Anthony Joshua: Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury fight would not be held up

Why Anthony Joshua could benefit from Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder falling through

Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua insists a future meeting with WBC champion Deontay Wilder or fellow Briton Tyson Fury will not be held up by television companies.

Joshua, Wilder and Fury are now signed to rival US broadcasters, making future negotiations arguably more difficult.

"Broadcasters are a platform to make our dreams come true," Joshua said.

Joshua will fight in the US for the first time when he defends his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Jarrell Miller.

The pair will meet in New York on 1 June at the iconic Madison Square Garden - also the site of Tuesday's news conference.

Joshua, 29, says he will "beat and knock out" 30-year-old American Miller - who began Tuesday's encounter by using both hands to shove Joshua and send him stumbling backwards on the stage - before turning his attention back to a unification bout.

Anthony Joshua: Jarrell Miller shoves Anthony Joshua in fiery press conference

A meeting with Wilder seemed inevitable after Joshua beat WBA champion Wladimir Klitschko and WBO champion Joseph Parker to add those titles to his IBF crown, but the pair were not able to agree terms and the fight is yet to materialise.

Wilder went on to face Fury in December, retaining his belt after an enthralling draw in Los Angeles which has left both men - and the public - eager for a rematch.

Joshua has opted to face unfancied Miller, who has 23 wins and a draw but has never fought for a world title.

"We've been trying to negotiate with Wilder since I fought Carlos Takam in 2018 so these things have already taken time," Joshua said on Tuesday.

"We've come close, had a date booked, an offer in place, so there is no reason why these fights can't take place."

Miller has 19 wins in a row following a draw in 2013
Miller has 19 wins in a row following a draw in 2013

But the heavyweight landscape is complicated after Fury signed a deal with a US network worth a reported £80m.

The deal, which is understood to cover Fury's next five fights, will mean his bouts are broadcast on ESPN in the US while remaining on BT Sport in the UK.

Wilder's fights are broadcast on Showtime in the US, while Joshua is signed to the DAZN streaming service.

"If I want to fight Wilder or Fury it is up to the broadcasters to make these dreams happens - everyone benefits," added Joshua.

"I've done a deal before where HBO, Showtime and Sky worked together. It has been done before and we can do it again.

"Broadcasters won't hold this fight up."

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn added: "I believe there is a way to make those fights happen."

'Miller's the softest puncher in the heavyweight division'

Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday
The pair sat on stage alongside promoter Eddie Hearn and television executives

Joshua's choice of recent opponents, and his decision to face Miller, have received some criticism.

But the Watford-born fighter says it is a strategic step as he aims to be considered as one of the sport's greatest heavyweights.

"Me beating Miller may not make sense on 1 June but it may make sense in five years. Everything is building towards creating that legacy," he said.

"I could hype him up but I will keep it real. Miller can't punch, he hasn't got that much of a good work-rate, I'll throw more output punches.

"He's been knocked out seven times, he's the softest puncher in the heavyweight division.

"He's done nothing as a fighter in the amateur ranks or as a professional. And he will come up against a real champion.

"There is no fairytale story - the facts and stats show I will beat Miller and knock him out. That's the truth in plain sight."

Joshua wanted an easier fight - Miller

For Miller, who hails from nearby Brooklyn, his first appearance at Madison Square Garden will represent the biggest fight of his career and a jump up in class.

Miller began Tuesday's news conference by describing his tough upbringing in "the ghetto", insisting that is what drives him to succeed in professional boxing.

"This is bigger than AJ, bigger than me, than MSG. This is huge," he said.

"It's bigger than money. For many years I didn't know what I was doing with my life, being a knucklehead, I had no idea other than going to the gym.

"I had this anger and fire in my stomach, I had dreams aged 11, 12, 13 that I was a warrior and that I was here for something."

In their first face-to-face public meeting, the man nicknamed 'Big Baby' tried to intimidate Joshua from the moment he pushed the Briton seconds after the pair appeared on stage.

He continually aimed barbs at Joshua - calling him a "prima donna", "barbie doll" and "prom queen" as well as other more crude insults - and constantly talked over Joshua as he answered questions.

Miller eventually decided to walk off stage, allowing Joshua - who stayed calm but looked annoyed by his opponent's behaviour - to continue talking without interruption.

"People call me the underdog but that's good. People call people from the hood and the ghetto underdogs all the time," Miller had explained earlier.

"I wasn't born with a silver spoon, I was born with these hands.

"I've worked hard for this. He didn't want this fight, he wanted an easy fight first, he wanted Dillian Whyte.

"He has got to earn to sit at my table. This is the gutter table, not the posh table. He can be the pretty boy but I'll grind it out."


Luke Reddy, BBC Sport boxing reporter:

Joshua has never been one to talk down a rival or immerse himself in the theatre of a heated news conference. But Miller has threatened to get under his skin before and seems to be doing the same here, if indeed this is real.

When Miller heard his rival curse on Tuesday, he screamed with delight: "That's what I want, to bring the real AJ out".

Part of me thinks that serves everybody. Joshua's clean-cut, corporate public persona isn't really keeping all his fans onside, even if it is respectful in this often ugly game.

So a bit of anger, a touch of beef and some raw emotion will maybe show off another side to the champion. As he looks to impress the US market for the first time, maybe making a noise - literally - will help get the job done.

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