Things got a little heated between Anthony Joshua and Jarell “Big Baby” Miller when the two heavyweights went eyeball to eyeball ahead of their scheduled bout.
There were the usual name-calling and confrontations that gladiators of the ring like to indulge in before going toe-to-toe with their opponents, but the press conference clash at Madison Square Garden between “AJ” and the “Big Baby” went off like a firecracker when Joshua did the unspeakable and smiled in the direction of Miller.
The Mirror reports that “Big Baby” was so incensed by the Brit smiling at him ahead of their fight in New Yorker Miller’s backyard on June 1, he decided to give him a shove. It wasn’t just any old shove, but a shove with meaning, and sent the amicable champ flying backward.
“AJ” was clearly rattled by Miller’s antagonistic and disrespectful behavior and that’s probably exactly what the “Big Baby” had intended.
He pushed, prodded, and provoked Joshua, until the champ took the bait and was expertly reeled in.
Miller snarled at the press conference that, “I breathe and eat and sleep Anthony Joshua. I’ve got a picture of him on my screensaver, I’ve got a picture of him on my wall. I wake up in the morning and I think about Anthony Joshua.
“This is bigger than boxing, bigger than belts, bigger than me. I’m playing by nobody’s rules and the sooner you understand that you get to know the kind of man I am. You want to talk to me, come punch me in my face. That’s how we talk. I respect war.”
Although Joshua didn’t appear to take Miller seriously and dismissed him as, “the softest puncher in the heavyweight division,” and someone who, “isn’t as smart as me and punches like a fairy,” the ice cool charmer soon become visibly agitated by Miller’s verbal dancing.
Joshua doesn’t often lose his cool but when he does it appears to make him vulnerable. Sky Sports reports that in a 2015 brawl with his most bitter rival, Dillian Whyte, an overly-emotional Joshua won the contest, but his lack of composure gave Whyte a window of opportunity.
Promoter Eddie Hearn explained that Miller’s tactics are transparent and, “It’s a ploy to get Anthony rattled.”
If Miller is hoping to relentlessly antagonize Joshua before the big showdown on June 1 he should remember that he’s playing with a very unpredictable and fierce fire.
As Joshua warned, “Fire-fest I always win, boxing matches I always win. Whatever they want.”