FILE PHOTO: Boxing - Anthony Joshua & Jarrell Miller Press Conference - Hilton London Syon Park, London, Britain - Anthony Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn during the press conference Action Images via Reuters
LONDON (Reuters): Heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua warned American challenger Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller on Monday that he would strip him of his soul and reconstruct his face at Madison Square Garden on 1 June.
The fight in New York will be WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Joshua’s US debut.
Coming face to face at a news conference amid tight security at a plush West London hotel, the usually calm Joshua was riled when Miller suggested the Briton was ‘too posh’, chinless and with his nose in the air.
“Come 2 June and Jarrell will be irrelevant,” said the 29-year-old, who has a record of 22 undefeated professional fights, 21 of them by knockout and who told reporters he had 10 more years ahead of him.
“I don’t know football, rugby, NFL, basketball or kick-boxing. I know how to knock people out and beat them up,” added the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion, in a dig at Miller’s kick-boxing past.
Joshua said a knockout ‘needs to happen’ to announce his presence in the United States.
Monday’s news conference came after a similar one in New York last week that ended in pushing and shoving between the two fighters.
If the physicality was missing in London, there were still plenty of barbs, delivered with a strong sense of theatre but no real menace.
“All that spirit that this boy’s got in there... I’m going to strip it from him... I’m going to strip him of his soul in that ring. I’m going to reconstruct his face and his body on June 1. I’m looking forward to it,” said Joshua.