By Lem Satterfield
Unbeaten 6-foot-4, 300-plus-pound Jarrell “Baby” Miller has “no roadblocks” preventing negotiations to fight WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder, lineal champion Tyson Fury or IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO counterpart Anthony Joshua, his promoter, Dmitry Salita, told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-6 Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) is aligned with English promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom USA and the DAZN streaming service, on which Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) has won his past two fights by second- and fourth-round knockouts over former champion Tomasz Adamek and Bogdan Dinu in October and November.
The 6-foot-7 Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) is advised by powerful Al Haymon of Haymon Boxing, which has three- and four-year deals with the Showtime and FOX networks.
Last month on Showtime, Wilder battled to a draw with the 6-foot-9 Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), who rose from ninth- and 12th-round knockdowns as “The Bronze Bomber” failed to earn his eighth knockout in as many title defenses at The Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Wilder and Fury appear to be headed for a rematch in 2019, although rumors have circulated that Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, may be seeing an all-English bout with Joshua.
“There are no road locks to fighting Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury. The heavyweight division is in great shape, and there are lots of good fights that can be made. Can Jarrell fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury? Of course he can fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury,” said Salita, who has promoted Miller since the Brooklyn, New York, native’s second professional fight.
“The Deontay Wider fight with Miller would show the world who the best American heavyweight is, and, Miller versus Fury, I feel would be two of the best personalities in boxing bring tremendous excitement to the heavyweight division by talking trash to one another in an exciting fashion. Jarrell wants to fight Joshua, Wilder and Fury – he wants to fight the best."
Also last month with Joshua sitting at ringside last month at O2 Arena in London, English contender Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) stopped Dereck Chisora in the 11th round of is fifth knockout during nine straight victories since falling to Joshua by seventh-round TKO in December 2015. Based on what happened, Whyte believed himself to be on track for a return bout with Joshua.
But as previously reported, Whyte said he no longer feels assured of the Joshua rematch, citing industry chatter that Joshua could make his American debut against Miller at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May.
As proof of his assertion that Joshua’s seeking to avoid him, Whyte cited “AJ’s” reported rejection of a $50 million offer to face Wilder in negotiations that took place pre-Fury.
Promoter Lou DiBella addressed the notion of a Joshua-Miller fight during a Tuesday podcast with Tha Boxing Voice hosted by Nestor Gibbs, Ronald Goodman, Michael Gross and Mario Mungia.
“I think for Joshua, there’s going to be some pressure on Joshua, if and when he doesn’t Wilder or Fury—and I personally don’t think he will – I think there’s going to be some pressure on him to do something dramatic in the states.I also think Eddie Hearn needs to do something dramatic for DAZN," said DiBella.
"I’ve read some stuff from Dillian Whyte recently -- and I think Dillian Whyte is pretty much a straight shooter -- where he said I don’t think I’m necessarily next in line. He said that AJ may look to Jarrell Miller in the states, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Jarrell Miller doesn't get his shot with AJ someplace in America."
Salita acknowledged ongoing talks for a clash between Miller and Joshua.
“We’ve had discussions about Jarrell fighting Anthony Joshua for about a year. There’s been discussions of them fighting in New York, there have been discussions of them fighting in England," said Salita.
"There was mentions of Jarrell being in the mix with a few other names as a possible fight for Joshua. In this go around, there have been discussions but nothing concrete. We'll see what happens in the not too distant future."