Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21) has been forced to face Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller 23-0-1 (20) because fight fans would rather watch a trilogy between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 40-0-1 (39) and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 27-0-1 (19).
At least that’s the opinion of former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
“Joshua right now has the number one spot,” Lewis told Fox Sport Radio. “But after the Fury and Wilder fight I think that it’s diminished.”
Last December at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Fury had to settle for a draw against Wilder after finding himself on the canvas twice late in the fight, including in the twelfth and final round to provide a thrilling conclusion to the fight.
The split draw result convinced the WBC to order an immediate rematch between the two which is currently being negotiated. According to Lewis it is the most anticipated fight in boxing.
“After that draw everybody wants to see that fight again and there could be a third one,” Lewis said. “That has left Joshua hanging on the shelf, now he is boxing some baby-face guy that nobody knows.
“No disrespect to baby-face but nobody knows him.”
The 29-year-old Joshua meanwhile has praise Miller ahead of his USA debut in the middle of the year.
“It has been an honour and a blessing to fight at some of the best venues in the world at home in the UK, not least Wembley Stadium, but the time has come to head across the Atlantic and defend my heavyweight titles in the USA,” Joshua said.
“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.”
The 300-pound Miller, 30, is talking a good fight but will be taking a leap up in class to face the undefeated Englishman.
“It’s dog-eat-dog in the ring and this dog has got a bigger bite, he’ll be leaving New York empty-handed,” Miller said.