Anthony Joshua dropped his usual calm, amenable demeanour and promised to knock Jarrell Miller ‘the f*** out’ during their heated first press conference.
World heavyweight champion Joshua fights Miller in the New Yorker’s back garden at Madison Square Garden on June 1, and the Brit was given a fiery welcome to the city.
Brooklyn native ‘Big Baby’ Miller pushed Joshua and hurled foul language at him. Before the press conference started, the Briton jumped off the stage and gesticulated at a heckler in the crowd, before being ushered back by his team.
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Jarrell Miller pushed Anthony Joshua at the start of their fiery press conference in New York
Joshua dropped his usual amenable demeanour and promised to knock Miller ‘the f*** out’
Brooklyn native ‘Big Baby’ Miller pushed Joshua and hurled foul language at him
After the early theatrics and lengthy introductions, Miller was the first to speak. After a lengthy speech about his upbringing, family and religion, AJ took the microphone – and his mask had truly slipped.
Joshua said: ‘Unbelievable acting, I nearly had a tear in my eye, f***ing hell. Thank you so much for having me. Miller’s a little b****, I’m going to knock him the f*** out, he punches like a fairy.’
Miller cut in and called Joshua an ‘Uncle Tom’, a racially charged term for black people who give up or hide their ethnic traits and practices in order to be accepted into the mainstream.
Miller called Joshua an ‘Uncle Tom’, a highly racially charged term, amid other insults
Joshua has behaved with impeccable restraint in the cauldron of the fight game since leaving behind his troubled past and going on to win Olympic gold and four of the heavyweight belts.
His reaction in New York suggests that for once an opponent has got under his skin.
He constantly referred to himself as the ‘landlord’, in New York to collect Miller’s ‘rent’, in reference to his box office status compared to the lesser known Miller.
Joshua said: ‘Jarrell can’t beat me, not even on his best day. In terms of promotion, I’m the champion, he’s the challenger, this is the first time he’s headlining a show. I’m the landlord, I’m collecting the rent.’
The pair had to be kept apart at the start of their press conference for the June 1 fight
Miller retorted that Joshua had not fought decent opposition to this point, claiming that he was dodging Fury and Deontay Wilder, and that he wanted to fight Dillian Whyte first for easy money.
He said: ‘He fought nobody for the belt, he beat Klitchko after he spent two years out of the ring, he beat nobody. He’s made of baby-s***.
‘He beat Povetkin, Klitschko with ring rust, he’s done stuff, but he ain’t beating me. I’m not playing a role’.
Miller then stood up and left the stage first, leaving Joshua to field questions alone. The Watford-born fighter, rather than talking up the clash, denegrated his opponent’s abilities.
The Watford-born fighter, rather than talking up the clash, denegrated his opponent’s abilities
He said: ‘Big Baby, he’s like a parrot, talks the same s***. I thought he would be smarter than that. He’s stupid and ignorant. I could hype it up and talk s***, but Miller can’t punch, he’s coming up against a real fighter.
‘I’m not here to talk s***, it’s truth in plain sight, I’ll beat Miller and knock him out. Me beating Miller may not make sense on June 1 but it will make sense in 5 years, it’s all part of the legacy.’
Joshua also said he wanted to fight Wilder next, despite broadcasting deals threatening to keep him, the American and Fury apart for the foreseeable future.
Miller left the stage early, leaving Joshua to field the hostile New York atmosphere alone
He said: ‘We’ve been trying to negotiate with Wilder since I fought Takam, we had the date booked, an offer in place. My first dream was to fight Wilder at Wembley. If I want to fight them, it’s up to the broadcasters to work together, they won’t hold this fight up.
‘I just gave him [Miller] some cheeseburgers and he was ready, it was a simple negotiation.
‘I’m just fighting to have fun, I’m not here to win a popularity contest. I don’t expect to be one of the greats, you have to do it for your own reasons.
‘Just give me time, I’ll beat them all, I’ve done it half the time. Wilder’s had 40 fights, Fury’s had 11 years and one good fight which makes him a boxing god, I’ve come up and fought everyone since my 16th fight, I’ve got nothing to prove. If you can’t see it then I can’t preach to the blind. Miller’s just someone else in my way, and when I beat Wilder after him, I carry on fighting for the love of it.’
Joshua also said he would knock out Miller ‘probably in the seventh round, he can’t go second half of a fight.’
Joshua said he would knock out Miller ‘ in the seventh round, he can’t go second half of a fight’