ANTHONY JOSHUA is off to crack America but his Big Baby opponent might leave him looking like a dummy. The glorious 2017 Wembley win over Wladimir
ANTHONY JOSHUA is off to crack America but his Big Baby opponent might leave him looking like a dummy.
The glorious 2017 Wembley win over Wladimir Klitschko sparked the AJ-era, during which he carried the heavyweight division single handedly.
But Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte have raced up on the inside track in recent months and snatched the best headlines and opponents away from the Olympic golden boy.
When the WBO, WBA and IBF boss booked Wembley again for April 13, fans assumed high-profile dance partners would form an orderly queue.
But that booking has been ripped up and 22st unknown Jarrell Miller has got the shot.
American WBC champ Deontay Wilder refused to return calls from Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, after his incredible draw with Tyson Fury on December 1.
The Gypsy King, whose stock has rocketed since he went to Los Angeles and was robbed of the title by the hapless judges, knocked back a couple of offers.
And new fans’ favourite Dillian Whyte, who was booed into his 2015 defeat to AJ, has gone on a nine-fight win streak and rejected a third and final offer of £6million for part II.
Instead the Watford star will fight in the early hours of Sunday June 2 at Madison Square Garden for his US debut and a career high pay of £25million.
But he could not hide his regret that fight 23 is up against his fourth choice and not his dream bout.
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AJ said: “Wembley is so close to my heart, it is a great spot, I have fought in small halls and arenas and it has been humbling and a blessing to fight in stadiums.
“Myself and Deontay Wilder are the current active heavyweight champions and we were looking to get that fight on April 13 but things happen with boxing politics.
“We had to branch out and look for other options and Jarrell Miller came along.”
The Big Apple battle will come almost nine months after Joshua’s last fight, a clubbing win over Alexander Povetkin on September 22, and only after his three main rivals rejected the London show.
And Hearn has admitted, as excited as he is about hosting a show at the iconic venue, AJ would prefer to be fulfilling his UK date with destiny.
But the money on the table from streaming platform DAZN, as well as the chance to build Joshua’s Stateside profile for future fights, was too good to turn down.
He said: “It’s not just DAZN, it’s Sky Sports Box Office, it’s MSG, it’s international TV. But he would rather box at Wembley in April than New York.
“AJ against Wilder last September might have done 300-400,000 buys in the States. Now it does over a million.
“Part of that is down to Wilder and we give him that respect, now it’s down to what we do over there to amplify that.”