Jarrell Miller: Anthony Joshua’s worst nightmare? Can “Big Baby’s” heart result in championship glory?
Miller talks the talk, and on June 1st the man with 20 knockout wins could pull off the ultimate upset.
If last Monday afternoon was any indication, Anthony Joshua v. Jarrell Miller on June 1st inside Madison Square Garden should be one hell of a show. Perhaps we as fans and media were spoiled, as no boxing press conference has been that entertaining since the McGregor v. Mayweather meetups. Unlike the various controversial war of words those two had, this scrap actually mattered.
The bout will be for Joshua’s (22-0) WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight Titles. For Jarrell Miller (23-0-1), this fight is more about tiles, the promotion he will be fighting under, or even Madison Square Garden. According to Miller, this is for the ones that are considered the underdogs, those who have lost it all. Just like the press conference, Miller has been raised to stay true and to defy boxing’s norms.
“The more that you understand what boxing is. All that humble, that fake sh*t — he puts on. Boxing is not a humble sport,” Miller stated. “I will leave it with this, we are all going to die one day. I have lost five people this year. That’s what keeps me humble.”
Miller’s fire and his experience in and out of the ring have prepared for this very moment. At the age of 14, the Brooklyn-born Miller learned Muay Thai and at 16 he started boxing. He became a well-known amateur fighter, while also mixing it up with kickboxing. Going 21-2 in kickboxing, Miller’s overall ability may shock some due to his frame. “Big Baby” has been known to shock the combat sports world in the past, however.
With 20 wins via knockout, Miller matches pretty evenly with Joshua’s 21. If there is one type of fighter that is dangerous, it is one that has nothing to lose. Joshua can lose his title and undefeated streak. For Miller, it is all about doing what he can to provide for his family and to prove himself as the very best. Has his early experience truly prepared him for this superfight? Speaking to AB BOXING NEWS, Miller believes that Joshua lacks what makes a strong fighter, which can ultimately be his downfall.
“When you come out of the trenches, you know what to expect,” Miller stated. “You can throw dirt and mud on me and I’m still going to bring it. When you’re used to being pretty and idolized and you get a little dirt on you, you get frantic. Once you’ve built a certain kind of way mentally, ain’t nothing going to beat you. Fighting is more mental than physical.”
Does Miller truly stand a chance against the mighty Anthony Joshua? Looking closely, it doesn’t seem like a fantasy. After all, many expected Deontay Wilder to take out Tyson Fury, and after Fury pulled an Undertaker a potential rematch is on the table. Let us not also forget the recent matchups that have taken place. While Miller took a lot of damage from Bogdan Dinu, he eventually warmed up and knocked Dinu down in the fourth round of their bout. He also took control of his bout against Tomasz Adamek, knocking him out in the second round of their fight.
One of the key traits of Miller is his willingness to play it close to the vest; moving closer to his opponent to give him the true reach advantage. On the other side of the coin, Joshua doesn’t always like to move closer to his opponent unless he absolutely needs to. Let’s look at his past two bouts as well. In Joshua’s previous fights, he was either unable to put his opponent away (Joseph Parker) or struggled at the beginning before finding his groove (Alexander Povetkin). If Miller can find a weakness in Joshua’s game early, it will be all over for the champion.
This fight is something many didn’t expect. Jarrell Miller is just taking the path he truly believes is worth taking.
“There were many years that I didn’t know what I was doing with my life,” Miller went on to say. “I’ve always had this anger and drive in my stomach though that would keep me going. I knew that I must be fighting for something. Man, God has a plan for everybody, remember that. It’s bigger than me though, and AJ is just in my way.”
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