Anthony Joshua takes Lennox Lewis advice, aims to conquer US market
Anthony Joshua is announcing his heavyweight title defense for June 1 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
WBN has been informed that the fight is signed and sealed despite being Joshua’s fourth choice encounter.
Initially, Joshua had offered huge paydays to Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. But the lack of a split deal ended any realistic hopes the Briton had of facing a solid challenger.
A promised fight with Dillian Whyte, which Joshua said would happen at a live event, also failed to materialize.
Step forward, Jarrell Miller. A 300 pound plus puncher will little to no hope of causing an upset.
Joshua v Miller is a starter contest for the world champion. A clash he hopes will open the floodgates to untold fame and fortune on US soil.
Following rival Fury’s footsteps, Joshua is bidding to make his name belatedly with the skeptical American fans.
Joshua wants to alter views on him being a protected title holder in his own territory relatively unknown across the Atlantic.
The last undisputed heavyweight champion of the modern era, Lennox Lewis, pointed out this fact recently. The ‘Pugilist Specialist’ may have unwittingly played a key role in Joshua’s next move.
“Right now, Joshua is a big fish swimming in a little pond. They are using the model that the Klitschko’s had in Germany and applying it to England,” said Lewis.
“I’m not mad at that, but even the Klitschko’s fought in other countries. As a world champion, he has to come out of his comfort zone.
Miller himself is not really a big star. But is seen as a stepping stone to bigger things further down the line.
A win for Joshua this summer will initially lead to another UK fight later this year. However, it is a means to an end which could see ‘AJ’ fight stateside once per year until he finally nails down Wilder or Fury.
It’s a smart move. And one that is long overdue for Joshua, who one hundred percent needs to flip public perception of him – especially in the US.
Just twenty-two months ago, Joshua was the top division, the golden child. Following his win over Wladimir Klitschko, the sky was the limit for Joshua.
Since then, a lack of willingness to engage with Deontay Wilder hurt his reputation. Joshua stated he’d accept $50 million only to turn his back on a solid offer.
Fury, a fighter out of action for almost four years, stepped up and made Joshua’s decision look like a bad mistake.
The Miller fight is now damage control. Something only a crushing victory will begin to erase.
In securing the ‘Big Baby’ for a US debut, Joshua and his team are well aware that an early win is a distinct possibility.
Let the build-up begin.