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Jarrell Miller: Anthony Joshua is mentally weak

Image: Jarrell Miller: Anthony Joshua is mentally weak

By Scott Gilfoid: Undefeated heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (19-0-1, 17 KOs) sees a lot of mental weakness in IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) that he can take advantage of when they face each other in the near future.

Miller, 29, says there’s a chance that he’ll be fighting Joshua in 2018, possibly at the start of the year. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to match him against the trash-talking Miller, and he thinks the fight will play out well in the UK with the boxing fans.

#5 IBF, #5 WBO, #7 WBA Miller will be fighting this Saturday night against #6 WBC Mariusz Wach (33-2, 17 KOs) on the undercard of the middleweight contest between Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs and Luis Arias on HBO Boxing After Dark at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Wach, 6’7 ½”, will give Miller a good test to see what he’s made of.

It’s the second consecutive fight for Miller in which he’s facing a tall heavyweight. In Miller’s last fight, he defeated 6’6” former heavyweight world title challenger Gerald Washington by an 8th round stoppage on July 29. Miller’s weight for that fight was an alarming 298 pounds. That’s a lot of weight for the 6’4” Miller to be carrying around. In his before that against journeyman Fred Kassi, Miller weighed in at 296 ½ pounds.

It seems that Miller will continue to come into his fights hovering near 300 lbs. It hasn’t impacted Miller’s performances against the lower level heavyweights he’s been facing, but we’ll have to see if his weight hurts his performances when he gets inside the ring with the better heavyweights.

Unfortunately, Wach is not one of the better heavyweights in the division. He’s arguably a step down from Gerald Washington, so we might not learn much about Miller’s ability fight while weighing heavy against Wach. This is a fight Miller would likely win even if he were well over 300 lbs.

“He’s a mental midget,” Miller said to “I can drown him in any round. I can drown him in the beginning, I can drown him later. Takam wasn’t even pushing the pace and he was getting tired…The other guy does not have the mental fortitude for that. He’s never been built for that.”

Miller doubts that Joshua is looking forward to fighting him or Deontay Wilder anytime soon. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants the Joshua-Miller fight, which tells you that he believes it’s one that his fighter definitely can win.

Hearn wouldn’t be interested in Miller if he didn’t think Joshua could beat him. The fighters that are considered a threat to beating Joshua, Wilder, Alexander Povetkin, David Haye and Luis Ortiz, are seemingly ignored by Hearn and not matched up with him. Those are fighters that don’t get a fight with Joshua.

The guys that Hearn has been willing to match Joshua against are fighters like Charles Martin, Dominic Breazeale, Carlos Takam, Eric Molina, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, Kevin Johnson, Raphael Zumbano Love and Jason Gavern. In other words, Hearn likes matching Joshua against beatable guys. Hearn has been pushing hard to get Wilder to fight Whyte, which some boxing fans feel is his way of trying to get Wilder weeded out so he won’t face Joshua.

It’ll be interesting to see if Hearn makes Miller fight someone like Whyte before he’ll consider letting him face Joshua. I wouldn’t be surprised. If Miller looks great beating Wach on Saturday night, then it’s a no-brainer that Hearn will look to match him up against Whyte on February 3 at the O2 Arena in London, England. That’s the date and venue that Hearn has been trying to get Wilder to agree to for a fight against Whyte.

It sounds like Miller has done his homework really well on Joshua, as his thoughts are similar to the way a lot of boxing fans feel about Joshua. He’s capable of being worn out in one or two rounds. That’s the problem that Joshua has. He gasses out quickly sometimes when pushed hard.

Dillian Whyte had Joshua in a state of exhaustion in the 2nd round in their fight in 2015. Wladimir Klitschko did the same thing in the 5th round against Joshua on April 29 in their fight at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Carlos Takam had Joshua looking very tired in rounds 8 and 9 in their fight on October 28, and he was fighting at a snail’s pace the entire fight. Takam wasn’t even trying to push a fast pace, and Joshua looked fatigued. Joshua’s stamina issues could be a problem if he faces Miller, who tends to take the fight to his opponents to force them to fight in an all-out manner.

Joshua would have a chance of beating Miller if he can hurt him with an uppercut in close, but he would have to do it before he gets exhausted. Once Joshua is tired, he’s ineffective for the most part. Joshua has a nice uppercut that he likes to throw in close. Other than that, Joshua does not fight well at all at close range. The uppercut is Joshua’s only weapon that he possesses for close range fighting.

In Joshua’s last 2 fights, the crowd has seemed to energize him when he’s been exhausted. Against Takam, Joshua was fighting with his mouth open in the 9th and 10th rounds, gasping for breath, and looking ready to be beaten. However, after Joshua landed a good shot in the 10th, the crowd started cheering loudly, and this encouraged him to go on the attack and score a premature stoppage.

The referee seemed to lose his head and stop the fight well before it should have been stopped. My main point is that Joshua feeds off his boxing fans’ applause. When they’re cheering, he’ll fight through exhaustion and put together a flurry of shots. I don’t know if that’ll work against Miller though. He’s not the type that will go down. It also will depend on the referee that works the fight.

Joshua’s last 2 fights have ended with his opponents still standing. If there’s a referee that believes in stopping fights well before they should be stopped, then it might not take Joshua more than 3 or 4 punches to get a controversial stoppage of Miller. I’m hoping for Joshua’s sake that this doesn’t keep happening with him, because the boxing fans will start viewing him as being protected by the referees if his fights are getting halted prematurely like his last one against Takam.

”He’s [Hearn] talked about matching us in the middle of next year, or maybe the early part of next year,” said Miller.

Miller is one of the options for Joshua in 2018. Hearn has a set of names that he wants to put in with Joshua in 2018, and they are as follows:

• Joseph Parker

• Tyson Fury

• Deontay Wilder

• Dillian Whyte

• Jarrell Miller

The major fights that Hearn wants for Joshua in 2018 are Fury, Parker and Wilder. Whyte and Miller will likely be alternates used in case Hearn can’t negotiate a fight with the likes of Parker, Wilder or Fury. Hearn might also use Miller or Whyte if he feels it’s too risky to let Joshua fight Wilder in 2018. Wilder’s impressive win over Stiverne might potentially scare off Hearn from making the Joshua-Wilder fight in 2018.

You never know. With the way that Joshua struggled to beat Carlos Takam, and the manner in which Wilder dealt Stiverne, Hearn might now be having second thoughts about making the Joshua-Wilder fight in 2018. Hearn is pretty easy for Gilfoid to figure out. His actions speak louder than words.

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