By Callum Vurley, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY JOSHUA will not fight next in the United Kingdom because the fans will not be given what they truly want.
That is the verdict of boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who manages Joshua.
AJ has not fought since his victory over Alexander Povetkin in September at Wembley.
It was his 22nd professional bout, which he won in the seventh round - retaining his IBF, WBO, WBA and IBO heavyweight titles.
There were strong rumours that a fight against either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury were in the pipeline.
Either match would have boxing fans salivating - but negotiations failed and instead AJ will face Jarrell Miller at New York’s Madison Square Gardens in June.
It will be the first time the Watford-born fighter will appear outside out of the UK for a match.
And promoter Hearn has revealed that the 29-year-old must fight in the States to boost his profile.
“Our strategy to bring Joshua to the U.S has come early, we thought it would be later,” he said.
“But at the moment we can’t deliver the UK fans the fight they want, so we’ll box an American in his backyard.
"Once these Americans see Anthony Joshua in the ring and out of the ring he’s going to be a massive, massive star over there.”
Miller, known as “Big Baby”, is a former kick boxer and is also unbeaten in 23 fights.
Though he has yet to face anyone of the same ilk as Joshua, and many believe the fight will be a walkover for the Brit.
However, it comes as a wider strategy for Hearn’s Matchroom boxing, who signed a deal with streaming service DAZN last year.
“We see from the commercial deals and the TV deals that we have with him globally that he’s by far the biggest star, when you take America and the UK out which are probably the two biggest markets in boxing right now, he’s the biggest star in the sport,” Hearn added.
“But in America his profile is quite small to be honest with you. Fury and Wilder’s profile was the same size before their fight.
“Now Fury and Wilder’s profile has probably outgrown Joshua’s out there.
“He would prefer to still be fighting at Wembley on April 13 but we’ve got to a stage where [New York] now looks like the right thing to do, if we can get the deal over the line in the next few days, week then I’m very, very excited. I think it’s brilliant.”