AJ to fight Miller—spread the news

By Ben Thomsett on February 7, 2019
AJ to fight Miller—spread the news
Like Martin Sheen in a Cambodian river, Klitschko’s name had even surfaced. (Getty)

The division is not just one huge conveyor belt of compliant and thankful morsels, grilled lightly in butter and then dropped slowly into Joshua’s chiseled jaws…

“Why don’t they just listen to us?” said my friend. “Joshua needs to fight Wilder to save the division. Flying over to the US to punch that fool Miller around is ridiculous and demeaning.”

I sighed, but there was no reasoning with him. He’d read Twitter. He’d seen the water mark around the top of the boxing bath. He knew how thick the scum was and what it was going to take to remove it. Things really were going to be that easy. It was just that the promoters, the brokers, the sanctioning bodies, the agents, the press, and Anthony himself were all too stupid to see it.

He was, of course, deluded. And, despite owning a fully chained up and sand-filled $70 heavy bag, he is a moron who pays too much attention to social media. He is a boxing fan with his finger on the boxing zeitgeist, but he can’t remember where he left it. Probably under his collection of Men’s Health magazines. Fools like him are ten a penny.

On the face of things, it’s easy to get carried away with the sense of loss in the AJ/Wilder fight being unable to meet the pre-booked April Wembley Stadium date. The climb down from their ’80,000 fans’ arrogance must have been a hard swallow by Eddie Hearn. Rumors had surfaced of Anthony himself being angry to the point of apoplexy at Hearn’s failure to get him either Fury or Wilder, instead of letting them crucify his image as Champ by sucking up all the media attention in the division. And, God above, could a third fight even be on the horizon if their rematch proves lucrative enough?

The media had gone into fits of desperate rages, and even hallucinations. Like Martin Sheen in a Cambodian river, Wladimir Klitschko’s name had even surfaced. Sing it with me…“This is the end…” etc.

And now it seems to be Big Baby Miller who is next up to the trough. According to some, AJ stands to earn over $30,000,000 for a potential bout with Miller in New York. Eddie Hearn is quoted as saying that the cash pot is not just exclusively DAZN for this one. “DAZN, SKY Box Office and international TV. Every marketing and PR specialist says ‘You have to fight in America,’ and the timing is just right for this one,” he said, without a hint of a laugh, or sneer.

But we’re forgetting Miller in all of this. The division is not just one huge conveyor belt of compliant and thankful morsels, grilled lightly in butter and then dropped slowly into Joshua’s chiseled jaws. Miller is a good fighter, ranked number 3 by the WBO and 2 by the WBA. Only Dillian Whyte has an arguably better claim at a title shot against Joshua, if you discount Wilder and Fury.

When I first saw Miller step into a boxing ring I was reminded of dough; marshmallows; continental drift; missed gym sessions. That is until the first bell sounded. You’ve got to hand it to him, he really can move for larger gentleman. I like his different approach to the sport. He is a throwback, a stylistically grating presence in the division. And, don’t forget it, he is a good boxer. We need him.

When you see my friend, please tell him the heavyweight division is alive and well and chugging along as it should. Unlike his judgment.

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  1. Lucas McCain 11:01am, 02/07/2019

    Well, they can’t all be Fights of the Year, much less Fights of the Century—we’ve run out of years and centuries.  As long as it’s interesting.  Having AJ exposed by Big Baby would be dramatic because so unlikely, but it would screw up a lot of narratives about what’s been happening last few years, as well as plans for the future.

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