By Keith Idec
Anthony Joshua sat ringside Saturday night for Canelo Alvarez’s debut at a sold-out Madison Square Garden.
The British superstar so enjoyed his Garden and New York experiences that he has embraced the idea of making his American debut there in the spring. Multiple sources have informed BoxingScene.com that Joshua is more than willing to fight trash-talking, Brooklyn-based heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden this spring.
World Boxing News was the first to report Monday that Joshua is seriously contemplating boxing Miller in his next fight in the United States. That report stated a Joshua-Miller match could take place at Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but BoxingScene.com has learned Joshua wants to fight at The Garden after his experience there Saturday night.
A capacity crowd of 20,112 attended a card headlined by Alvarez’s third-round knockout of England’s Rocky Fielding in a fight for Fielding’s WBA world super middleweight title.
A Joshua-Miller match could take place some time in June at Madison Square Garden, sources have confirmed, so that Joshua’s next fight won’t occur during the same month DAZN will stream Alvarez’s next fight. Alvarez is expected to return to the ring May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but Alvarez and promoter Oscar De La Hoya haven’t settled on an opponent or whether that fight will be contested at middleweight or super middleweight.
DAZN signed Alvarez to a five-year, 11-fight deal in October that could become worth $365 million.
DAZN also is expected to stream Joshua’s next fight in the United States. Sky Sports and Joshua have an exclusive deal to broadcast his fights in the United Kingdom.
Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, have tentatively scheduled Joshua’s next fight for April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London. The IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO champion helped draw a crowd in excess of 80,000 to Wembley Stadium for his last fight, a seventh-round stoppage of WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOS) on September 22.
His April 13 appearance at Wembley reportedly was part of a two-fight deal for Joshua to fight there. British rival Dillian Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) has been considered the front-runner to face Joshua on April 13 because a heavyweight title unification fight against WBC champ Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) isn’t expected to take place next.
Whyte would first have to defeat Dereck Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) in their rematch Saturday night at O2 Arena in London. A fight against Whyte would not only do big business in the UK, it’d also satisfy Joshua’s mandatory obligation with the WBO.
Sources have confirmed, though, that Hearn is seriously considering staging an Amir Khan-Kell Brook bout April 13 at Wembley Stadium instead of Joshua’s next fight.
Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) has not yet agreed to box Brook (38-2, 26 KOs). If Hearn’s increased offer is enough to entice Khan to take that huge domestic showdown over a shot at WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, it likely would be staged at Wembley Stadium on April 13.
Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. has offered Khan a $5 million guarantee to challenge Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), perhaps as soon as March 23 at Madison Square Garden, in what would be an ESPN Pay-Per-View main event. Khan could make considerably more than that by battling Brook, even if a deal for a Crawford fight afforded Khan the option of keeping all of the Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view money that ordinarily would be split among both boxers.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.