Jarrell Miller a possibility for Anthony Joshua in April 2019
By Scott Gilfoid: In what appeared to be totally scripted, Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller and Anthony Joshua were involved in a heated exchange of trash talking during Tuesday’s news conference with former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin looking on in New York.
Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs) is expected to sign with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who needs content to supply to subscribers for his DAZN streaming service. Hearn says he wants to match Joshua against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on April 13, provided Joshua gets past Povetkin, but the fight looks like it won’t be happening. Hearn says his $15 million flat fee offer for Wilder won’t be improved. Since Wilder has already rejected the offer, it leaves Joshua with two choices for his April 13 fight: Miller or a rematch with Dillian Whyte. Miller’s confrontation with Joshua appears to be the sign that he’ll be next for Joshua to fight on April 13 as long as the American wins his October 6 fight on DAZN in Chicago, Illinois.
The 300 lb. Miller walked up on Joshua on the stage on Tuesday, trashing him and then standing face to face while the photographers furiously snapped photos of the two. It looked like a professional wrestling skit between two wrestlers. Neither guy looked genuinely upset. It was clear what was going on. Miller and Joshua were looking to get the boxing fans excited about a fight between them for April. Since Hearn has no interest in increasing Wilder’s flat fee $15 million offer to a percentage that reflects the huge amount of money that he’ll help bring in for the Joshua unification fight, the choice for AJ’s fight on April 13 at Wembley Stadium is either Miller or Whyte. Joshua then said this to Miller, “Who you f—ing talking to? Shut the f— up and get off the stage, you little b—-. I’ll slap you. Have some respect.”
For the normally polite Joshua, it had to have been hard for him to stay in character, as he’s normally pretty emotionless and wooden when he speaks. He looked like he was totally acting a part in a play, and it was actually more than a little comical. Miller then said to Joshua, “give them what they want,” in what was a clear signal that he wanted him to tell the boxing fans that they’re going to be fighting each other in April. Povetkin was totally ignored and looking more like a prop than a real fighter. He was standing there on staged totally ignored. Needless to say, it was great theater. The fans got excited about Miller and Joshua despite the fact that Povetkin is the one that will be facing AJ next. What this means, of course, is obvious. Miller is going to be the one that will be facing Joshua on April 13, because it sure as heck won’t be Deontay. Hearn’s $15 million flat fee offer to Wilder, which he said this week that he won’t be improving, is a signal that he’s not interested in making the Joshua-Wilder fight in April 2019.
“This is where I’m at right now, I can’t sit down for too long because there’s always people clucking around me feet. I have got to kick them back down,” Joshua said via ESPN after he left the stage on Tuesday. “People talk about me and see me face-to-face and they still want to talk. I defend my titles in the ring time and time again. I just won’t tolerate it out of the ring either. Anyone is welcome to come and get the smoke as well. Firstly focus on Povetkin and you never know what the future holds.”
Joshua just needs to get it over with and start selling the Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller fight for April 13 right away so that they can a jump on marketing the fight. It’s an awful fight, but maybe if Joshua and Miller can keep up the theatrics, they might be able to convince the casual boxing fans, who aren’t familiar with how bad of a mismatch this is, into wanting to pay $10.00 to subscribe to DAZN to see it. I can’t imagine the hardcore boxing fans wanting to bother seeing that horrible fight, especially after Joshua turned
down $50 million to fight Wilder. A lot of fans believe that Joshua is totally ducking Wilder in order to keep the green rolling in. You can’t blame Joshua for not taking the fight with Wilder, because if he gets knocked cold by him, the money might dry up leaving Joshua in the same boat as a lot of former world champions that end up wondering why the fans stop showing interest in their fights after they get blasted out.
Joshua continued to pump up interest in a fight against Miller later on Tuesday evening, saying this on Twitter:
”Massive respect to Povetkin. When two lions meet & you hear a lil pup barking, don’t play with big cats.. That’s a warning 🦁 #AJBXNG.”
Joshua, 28, will be defending his IBF, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles on September 22 against the 38-year-old Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in London, England. It’s a low level fight for the 90,000 seat stadium, and it’s going to be interesting to see how many boxing fans show up for the fight. I can’t imagine it getting anywhere near full capacity because Povetkin has looked horrible in his last three fights, and he’s clearly showing signs of old age at this point in his career. The fight will be televised on Sky Box Office PPV in the UK.
Joshua and Hearn are going to need to start talking up the Miller fight in the coming months in order to get the fans interested in paying to see him fight the heft 300lb American on April 13 fight at Wembley Stadium. It’s a bad fight, so they’re going to need to get a big head start in trying to get boxing fans interested in paying to see it on DAZN. It would obviously be better if Hearn would give Wilder the 50-50 purse split that he’s asking for in order to take the fight with Joshua, but that’s unlikely to happen. The gravy train might come to a screeching halt if Hearn matches Joshua with Wilder. That’s why it’s utterly predictable that Hearn is going to stick to his lowball $15 million flat fee offer to Wilder in order to make sure the fight doesn’t happen. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hearn actually lowers the offer like he’s been talking about wanting to do. There’s always a chance that if Hearn keeps the $15 million offer on the table without sweetening it, Wilder might call his bluff by accepting it. One way for Hearn to keep Wilder from agreeing to the $15 million offer is by lowering it to say $10 million. If Hearn decreases the offer, Wilder will likely walk away in disgust and put Joshua and Hearn on ignore, even though he would still be receiving a career high payday if he were to accept the fight. Joshua would be losing out as well, as he would be seen as a chicken by the boxing public. Joshua needs the Wilder fight for his legacy, because right now he only has the win over 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko as his only high caliber opponent on his resume, and he should have lost that fight. Wladimir badly exposed Joshua, showing him to be a fragile-chinned fighter with terrible stamina.