BoxingFight Previews

Joshua vs. Miller – Joshua heads to U.S. for first time as a pro

WBO/WBA/IBF heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua is set to make his U.S. debut on June 1st against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller at Madison Square Garden and distributed in the U.S. via DAZN, the sports streaming app. 

Today was officially day one of the pre-fight build-up to the mega-fight as the New York press conference took place and the big take away was “…man, was that awkward.”

Joshua, a superstar in the United Kingdom has spent little time in America in terms of promoting his bouts and his debut to the U.S. press it felt like a throwback to an old UFC press conference or even a WWE event. We got the tropes of a good fight promoton between two fighters who don’t like each other, but neither fighter came off as likable, sadly. 

Joshua blew a kiss to Jarrell Miller’s mom at one point in the press conference which had hinted to the misogyny narrative of Adrien Broner versus Paulie Malginaggi and the event was ended with a push from “Big Baby” Miller to Joshua that will be shown on promo packages for the coming months. 

Memorable lines such as Joshua telling Miller his the following “I am going to knock him the [expletive] out. He is a drug abuser. He’s a kickboxer. I am going to knock him out.”

Joshua referenced a subtle fact that “Big Baby” Miller has failed California State Athletic Commission drug test in 2014, something that is rarely brought up

Miller, on the other hand, was full of inner city trash talk playing up the point of being a New York native and that Joshua was the visiting fighter. Miller came off as too excited and seemingly trying to pump himself up.

It was odd for me, since I love the fight, but I am not enjoying any of the antics in the build-up, I am hoping that changes, but that is just my initial vibe.

Why I feel Miller poses a real threat to Anthony Joshua

Miller, to me, poses a very real threat to Joshua, though Miller is outgunned in terms of skill, his 300+ lbs frame along with constant pressure begs the question – can Joshua have great cardovasicualr conditioning for all twelve rounds if the bout were to go that long? I know it is a big if, but it is a fair and reasonable point since Joshua’s chin and stamina have been in question in the past and Miller’s biggest asset, his size, plays to that. 

Joshua is supposed to be the next great heavyweight — if you speak to most they believe he will be the dominant champ of this era, but after his win over Wladimir Klitschko, a rocky victory of sorts, which saw him get off the canvas, Joshua has been in rather meaningless fights in the landscape of the heavyweight division. His bout with Joseph Parker and Aleskander Povetkin were good bouts, but they didn’t merit the interest of Deontay Wilder versus Tyson Fury. 

In essence, since beating Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Joshua has sat on the back burner and let the heavyweight division move on around him, while still being active, the biggest fights with the most interest from fans have not happened with him, which is odd since he is viewed as the best in the division. 

Miller is a welcomed changed in this direction and with Tyson Fury signing to ESPN, the Deontay Wilder rematch with Fury on confusion to say the least, meaning Joshua could have the most competitive (on paper) bout of the three best heavyweights currently fighting. If this were the case that would be a major talking point for Joshua, who has all the hype and support to be a great, but simply now just needs the resume, which he is accumulating as well, just slower than one might have hoped.

Joshua faces Miller June 1st at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, the event will sell-out so if you have any interest in going to this bout buy tickets now. 

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle