By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Jarrell Miller spent nearly half an hour Tuesday trashing Anthony Joshua during an interview session with a small group of reporters prior to their press conference at Madison Square Garden.
When it was Joshua’s turn to talk later Tuesday, he fired back at the loquacious contender in a couple succinct sentences that encapsulated how he feels about his upcoming opponent. Miller might own an 83-percent knockout ratio, but Joshua obviously doesn’t consider the unbeaten Brooklyn native a legitimate threat to take his IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles when they square off June 1 at The Garden.
“He’s slow, he’s not a puncher,” Joshua said, “like a gorilla back, ex-kickboxer, probably would be better off in the NFL, substance abuse, got caught on PEDs. I can’t really respect that, so talk is cheap. You know? And I’m just gonna back it up in the ring, so yeah, I don’t really have much to say.”
The 29-year-old Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) said plenty while summing up his thoughts on Miller. Joshua’s PED reference was related to Miller testing positive for a banned substance in California while he was a professional kickboxer.
The British superstar continued by pointing out that he is much more tested against top opposition than Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs). The 2012 Olympic gold medalist has beaten former champions Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin in three of his past four fights.
The 6-feet-4, 315-pound Miller, 30, has defeated veterans Gerald Washington, Mariusz Wach, Johann Duhaupas, Tomasz Adamek and Bogdan Dinu since halting an 11-month layoff in July 2017. The 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua assures Miller that their fight will be more difficult than any of those bouts.
“With me, I think stats and facts don’t lie,” Joshua said. “Records have been broken here … my stats don’t lie, when you compare records. So it’s just jealousy, in my opinion. Just hate, for no reason. I respect my opponents. If they disrespect me, they get the worst of me as well, so it’s just negativity and hate in my opinion.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.