Boxing: Anthony Joshua to defend heavyweight titles against Jarrell Miller

Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles against New York's Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden on June 2 (NZ time).      

After abandoning plans to fight again at Wembley Stadium on April 14, when Dillian Whyte was expected to be his opponent, he will instead attempt to join the US market, where rivals Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have become increasingly influential. 

The 29-year-old last fought in September, also at Wembley, securing one of his finest victories by stopping Russia's Alexander Povetkin in seven rounds.    

Miller is not recognised as one of the world's leading heavyweights, but he has been in contention to fight Joshua for the past year.

"The time has come to head across the Atlantic and defend my heavyweight titles in the USA," the champion said on his website.   

"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 is expected to be paid a career-high purse, despite the 30-year-old Miller's status and the likelihood of the Wilder-Fury rematch taking place just a fortnight before on May 19, potentially in the same city.

"AJ is making a huge mistake coming over here to fight me in my own backyard," said Miller, undefeated in 24 professional fights.  

"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."           

Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, who has been criticised for the delay in finalising his latest fight, added: "When you look at the heavyweight greats that have graced the renowned 'Mecca of Boxing', the names of Ali, Frazier, Marciano and Tyson stand firm and June 1 will be when the world will witness AJ's turn."      

PA

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Boxing: Anthony Joshua to defend heavyweight titles against Jarrell Miller