Anthony Joshua needs to crush Jarrell Miller to break U.S into market
By Allan Fox: Anthony Joshua will need to smash challenger Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in impressive fashion in scoring a big knockout if he wants to make a huge splash in his U.S debut on June 1 in their fight at Madison Square Garden, in New York, according to Carl Froch.
This is Joshua’s big chance to showcase his ability in front of American boxing fans that have never seen him before. The hardcore fans are, of course, well familiar with Joshua, but the casual fans don’t know who he is, and have never heard of him. It’s very possible for the 6’6″, 245 pound Joshua to become a star in the U.S, but doing if off of just one fight against Miller, that sounds a little far-fetched.
Joshua might win some new boxing fans in the U.S by beating the 30-year-old Miller, but not a whole lot. One problem that Joshua has is Miller isn’t well thought of even by his own American boxing fans. The fans in the U.S don’t rally around the flag when Americans fight in professional fights. The U.S fans like to watch good performances from fighters no matter where they come from.
Miller hasn’t put in the type of performances as a pro for him to win a lot of fans. As such, Joshua is going to have to knockout Miller, and keep knocking out guys for a long time before he wins a lot of fans in the States. An example of that is former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. He started fighting in the U.S in 2012. It wasn’t until 2016 that GGG began to get a lot of boxing fans in the U.S, and that was with him fighting there frequently. Golovkin’s fighting style has always been an exciting, brawling type of fighting that the fans loved. Joshua is more of a boxer/puncher. Joshua doesn’t come put looking to trade shots. He used to fight like that, but he changed his fighting style after he was almost knocked out by Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. Joshua has become more of a boxer since that fight. He tries to jab on the outside to win his fights in an easier fashion without the potential of him gassing or getting clipped by a big shot.
Former super middleweight champion Froch thinks Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) needs to stay under control and box until he’s worn down the 315 pound Miller, and then go for a spectacular knockout. But he’s concerned Joshua might get draw into a war in the first round by Miller, and end up going all out looking for the knockout. That’s the kind of fight that Joshua needs for him to break into the U.S market, and get the attention of the boxing fans there. Many of the fans in the United States were bored by the way the Klitschko brothers would slowly wear down their opponents by boxing them from the outside. The fans much preferred the fighting style of former heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and a young George Foreman.
“AJ is going over to America to showcase his talent and make a big statement…especially if he can deliver another devastating knockout win,” Froch said to skysports.com.
Froch won a lot of American fans with his 12th round knockout win over Jermain Taylor in April 2009. Froch lost many of those same fans with his next two performances against Andre Dirrell and Mikkel Kessler when both guys out-boxed him.
If Joshua wins in an impressive fashion in beating the undefeated Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs), Froch sees this as a situation that will lead to a lot of pressure being put on WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder to come to the negotiation table to put together a deal with AJ. Froch believes that Wilder have too much pressure put on him for him not to agree to fight the 29-year-old Joshua in a unification fight.
“The Americans will be thinking ‘Wow this is who they’ve been talking about, big AJ from England'” Froch said. “He will have arrived in America, people will have seen him in action, and that applies a bit of pressure on Deontay Wilder to consider negotiations more seriously.”
For Joshua to come put of the Miller fight a bigger star in the U.S than he is right now, he’s going to need to do the following things:
1. Come out swinging from round 1.
2. Don’t box. The fans don’t want to see Joshua boxing Miller from the outside like he did against Joseph Parker
3. Show a good chin. Joshua will look bad if he’s knocked down like he was against Wladimir Klitchko
4. Don’t run out of gas. Joshua emptying his gas tank will make him look like a flawed heavyweight. That in turn will make give the appearance of fighter that is more of a hype job than for real.
What Froch is failing to point out is the reason why Wilder hasn’t wanted to accept the offers given to him by Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn for a mega-clash with all the titles on the line. Hearn has been offering Wilder purse splits that he feels have been below what he’s worth. Wilder wants a 50-50 deal. Hearn offered Wilder a 60-40 deal recently, which is considered a big bump up from the $15 million flat fee that he offered him for a fight last September. If Wilder wins his rematch with Tyson Fury in May, and if Joshua defeats ‘Big Baby’ Miller on June 1, then the negotiations will start again. With the World Boxing Council ordering Dillian Whyte and Dominic Breazeale to fight for their interim WBC heavyweight champion, the sanctioning body is effectively putting pressure on the winner of the Wilder-Fury 2 fight to face Whyte if gets past Breazeale.
What Hearn ultimately wants is Whyte to defeat the winner of the Wilder vs. Fury rematch so that he won’t have to deal with their purse demands. He’ll only have to deal with Whyte’s. However, what Hearn might not realize is that Whyte will be emboldened to ask for an even bigger split for a fight with Joshua if he beats Breazeale and the winner of the Wilder vs. Fury 2 fight. Whyte might be asking for a 50-50 purse split as well by the time the smoke clears from those fights. If Hearn doesn’t realize that now, he could be very upset when that takes in the future, and Whyte insists on parity for the Joshua fight. Maybe Hearn won’t mind having Joshua give Whyte a 50-50 deal, because he’s one of his own lighters in his Matchroom stable.
Joshua vs. Miller will be streamed on DAZN in the U.S, and shown on Sky Box Office in the UK on June 1.