notched a seventh-round TKO over Alexander Povetkin last September, he hoped to face WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder on April 13 at Wembley Stadium. But Wilder fought to a thrilling split draw with Tyson Fury in December, and a rematch between the two is reportedly set to occur in the first half of 2019.

With the two biggest opponents for Joshua occupied with one another, the focus shifted to a rematch with fellow countryman Dillian Whyte, who stopped Derek Chisora in December, to seemingly punch his ticket to avenge his 2015 knockout loss to Joshua.

Negotiations between the two sides hit a snag, and Miller, a charismatic heavyweight from Brooklyn, entered the picture.

Joshua and Miller haven’t faced each other in the ring before, but things have already been heated between the two.

At a press conference in July, Miller got into a confrontation with Joshua as the two exchanged words in front of the crowd. Miller wasn’t finished and proceeded to make comments about Joshua’s mother to Sporting News.

With the two biggest opponents for Joshua occupied with one another, the focus shifted to a rematch with fellow countryman Dillian Whyte, who stopped Derek Chisora in December, to seemingly punch his ticket to avenge his 2015 knockout loss to Joshua.

Negotiations between the two sides hit a snag, and Miller, a charismatic heavyweight from Brooklyn, entered the picture.

Joshua and Miller haven’t faced each other in the ring before, but things have already been heated between the two.

At a press conference, Miller got into a confrontation with Joshua as the two exchanged words in front of the crowd. Miller wasn’t finished and proceeded to make comments about Joshua’s mother to Sporting News.

Since the incident, Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) has scored two knockout victories over Tomasz Adamek and Bogdan Dinu. Miller has won 11 of his last 12 fights by stoppage.

Although unbeaten, Miller has yet to face an opponent the pedigree of Joshua. Nevertheless, Miller’s size and strength could prove to be a challenge for the unified champion. In his bout against Dinu in November, Miller tipped the scales at 315 ¼ pounds.

Miller in New York? Joshua’s promoters, Matchroom, now have to go to work selling it on both sides of the Atlantic – and there is plenty of time, a commodity Eddie Hearn had run out of in his negotiations with Wilder’s connections, who, it is understood, did not like the terms of a compulsory rematch if he beat Joshua.

Joshua added: “*I am looking forward to taking on another challenge with a good boxer and a brilliant talker. It will be an exciting fight. I will leave nothing to chance and plan on dismantling Miller in style to make my mark.”

Miller’s quote also was straight from the pre-fight playbook: “AJ is making a huge mistake coming over here to fight me in my own backyard all he’s doing is delivering me those belts by hand. It’s dog eat dog in the ring, and this dog has got a bigger bite. He’ll be leaving New York empty-handed.

That punk AJ is standing in the way of my dreams and on 1 June he’s getting run the hell over.”

Hearn said: “When you look at the heavyweight greats that have graced the renowned ‘Mecca of Boxing’, the names of Ali, Frazier, Marciano and Tyson stand firm, and 1 June will be a moment when the world will witness AJ’s turn.”

Great fighters need more than big wins and pay cheques in famous venues to secure a place in boxing’s pantheon. They need defining rivalries and epic performances – as Lewis knew, and proved. Joshua might get a great fight out of Miller, but he could have started making history with Wilder.

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