One of the baddest men on the planet is set to make his USA debut as Anthony”AJ” Joshua stands toe to toe with Jarrell”Big Baby” Miller at Madison Square Garden on June 1. Joshua is defending his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles, also is a -850 favorite to retain his names, while Miller is coming back as a +525 underdog. Both hitters will enter the ring.
Miller was a massive favorite in his last eight fights, final as a four-digit favorite in six of these bouts, together with his lowest chances being -250 when he battled Gerald Washington at July 2017 — a struggle Miller won through eighth-round retirement.
Meanwhile, Joshua was a favorite in each of the last seven scraps and his chances for this fight are right around the average with his largest odds being when he battled Eric Molina (-4000). The tightest odds AJ has had was when he fought Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA and IBO heavyweight straps — the England native closed at -200 for this particular bout.
AJ holds three of the four major heavyweight titles and, in the age of 29, he’s at the prime of his career so it comes as no surprise that he is a big favorite to beat Big Baby, who is making a big jump in competition.
Will this fight play out?
Joshua (-850) is placing his perfect 22-0 record on the line, coming off an impressive seventh-round TKO victory over Alexander Povetkin in September of last year. Before that knockout victory, AJ went to the judges’ scorecards for the very first time in his professional career with Joseph Parker, snapping his streak of 20 straight wins by T/KO.
The Brit always pressures his competitors, taking the center of the ring and then slowly backing down them looking to land his powerful right hand. Joshua also does a fantastic job setting his range with his long left jab that he works well behind, once again looking to land his own thunderous right. Furthermore, he’s got a fantastic ability at judging distances and will sit just outside of his opponents’ scope but close enough he can spring forward with a counterattack.
Miller (+525) is also seeking to remain undefeated in his career, with just four conflicts going the distance, one of them end in a draw after four rounds in 2013. Of Enormous Baby’s 23 specialist wins, 20 have been by knockout, including his last two. The New York native went the full 12 rounds with Johann Duhaupas in April of last year, ending his string of nine consecutive bouts with knockout victories.
The orthodox fighter uses his big frame to walk his opponents down looking for an opportunity to fire his thick right hand. Big Baby has scary knockout power in his hands, but his cries are slow and that he lunges forward behind his left jab to close the space.
AJ is obviously the athletic boxer and he’ll need to use that rate and movement to pick apart Miller in the exterior before he can find his openings to perform damage. Meanwhile, Large Baby will have to place himself in real danger to overcome the reach disadvantage he is likely to confront and get in close to let his hands fly. Overall, I believe that AJ is simply going to be too difficult to hit and ought to be able to deal with this fight easily.