By Lem Satterfield
Jarrell “Baby” Miller said Eddie Hearn “has put his money where his mouth is,” calling the Englishman's Matchroom USA “probably the most professional promotional company I’ve ever worked with.”
But Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) expressed frustration at his failure to land 6-foot-6 IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) of England, who is also aligned with Hearn and the DAZN streaming service, calling Joshua "a prima donna" who "wants easy money" rather than "hard fights with me or anybody tough."
The 6-foot-4, 300-plus-pound Brooklyn native is optimistic that a clash with WBC counterpart Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) "can happen" despite potential network negotiations’ sticking points: The 6-foot-7 Wilder's advised by powerful Al Haymon of Haymon Boxing, which has three- and four-year deals with the Showtime and FOX networks.
In the meantime, Miller is pleased with DAZN’s broadcasting his past two victories by second- and fourth-round stoppage over former champion Tomasz Adamek and Bogdan Dinu in October and November.
“I’m not in the world best place as a heavyweight, but I’m certainly not in the world’s worst place either, and DAZN has stepped up to the plate and given me two great fights. I’m big on loyalty, so if anything, my obligation is to give them a first and last [option on his next fight] and take it from there,” said Miller, who has stopped 11 of his past 12 opponents.
“Matchroom is a great company, probably the most professional promotional company I’ve ever worked with. Eddie has put his money where his mouth is, so whatever Matchroom and DAZN comes up with, we’re definitely going to negotiate. But I think my first place that I would want to sign with is DAZN based on respect and honor, and I believe they’re taking me in the right direction.”
In earlier report by BoxingScene.com, Miller’s promoter, Dmitry Salita, said “no roadblocks” prevent negotiations to fight Joshua, Wilder or 6-foot-9 lineal champion Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), who rose from ninth- and 12th-round knockdowns during last month's draw with Wilder on Showtime.
“The Bronze Bomber” failed to earn his eighth knockout in as many title defenses at The Staples Center in Los Angeles, and appears to be headed for a rematch with Fury in 2019.
"I believe the Deontay Wilder fight can happen, but for me to say what network it would happen on, I can't say. That's called 'negotiations.' Whoever comes to the table with the most money, that's going to be the network that gets the fight," said Miller.
"But with that draw against Tyson Fury, I think Deontay's going back and try to clean that up. I think that's a great fight. But right now, my names is out there wherever I go, so that's great that people are bringing me up. I welcome it, but AJ is one of the biggest sissies I've ever seen. He's a prima donna."
Miller and Joshua were at ringside last month at O2 Arena in London where English contender Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) stopped Dereck Chisora in the 11th round of his fifth knockout during nine straight victories since falling to Joshua by seventh-round TKO in December 2015.
“When I went to England, there was mad security everywhere and only one time that I got near AJ when I was doing an interview with Sky Sports. When I have managed to get close to Joshua, I’ve seen nothing but big s*** in his eyes," said Miller.
"He tries to play this humble, non-confrontational guy behind closed doors, but he’s a turd. I would much rather you be a scumbag to my face than behind my back. But when I finally step to him, I’m going to be a bully, because he’s not built for this. He’s just a good boy.”
Based on what happened against Chisora, 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.
"There is truth to [the notion of a Joshua-Miller fight at MSG,] but remember, AJ said he wanted Deontay, and when Deontay reached out to him, AJ didn’t want to make the fight happen," said Miller, referring to Joshua's reported rejection of a $50 million offer to face Wilder in negotiations that took place pre-Fury. "But I don't think our fight [with Joshua] will happen in the first six months of this year. I think he'll fight Dillian Whyte, and then, I might get to knock his ass out in the second half of the year."
Miller won’t believe Joshua’s pursuing him until contracts are signed and he’s staring across the ring at the 2012 Olympic gold medalist.
“AJ don’t want no hard fights with me or anybody tough. AJ wants easy money right now,” said Miller. “AJ knows how to feed the fans what they want to hear at that moment and only says what he wants to say when it sounds good, but if you go back and watch every one of AJ’s interviews posted on Youtube, he reneges on everything he says.”