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Anthony Joshua will struggle for sparring partners, according to promoter

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Eddie Hearn believes it will be difficult for Anthony Joshua to find sparring partners with the same blend of size, speed and power as Jarrell Miller.

The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion is scheduled to face the undefeated American at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on June 1. Both boxers are expected to spend portions of their training camps in Florida.

“It’s very difficult. I’m very hands-on in that respect, and I get involved with sparring. We select sparring partners between [Joshua’s trainer] Rob McCracken, AJ’s training team, and AJ and me,” the Matchroom Boxing boss said to Sky Sports.

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“To find a 23-stone guy, who moves fast, who has fast hands, who has a great engine, who forces the pressure, is very, very difficult.

“It’s impossible, to be honest, to [imitate] Jarrell Miller, in terms of weight, size, speed, feet, everything. We’re going to get as close as we can.

“We feel as though we’ve got a decent selection of guys.

“[Joshua] is very focused, he’s in a great place right now, he’s in Sheffield. He’ll probably do another three or four weeks there before he goes to Florida, and he’s got the bit between his teeth.

“The build-up was spicy. I think you’re going to see a great performance from Anthony Joshua in this fight.”

Meanwhile Miller’s fellow Brooklynite Shannon Briggs has warned Joshua that he will be in for a torrid time against ‘Big Baby’.

“[Miller] is a phenomenal fighter, he is a real test for AJ,” Briggs warned. “He is a tough guy. He’s a locomotive, once he gets started it is hard to stop him. He will have to establish the jab early and, if ‘Big Baby’ gets warmed up, it could be a crazy night.

“[Joshua] is fighting undefeated guys and, only with 22 fights, he is at the top of his game.

“I predict this fight like this: It depends on the first round. Whoever is passive will lose.

“This had the making of a great fight because you have a guy who can box and a guy who is a slugger.”

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