An angry Anthony Joshua responded to Jarrell Miller’s claims he is fighting him on behalf of the “underdog” by reminding him that he was a “streetfighter” long before he was groomed for greatness.
The IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion usually cuts a composed figure amid the routine goading that comes from his challengers but Miller angered him when they met in New York last week and he remained that way in London on Monday afternoon.
Joshua’s brushes with the law before he dedicated himself to boxing have long been known, but he has since become one of the most recognisable figures in the country and Brooklyn’s Miller said: “I’ve been hearing AJ’s too posh, his nose is up here sometimes.
“For all the underdogs out there who are told they’re not good enough; I’m proof that with one or two cheeseburgers and hard work and dedication you can go far.”
There has been significant investment in Joshua’s career since he turned professional, contributing to his success.
But ahead of their fight, his first in America and at Madison Square Garden on June 1, he responded: “I got banned from the area I was growing up in. Because I was getting into too much trouble.
“The state of my hands; this isn’t from boxing, this is from streetfighting. I’ve changed my whole lifestyle around.
“All this spirit this boy’s got and the s*** he’s talking, I’m going to strip it from him. Look at his face – I’m going to reconstruct his face and body on June 1 and I’m looking forward to this challenge.
“I’m going to be a surgeon because I’m going to give him a makeover.
“A knockout needs to happen to announce myself in the States. He does the talking, I do the physical stuff.”
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) February 25, 2019
Miller, at 30 a year older than Joshua, last week insisted he planned to stop the champion inside seven rounds, and he repeated: “I don’t need to think; I’ll just get it done. You’ve got to go balls to balls, if I ever doubted myself I would not have made it this far.
“The game plan’s to stop him in seven rounds.
“You know how I feel about AJ, and my backstory and where I come from and
where we’re going.
“He ain’t got no chin. The fans can’t fight for him.”