By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Joshua and American Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller are said to have agreed to terms for a fight on June 1 in New York, according to the Metrol. Joshua’s purse for the fight is expected to be £19.3million [$24.83 million dollars). That’s a lot of money for what amounts to be a glorified mismatch for Joshua. Miller, 30, is said to be getting a purse of £5.41m [$6.96 million]. That number is hard to believe.
Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) getting that kind of money to fight Joshua sounds absurd. Miller doesn’t have a fan base in the U.S. Joshua’s management must really want Miller BAD to pay him that kind of money.
The 315 pound Miller’s claim to fame is beating 42-year-old Tomasz Adamek last October by a 2nd round knockout. Miller hasn’t beaten anyone good before. He fought former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas last April, and had to labor badly to beat him. Miller was like an old car with 300,000 miles on it trying to make it up a steep hill. Duhaupas was putting serious hands on Miller the whole way. In looking back at Miller’s performance in that fight, he doesn’t belong inside the same ring with Joshua. But that obviously is the whole point in why Miller is being selection. He’s an easy mark.
His promoter Eddie Hearn of Mathroom Boxing has been longing for the Joshua vs. Miller fight for the last five months, and now he’s finally got his way. After this is over, it’ll be interesting to see who Hearn is excited about putting Joshua in with. Dillian Whyte is a predictable suspect. You can forget about Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Those guys want 50% of the loot for the Joshua fight, and he’s not going to go for that. Besides, those guys have talent and they would have a good chance of beating Joshua, they’re not going to be seriously considered unless they’re willing to take the smaller cut.
They’re saying that the Joshua-Miller fight will be finalized within 48 hours. However, you have to take that with a grain of sand. Things are never what they seem to be when it comes to Joshua. I mean, he reportedly turned down a $50 million offer to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder recently. What does that tell you? So instead of Joshua getting $50M to fight Deontay, he’s getting half of that to fight Jarrell Miller on June 1. Of course, if the idea is for Joshua to milk his IBF/WBA/WBO titles for as long as possible, then it’s not so bad that he turned down $50 million to fight Wilder. As much Miller is a jolly type of guy, he’s considered by Boxing fans as a sure thing win Joshua. In other words, this is a showcase fight for Joshua to make him look good in front of the U.S casual Boxing fans, many of which have never seen AJ before. If the highly impressionable U.S fans see the Joshua mowing down Miller with ease, those fans might start following Joshua and sign up for DAZN to watch his fights twice a year.
Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) was in negotiations for the Joshua fight, but they couldn’t agree on the purse split. Whyte feels he deserves the same 60-40 split that was offered to Wilder and Fury, but apparently that wasn’t offered to him. Further, they couldn’t agree on the drug testing, according to the Metro. Whyte instead will be fighting on April 20. He supposedly is interested in fighting one of the following heavyweights: Alexander Povetkin, Luis Ortiz or Joseph Parker. Out of all those guys, Parker is probably the only one that has a chance of fighting Whyte. He’s clearly not going to fight Ortiz, who is a southpaw with power, amazing talent, and is already scheduled to fight Christian Hammer on March 2 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It’s interesting though how Whyte and Hearn are throwing Ortiz’s name around for Dillian’s April 20 fight. You have to figure they’re doing that for the benefit of the casual Boxing fans to give the appearance that there’s an actual selection process going on rather than a rubber stamp for Parker. He’s clearly going to be the one that is going to get the fight. Povetkin is too talented and too dangerous. It’s Parker all the way in Gilfoid’s view.
Joshua vs. Miller will be streamed on DAZN in the United States. Joshua will need to upgrade the level of his opposition if he wants to start bringing in big ratings on DAZN. His initial efforts in fighting on DAZN last September against 39-year-old Povetkin brought in disappointing numbers. The U.S Boxing fans are pretty shrewd. They don’t just go for any slop that promoters put on the networks. It has to be good fights that are considered to be competitive for them to want to see it in high numbers. Given the fact that the U.S Boxing fans need to pay $10 per month to subscribe to DAZN, they’re not going to just subscribe for no reason just to see Joshua in one of his typical mismatches. The fans want to see quality fights, and that means Joshua vs. Wilder, Ortiz or Fury. Joshua vs. Miller likely won’t attract a lot of interest. Like I said, Miller hasn’t fought anyone good ever, and he looks slow, easy to hit, and weak. It’s a great match-up if you’re Joshua, because you got a guy that is a like a big heavy bag for him to land his shots on.
This will be the first time that Joshua has fought inside the United States. It might bring in some Boxing fans from the East Coast to see the Joshua-Miller fight live at Madison Square Garden in New York, but then again, it might not. It could depend on who Hearn puts on the undercard in order to attract interest. It’s a smart move by Hearn to put Joshua in with a weak heavyweight like Jarrell Miller instead of someone that might beat him like Wilder or Ortiz. This is Joshua’s chance to take the attention away from the upcoming Wilder vs. Fury II rematch, which will be taking place in April or May in the U.S. If Joshua makes a memorable impression, the Boxing fans in the United States might still be talking about him when Wilder faces Fury in April or May. But then again, the fans might forget all about Joshua if he looks terrible against Miller and puts in a poor performances like he did in his fight against Joseph Parker and Povetkin. Joshua is a flawed heavyweight, and he might not shine at all in this fight, although it’s virtually a lock that he’ll win.