Joshua anthony brand 2018

Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller and IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua had to be separated during a Matchroom-DAZN press conference on Tuesday. The exchange could set up a heavyweight brawl that is more appealing to Joshua and his promotional team than a highly anticipated battle with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17: (L-R) Anthony Joshua, Rashat Mati, Nkosi Solomon, Daniel Roman, Group Managing Director of Mathroom Sports Eddie Hearn, Katie Taylor, Jessie Vargas, Demetrius Andrade, Nikita Ababiy and Alexander Povetkin on stage at the U.S. launch of DAZN - The Future of Sports Streaming at Industria Studios on July 17, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for DAZN)

Matchroom Boxing was introducing their increasingly impressive stable of fighters set to appear on DAZN as part a deal to stream events globally.

Joshua is the biggest attraction in the deal and he's set to take on Alexander Povetkin on September 22 at Wembley Stadium on DAZN. Povetkin was in attendance, however, he was reduced to nothing more than a spectator as Miller and Joshua went nose to nose in a heated exchange.

You can see the incident below and some NSFW comments from Miller with reporters after the confrontation.

While politically incorrect and harsh in many ways, you could make the argument that Miller's approach is more effective and entertaining.

Wilder aggressively pursued a unification bout with Joshua for most of the year, but talks broke down and there appeared to be a large measure of bitterness on both sides. Matchroom reportedly issued a contract that went unsigned, but it is believed by some that the contract terms were unfavorable for Wilder.

Boxer Deontay Wilder of the US screams out to his fans while weighing in at Barclay's Center January 15, 2016 in New York. Wilder is scheduled to fight Artur Szpilka of Poland for the WBC Heavyweight title January 16, 2016 in New York. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

In any case, Matchroom went on to book two dates for Joshua's next fights (September 22 and April 2019) with no commitment to face Wilder. In fact, Matchroom President Eddie Hearn recently stated, "." It's unclear where Wilder will go from here, but there are obvious differences between him and recent Matchroom signee Miller.

The two men are African-American, but that's where the similarities with Wilder begin and end.

Brooklyn, NY - MARCH 03: Deontay Wilder walks to a neutral corner after Luis Ortiz goes down during their WBC Heavyweight Championship fight at Barclays Center on March 3, 2018 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City.(Photo by Anthony Geathers/Getty Images)

Wilder is a tall, lean, powerful heavyweight champion from Alabama with a 40-0 record with 39 KOs. He isn't a natural self-promoter, though he doesn't lack confidence or heart. Miller is a shorter, less body-beautiful heavyweight from Brooklyn who was a professional kickboxer before he turned to box full time in 2009. He is 21-0-1 with 18 KOs as a pro boxer and he has solidified himself as a legit title contender.

Miller doesn't struggle with the microphone or in any other area of self-promotion. He's a more natural trash talker, but not as dangerous of a puncher as Wilder or as experienced.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Jarrell Miller at the final Press Conference for his upcoming Heavyweight fight against Johann Duhaupas at the Mondrian Park Avenue Hotel on April 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

Signing with Matchroom was smart for Miller. At 30 years old, he's at a point in his career where linking with a major promotional entity with a vested interest in building American stars is a perfect fit. It's even more ideal to be aligned with the same promoter as Joshua, the biggest meal ticket in the heavyweight division, and perhaps the world.

Truth is, Wilder needs Joshua to make the kind of money that elevates him above his current level. Joshua is going to sell out Wembley Stadium no matter who he fights, which is why he and Matchroom are in a position to call the shots.

That said, Miller's ability to sell the fight is a plus for all involved. He's also likely going to be perceived as an easier fight than Wilder–though that could backfire. Miller is big, skilled and tough, and it isn't as if the 6'4" 275-pounder is devoid of KO power. He'll have a chance to show what he can do on October 6 when he fights on a massive Matchroom card at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on the DAZN. His opponent hasn't been announced at this point, but it will be important for Miller to shine in this opportunity.

BROOKLYN, NY - JULY 29: Jarrell Mille celebrates his TKO of Gerald Washington during their heavyweight match on July 29, 2017 at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Wilder's strong play to position Joshua as the heel didn't work out, at least not at the moment. Joshua warned Wilder that he would "freeze him out," months ago if he didn't comply to their terms, and it seems as though the WBC champion could be left out in the cold for the time being.

Almost nothing is forever in boxing, but Wilder might be forced to continue his dominance to stay in a position to unify the titles and to cash in on an enormous payday down the line. But things can change quickly. An upset loss by Joshua and/or Wilder could forever cripple the earning potential of the matchup. It's a gamble for both, but far bigger for Wilder because he's already being under-compensated considering his current standing as an undefeated American heavyweight champion with a near perfect KO rate.

The bad guy role doesn't fit the brand that Matchroom has helped to craft for Joshua. They are likely far more comfortable with an American challenger taking the heel role and coming to the UK to take the potentially less dangerous fight. Matchroom wants to lead the dance and Wilder's approach likely threatened the concept.

The fact that he is potentially a dangerous matchup for Joshua makes him all the more susceptible to be bypassed. There is no question that Joshua is the A-side in any heavyweight negotiation and Miller is more likely to accept the B-side while still making noise along the way.

 



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