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An opportunity for the ages: Anthony Joshua to make US debut v. Jarrell Miller inside MSG

Two of boxing’s best will look to make headlines under the bright lights of New York City.

If 2019 is the year that boxing became king in New York once again, we can all thank one singular moment in 2018. When DAZN was being presented to the US for the first time, Jarrell Miller inserted himself in Anthony Joshua’s plans of heavyweight dominance, and many didn’t expect it would lead to where we are now.

It was announced that Joshua will defend his WBA Super, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Titles against Miller inside Madison Square Garden on June 1st. It will be Joshua’s American debut and Miller’s first taste of a major spotlight. Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn made the announcement of the fight, which will be exclusively on DAZN for those in America and Sky Sports for those overseas.

This is a much different plan than expected for Anthony Joshua (22-0), who previously signed a two-bout agreement for Wembley Stadium. The expected opponent for him, Deontay Wilder, is preoccupied with Tyson Fury once again. Now, Joshua will have a chance to make his mark inside The World’s Most Famous Arena. His last fight was in December, coming back with a right hand to knock out Alexander Povetkin in round seven. 21 of his 22 wins have come by way of knockout, with only his fight against Joseph Parker going the distance.

“June 1st I am heading to The Big Apple and I plan to embrace the culture and leave with an appetite for more,” Joshua stated in a press release. “I will be fighting Jarrell Miller at the legendary Madison Square Garden. It has been an honour and a blessing to fight at some of the best venues in the World at home in the UK, not least Wembley Stadium, but the time has come to head across the Atlantic and defend my Heavyweight titles in the USA. I am looking forward to taking on another challenge with a good boxer & a brilliant talker, it will be an exciting fight, I will leave nothing to chance and plan on dismantling Miller in style to make my mark.”

Joshua has been considered the best boxer of the past few years. With power fans haven’t seen in a long time, Joshua’s drawing ability (80,000 fans inside Wembley) is something to behold. How will his presence look in the smaller but legendary MSG? Matchroom’s fearless leader Eddie Hearn believes Joshua can be etched in this history books with a win on June 1st.

“When you look at the Heavyweight greats that have graced the renowned ‘Mecca of Boxing’ the names of Ali, Frazier, Marciano and Tyson stand firm and June 1 will be a moment when the World will witness AJ’s turn.”

Joshua’s opponent was an unexpected pick, but that does not deter him from being a true challenge. Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (23-0-1) has slowly but surely moved up to become a contender with each swing of his fists. The Brooklyn native knocked out Bogdan Dinu in the fourth round back in November to win the WBA-NABA and vacant WBO-NABO Heavyweight Titles. His competition has grown steeper since 2016, beating the likes of Gerald Washington, Johann Duhaupas, Tomasz Adamek.

“AJ is making a huge mistake coming over here to fight me in my own backyard,” Miller stated. “He wants to announce himself on the American stage but all he’s doing is delivering me those belts by hand. Its dog eat dog in the ring and this dog has got a bigger bite, he’ll be leaving New York empty-handed. This is the fight that I’ve been chasing all my life and on June 1 I’m going to achieve the thing I was born to do and win the Heavyweight Championship of the World. That punk AJ is standing in the way of my dreams and on June 1 he’s getting run the hell over.”

A kickboxer as well, Miller had a desire to face Joshua after the Dinu fight. Thinking he was too busy, Miller would have taken on all challengers. Now, Joshua’s book has opened, and Miller wants to take advantage of that.

Miller will look to shock the world while Joshua will look to make himself an international sensation. Both will attempt to show that heavyweight boxing truly is the best the sport has to offer.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.


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