By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Jarrell Miller reiterated Tuesday that Anthony Joshua drives a hard bargain.
Turns out that Miller did quite well for himself at the negotiating table, too. Multiple sources have confirmed to BoxingScene.com that Miller’s total compensation package for fighting Joshua on June 1 is approximately $6.5 million.
The unbeaten Brooklyn heavyweight will have to pay his co-promoters, Greg Cohen and Dmitriy Salita, out of that huge sum for his side of the deal. He still will walk away from their championship match with more money than Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn were willing to pay fellow Brit Dillian Whyte for a rematch against Joshua.
Miller didn’t discuss exactly how much money he’ll make for fighting Joshua when he spoke to a group or reporters before their press conference Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, the site of their fight. He did discuss at length what led England’s Whyte to walk away from a proposed April 13 rematch with Joshua at Wembley Stadium in London.
“What I’ve learned about AJ is he’s greedy when it comes to money,” Miller said. “And he could put [on] this nice-guy attitude and sell you a bullsh*t story, but he’s a prick. And I’m gonna explain to you the reason why, and this is one reason why he’s a prick. So, his initial offer to fight Dillian Whyte was about $3 million. Dillian Whyte said he wanted $6 [million]. He said, ‘No. He don’t deserve that. Blah, blah, blah.’ So, he says, ‘You know what? I’ll go to $5 [million].’ Dillian Whyte said, ‘I’ll take $5 [million].’ They came [back] at $3.5 [million], pushed a little more and they got $4 [million]. Dillian Whyte said they’ll accept the $4 million. But [Whyte said], ‘When I become heavyweight champ or I knock you out or beat you, the split goes 60-40 my way.’
“AJ says, ‘No. On the rematch, even if I lose, it’s still 60-40 for me.’ So how am I the champ and you’re gonna take initially more money than me if I beat you? That’s not how it goes, right? When I become the champ, I take the lion’s shares. That’s how it goes. So Dillian Whyte was mad at the whole situation and felt like he was getting punked, and I don’t blame the guy. I, 100-percent, ride with Dillian Whyte on that thing. If I become the champ, and I work for my position, like you have, I hold the cards and I get to pick where I wanna fight, I should be getting more percentage from the fight, picking the undercard. When AJ fights, he initially picks the undercard, who’s on the undercard and pay-per-view sales and the whole nine.”
The 29-year-old Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) knocked out Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) in the seventh round of their December 2015 fight at O2 Arena in London. The 30-year-old Whyte has gone 9-0 since losing to Joshua and has knocked out five of those opponents.
According to Miller, he still was the opponent of choice of executives for DAZN, which will stream their 12-round title fight live.
“So anyway, I wanted more money than Dillian Whyte was getting,” Miller said. “DAZN felt like it was a fight that needed to happen, so they came up with the rest of the money, on top of what AJ was offering. So I got basically close to what I wanted. Plus, I got [a percentage of revenue from] pay-per-view buys in the UK, over a certain amount. And the rematch is gonna be substantially a lot better, a lot bigger.
“But I had to still give up more than I wanted to because AJ doesn’t have that confidence in himself. He always feels like he can lose at any point, which is understandable. So, he’s trying to negotiate his next fight after that, if he loses, in a rematch. So that’s the kind of mentality, the type of person he is.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.