By Keith Idec
Handicappers have made Anthony Joshua at least an 8-1 favorite over Jarrell Miller.
Deontay Wilder thinks those experts have underestimated Miller, who’ll challenge Joshua for his heavyweight titles June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion is convinced that the 6-feet-4, 315-pound Miller can upset the 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua when they meet in a DAZN main event for the English icon’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles.
Miller is a tough volume puncher who has displayed a reliable chin, sturdy enough, according to Wilder, to withstand Joshua’s power for 12 rounds and win a decision.
“I think he’s got a good chance,” Wilder told BoxingScene.com. “I do. I don’t think Joshua has a tough style to fight against. I mean, you done seen many of his previous opponents – you know, if it wasn’t for the ref, we probably could’ve seen different results in the fight. Especially in the [Joseph] Parker fight, that referee was horrible. That was horrible. The [Carlos] Takam fight, too. But I do give Jarrell a chance to beat him, especially if he can get him to the stage of where [Joshua] gets real fatigued, like Klitschko had him, on the ropes.
“I think if he gets fatigued, Jarrell will finish him off. I can see Jarrell winning by points and maybe even, you know, sneaking in there and knocking him out. But I can see Joshua knocking him out for sure. I can see him knocking [Miller] out more than I can see him winning on points. But I can see Jarrell Miller winning by decision and I can see Anthony Joshua winning by knockout.”
Wilder wants to beat Joshua himself. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native suspects, though, there’s a chance Joshua will have at least one loss on his record by the time they actually meet in the ring. If Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) upsets Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) on June 1, he will owe the 2012 Olympic gold medalist an immediate rematch.
“What would happen is,” Wilder said, “they will take Miller back to the UK and make sure they do everything they can do to avoid Miller doing what he did before. So, they’ll probably get another crappy ref to get in there, so that Joshua will win his title back. Because they don’t want this fight to go away. They probably would lose leverage, but the fight would definitely happen. They would need me even more then. I’ve played that scenario in my head. I can see it going that way, where he loses, but he regains the titles back because he takes Jarrell Miller over to England for the rematch.”
Meanwhile, Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) appears headed toward making a mandatory defense of his WBC crown against Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) on May 18. Showtime is expected to televise the Wilder-Breazeale bout from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.