‘Big Baby’: does he pose a threat to AJ?

February 16, 2019

Jarrell Miller is Anthony Joshua's next opponent and the heavyweights fight on June 1

Jarrell Miller is Anthony Joshua’s next opponent and the heavyweights fight on June 1

 

So, Jarrell Miller it is. Anthony Joshua has his next opponent but will ‘Big Baby’ be the pushover his moniker suggests?

The American is unbeaten and will fight AJ on home turf at Madison Square Garden on June 1.

Madison Square Garden is an iconic venue and will play host to the heavyweight showdown

Madison Square Garden is an iconic venue and will play host to the heavyweight showdown

 

By the way, … 

 

Who is Jarrell Miller?

A Brooklyn native, he’ll be close to home at Madison Square Garden, near the streets he took up Muay Thai aged 14 to defend himself.

Miller began boxing a couple of years later so is not dissimilar to Joshua in that he laced up the gloves fairly late (Joshua started at 18).

The American only spent three years as an amateur before moving up to the pro ranks and gathered momentum with each fight.

Although he was taken to a draw in his fifth contest, Miller’s early battles were fought over a shorter format of four or six rounds.

Miller (left) has a background in kickboxing and also trained in Muay Thai as a youngster

Miller (left) has a background in kickboxing and also trained in Muay Thai as a youngster

 

But as the wins started to stack up, his confidence came to the boil and he started calling out the big names of the division, Joshua, Klitschko, Fury and Wilder were all subject to his pleas on the mic.

Although he is yet to beat any household names, Miller has passed every test with distinction and his current record stands at 23 wins, 20 by knockout and no defeats.

‘Big Baby’ was also a highly-rated kickboxer. His record was 21-2 but he has been focused primarily on boxing since 2013.

What is his fighting style?

Miller likes to overwhelm opponents and has the chin to take those kinds of risks.

He possesses an impressive engine for a heavyweight and likes to push the pace, bullying his challengers but without necessarily having the technical prowess to pick them apart at range.

On paper, it looks like a match made in heaven for Joshua, who would love Miller to power forward, potentially leaving himself exposed for big power shots.

The American looks to push the pace on his opponents and overwhelm them early on 

The American looks to push the pace on his opponents and overwhelm them early on 

Does he have a chance?

Unsurprisingly, Miller seems to think so.

‘AJ is making a huge mistake coming over here to fight me in my own backyard all he’s doing is delivering me those belts by hand.

‘It’s dog eat dog in the ring, and this dog has got a bigger bite. He’ll be leaving New York empty-handed,’ he said.

Although the  lacks the star power of Fury or Wilder, his way with words will certainly be of benefit to the promotional push (even though the fight falls on the same day as the Champions League final).

In reality though, he will be a massive underdog. The opponents he’s faced are vastly inferior to AJ and the Brit will fancy his chances of a quick finish.

Joshua has fought superior fighters to Miller and will come in as a huge favourite

Joshua has fought superior fighters to Miller and will come in as a huge favourite

What’s with the nickname?

Miller gave himself the strange appellation as an amateur.

He used to play up to it, walking to the ring wearing a bib, nappy and sucking on dummy. Very odd.

Where are they fighting?

Madison Square Garden. An iconic name in fight sports, located in Manhattan.

Four venues have shared the name over the years, the first way back in 1879. It has become synonymous with enormous fights, from Jake LaMotta vs Sugar Ray Robinson to Joe Louis vs Rocky Marciano.

The current iteration of the Garden opened in 1968 and is also home to the New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Rangers (NHL).

Joshua is accustomed to packing out Wembley but the Garden can only hold 20,000 spectators for boxing. That said, he is looking forward to a change of scenery and the chance to add his name to the list of decorated fighters to compete in the arena.

‘I will be fighting at the legendary Madison Square Garden. I plan to embrace the culture and leave with an appetite for more,’ he said.

Eddie Hearn is keen to build Joshua’s notoriety across the pond and sees this as a perfect opportunity to do so.

 

EDITED FROM: dailymail.co.uk


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