Finally, Anthony Joshua has found his challenger.
The British boxer will put his WBA (super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts on the line when he marches into his next title-retention bid this time against Jarell Miller on June 1 at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
AJ made the official announcement on his website Wednesday night.
With the Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder rematch almost a locked in, Anthony Joshua lost two options for his next title-defence fight.
Dillian Whyte burst into the scene but declined an offer to fight the British sensation at Wembley on April 13. AJ and his camp decided to scrap the Wembley fight – with reports claiming that Wladimir Klitschko is stepping in as a possible replacement – and now his time has come to finally star in his first boxing fight in the US soil.
Joshua announced on his website that he would be squaring off with Jarell “Baby” Miller for the WBA (super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts on June 1, with the Madison Square Garden playing host to this exciting clash.
“The time has come to head across the Atlantic and defend my heavyweight titles in the USA.”
“I will be fighting at the legendary Madison Square Garden. I plan to embrace the culture and leave with an appetite for more.
“I am looking forward to taking on another challenge with a good boxer and 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 last saw actions in September, when he successfully defended his belts against Alexander Povetkin with a seventh-round technical knockout victory.
His promoter, Eddie Hearn tried to play spoiler in the Fury vs Wilder rematch as he flew to Los Angeles, California last December in an attempt to secure a massive clash between two heavyweight superstars, Joshua and Wilder, to no avail.
But the 30-year old Miller would also be a tough nut to crack for the defending champion. “Baby” has won 24 out of his 25 fights, with 21 of them via knockout. His most recent victory was against Bogdan Dinu last November for the interim WBA-NABA and vacant WBO-NABO heavyweight title.
Joshua has to dispatch his challenger in an emphatic fashion if he wants to make a big statement in his US debut. A knockout win would also give more pressure to Fury or Wilder during the negotiation process, should one of them fight AJ next.
As for Miller, he believed that AJ’s decision to head to the state is a big mistake.
“AJ is making a huge mistake coming over here to fight me in my own backyard.”
“He wants to announce himself on the American stage, but all he’s doing is delivering me those belts by hand. That punk ‘AJ’ is standing in the way of my dreams and on June 1, he’s getting run the hell over,” he warned.
Who do you think will win this match-up? Let us know in the comment section below.
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Jarell Miller)