NEW YORK — Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller has waited his entire life for an opportunity to fight for the world heavyweight championship at Madison Square Garden and on June 1 he will get the chance of a lifetime to challenge Anthony Joshua for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles live on DAZN.
At Friday’s press conference in New York City to officially announce the bout, Miller (23-0-1, 20 knockouts) wasted little time going on the offensive by hurling insults at the usually mild-mannered British heavyweight.
“He’s a U.K. ‘Uncle Tom’ and a sell out,” Miller said. “He’s not a genuine person. Everything about him is fake. I studied everything about him from the time he was punked in school, so they moved him to a posh school where he tried to be a bully. Here in New York we smell B.S. a mile away.”
While the Brooklyn-born Miller is the hometown kid trying to shock the world, it is Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) who is being feted in the New York. Joshua started the morning by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange sans Miller and then did the round of appearances at local radio and television stations while Miller is being relegated to second billing.
“I do feel a certain kind of way about it, but it’s nothing new,” Miller explains. “New York is a bandwagon place. They will jump on you after you do something which is fine because I am going to tear Anthony Joshua’s head off.”
Joshua’s long anticipated American debut is coming sooner than expected as promoter Eddie Hearn had the famed Wembley Stadium in London reserved for a Joshua title defense on April 13. The first two choices were far and away Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury respectively should their rematch not come to pass. The third and final option for a Wembley showdown was a rematch against Dillian Whyte whom Joshua defeated by TKO in 2015.
An option to come to the United States to make a defense against Miller seemed like a long shot just two months ago when Joshua sat ringside at Madison Square Garden to watch fellow DAZN stablemate Canelo Alvarez win in impressive fashion in front of a packed house.
Miller and Joshua needed to be separated by both private and Madison Square Garden security detail when they came face to face today. Miller took off his dark sunglasses and barked derogatory remarks which for a while looked as if he succeeded to get under Joshua’s skin. Joshua uncharacteristically gave Miller a dose of his own medicine by using foul language, blowing a kiss at Miller’s mother seated in the front row and claimed to be both Miller and his mother’s landlord.
“The rent is due and I am here to collect,” Joshua said through a broad smile.
The 30-year-old Miller admitted to all in attendance that he is obsessed with Joshua and he believes that will be one of his keys to victory.
“I have his photo up as my screensaver, I follow him, his trainer and his mother on social media,” Miller said. “I even know what he ate for breakfast the past two days. All I think about is Anthony Joshua.”
This was not the first time both men came face to face at a press conference. Last year to announce his deal with DAZN and his upcoming title defense against Alexander Povetkin, Joshua was standing on stage ready to face off against his Russian opponent when Miller jumped came forward on the stage and got within an inch of Joshua’s nose. Both men needed to be separated then as well.
“His whole demeaner changed when I saw him on stage last time,” Miller recalls. “He was shook scared. Everyone thinks they are tough until a real alpha male comes around. He’s not the lion in the jungle he thinks he is.”
Miller went on to criticize Joshua’s record before defeating Charles Martin for the IBF belt which was the first of his world title victories.
“Look at my record before getting a world title shot and look at his,” Miller said. “You can’t even compare it. Matter of fact I have the best record out of any heavyweight fighting for their first world title. Who did Deontay Wilder beat before he fought Bermane Stiverne? Go ahead I’m listening.”
“Anthony Joshua is a prick and I’m going to tell you why,” Miller leans back and explains. “The man is greedy when it comes to money. He offered Dillan Whyte something like $3 million. Whyte came back and asked for more and they settled at around $4 million but then AJ wanted a 60-40 split for the rematch which Whyte said ‘hell no’ and I agree with Dillian Whyte on this one.”
While this is sure to be Miller’s career high payday he also admits the negotiation did not go totally smooth. Some have speculated Miller could earn as much as $5 million.
“I had to let go of some things to get the deal done,” Miller points out. “I was definitely not AJ’s top choice and I don’t think he really was going to fight me, but DAZN wanted this fight and felt it was necessary so they kicked in the extra money I wanted.
“You want to know how confident AJ is that he will beat me? Well, he spent a long time negotiating what will happen if he loses. I just want to know his mentality going into this fight. You know what my mentality is? My mentality is I am going to knock his head off.”
While Joshua taunted Miller by saying he will train for this bout in Miller’s hometown of Brooklyn, Miller said his home base will be Fort Lauderdale, Florida where many of his UFC buddies train.
Before they depart for their respective camps, Miller and Joshua will see each other once more next Monday at the London leg of their press tour where extra security will be needed.
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