Anthony Joshua’s decision to fight in Jarrell Miller’s home city of New York is “risky”, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, but will lead to him making a “major statement”.
Joshua will put his IBF, WBA ‘super’ and WBO heavyweight titles on the line in Madison Square Garden against ‘Big Baby’ Miller on June 1 in his US debut.
Joshua has previously headlined four consecutive stadium events but Hearn is confident he can recreate that atmosphere abroad, saying: “Hopefully we are going to take the lion’s den with us.
“It is a risky affair, in that respect, because he is used to his home comforts – 90,000 at Wembley and 80,000 at the Principality Stadium a couple of times each.
“Now he goes to the Mecca of boxing, the iconic Madison Square Garden, where the great heavyweights have performed – Ali, Frazier, Louis, Marciano, Tyson.
“It is a major moment for his career. It has probably come earlier than we expected but he goes there on June 1, and it will be a major statement to the world.”
The unbeaten ‘Big Baby’ confronted Joshua at a DAZN press conference last year leading to a heated confrontation, and Hearn expects more fireworks during the build-up to their fight.
“It is a tough fight but also a new experience,” Hearn said. “He is going into Miller’s backyard. Miller is from Brooklyn. He is going to have big support, and he has a big mouth! They already have some history.
“Miller is a huge personality and huge is stature – he is about 22 stone. Bizarrely he has an unbelievable work-rate as well. He will be a problem in the ring.
“He has called for this fight. He has been controversial and has landed a few low blows. It didn’t go down well. There was a reason – he wanted this fight and he has got his wish. They say ‘be careful what you wish for’.
“The good news for Miller is that he gets this fight in his back yard.”
Joshua’s ultimate desire to unify the heavyweight division was reiterated but WBC champion Deontay Wilder is set to confirm a rematch with Tyson Fury after they battled to a draw in December.