By Keith Idec
Beating Tomasz Adamek on Saturday night would at least keep Jarrell Miller in position to eventually challenge Anthony Joshua.
Miller might have to wait at least another year for that opportunity, assuming they continue to win. However long it takes to secure the title shot he seeks, Miller will try to aggravate Joshua as much as possible.
“I don’t like what he stands for and I don’t like him,” Miller told Sky Sports. “I want to break his jaw.”
Brooklyn’s Miller confronted England’s Joshua in July, when they attended a press conference in New York to officially announce DAZN’s launch in the United States. Joshua and Miller were separated on the stage that day, and Miller walked away from their confrontation feeling as though he now has some sort of advantage over the unbeaten British superstar.
“I smelled fear,” Miller said. “He’s been protected all the time. They gave him the Olympics [in 2012], they gave him easy fights. It’s another thing when you have someone who had to earn and strive for everything. That’s me.
“I’m an animal. I’m a nice guy, but I’m going for his neck. I’m going for the jugular. I smell it on him. He sees somebody who’s not afraid. Every time I see him, I will bully him.”
Nevertheless, Joshua is expected to fight someone other than Miller, perhaps British rival Dillian Whyte, on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London. If the heavily favored Miller beats Adamek, the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion’s schedule would require him to fight at least once more before he’d have a realistic chance to face Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs).
“Miller is a real threat to the heavyweight division,” Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, told Sky Sports. “A big puncher, huge in size and very, very strong.
“He’s more durable than he looks. Of course he wants a shot at Anthony Joshua – everybody does. But I think his next move, realistically, is to challenge for the WBA ‘regular’ title. Then he can try and force a fight with Joshua towards the end of 2019.”
The scheduled 12-round bout between the 30-year-old Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs) and the 41-year-old Adamek (53-5, 31 KOs) will be streamed live by DAZN from DePaul University’s Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
Former WBO welterweight champ Jessie Vargas (28-2-1, 10 KOs) will meet Thomas Dulorme (24-3, 16 KOs) in the 12-round main event. Undercard coverage of DAZN’s show is set to start at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.