Anthony Joshua will make his United States debut in a defence of his three world title belts against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on June 1, it can be revealed. The bout will take place at historic fight venue Madison Square Garden in New York after their management teams and promoters finalised terms on Friday.
An official announcement is expected from the two undefeated fighters’ respective promoters Eddie Hearn and Dmitry Salita within the next 48 hours, with the Briton expected to earn in the region of $25 million (£19.3m), with Miller believed to be earning around $7m (£5.41m).
Joshua’s debut in the United States will be shown on DAZN, the digital streaming service launched five months ago that has also signed Mexican middleweight star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on an 11-fight, $365 million deal.
DAZN showed the Briton’s seventh-round knockout victory over the Russian Alexander Povetkin last September, but Joshua’s previous contests in the USA have been aired on Showtime. The Joshua-Miller fight is expected to be shown on Sky Box Office in the UK, likely to be confirmed early next week.
Joshua, who holds the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles, had been expected to defend the belts against Briton Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium on April 13. But, as revealed by The Daily Telegraph last week, the two sides could not agree on the finances, or drug testing conditions.
Whyte determined from his negotiations with Hearn and Joshua that they had had favoured the fight at Madison Square Garden – where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had the first of their famous trilogy in 1971 – for some months. Hearn refuted that publicly when asked, insisting that three offers and a £5milliond pot had been put to Whyte to fight his fellow Londoner.
Joshua, undefeated after 22 fights, with twenty-one knockouts, faces 30-year-old Miller, who has also competed at the highest level as a kick-boxer, and is unbeaten himself in 24 boxing contests, with twenty KOs. Miller is ranked No 2 by the WBA and No 4 by the WBO. Joshua will be making a seventh consecutive world defence. Miller, in his last five outings, has beaten four former world title challengers in Gerald Washington, Mariusz Wach, Johann Duhaupas and Tomasz Adamek.
It will be a busy period for boxing in New York with the prospect of the World Boxing Council heavyweight title rematch between champion Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury taking place there in April or May, in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center – though that is still to be confirmed – and Amir Khan set to face WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford MSG on April 20.
Whyte, meanwhile, is expected to face Povetkin, Luis Ortiz, or Dominic Breazeale at the O2 Arena, London, on April 20. Breazeale is mandatory challenger for Wilder’s WBC crown, while Whyte is ranked No 1 challenger by the WBC.