Heavyweights erupt as ‘Big Baby’ crashes AJ face-off
ANTHONY Joshua and Jarrell 'Big Baby' Miller have been separated during a fiery encounter in New York.
Joshua was midway through his first face-off with Alexander Povetkin, the challenger to his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, when Miller barged onto the stage.
Joshua's attention immediately switched to Miller and some frank words were exchanged as they were kept apart.
"People talk about me, then see me face-to-face, and they still want to talk," Joshua later told Sky Sports News.
"I defend my titles in the ring, I'm dedicated, and I just won't tolerate it outside the ring either. I defend my position. That's what we do as fighters.
"Anyone is welcome to come and get the smoke. Firstly I will focus on Povetkin, but you never know what the future holds.
"There is always someone clucking around my feet. I have to kick them back down and keep them humble."
The world heavyweight champion was in New York for the launch of DAZN, the streaming site that will provide Sky Sports with 16 new US fight nights.
He met Povetkin in person for the first time since it was announced they would fight on September 22 at Wembley Stadium, with Sky Sports Box Office to show the fight live.
But Miller, a local New Yorker who will be one of DAZN's first recruits, crashed their stare-down.
Wearing sunglasses and shouting at the champion, unbeaten Miller swiftly provoked an angry response from Joshua.
Miller is ranked at No 3 with the IBF and WBA and has not been beaten in 22 fights. As such, he remains an option to be Joshua's first stateside opponent.
Miller will first fight on October 6, live on Sky Sports on the first DAZN show, as he bids to further draw Joshua's ire.
"I walked up on him, and whispered behind him: 'You're a punk, let's make it happen'," Miller later told Sky Sports.
"I'm not Dominic Breazeale, man. I want it. I would whoop him at Wembley.
"Listen Britain - you've seen fake models. You'll see the real model, the people's champ, not the one-time English champ. The world champ - that's me."
Reflecting on his first head-to-head with Povetkin, who is 10cm shorter, Joshua said: "It's not the height of the man, it's the fight of the man. He's fought people like me all his life.
"He's used to tall guys. He knows how to slip and throw punches, so I've got to make sure I give him no gaps or openings. It's not the height that's the issue - it's how willing and determined he is."
Joshua shook off Povetkin's brutal knockout of David Price, saying: "Me and Price are different animals. I can't judge what a man does to another man."
Joshua was finally asked about Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion who he hopes to meet in an undisputed title fight at Wembley on April 13.
"People are attaching names to names but don't back it up," he said.
"We've been fighting the best of the best. Wilder is more than welcome on this gravy train - he's not off the table, he's still a priority. Povetkin became a priority when the WBA said: 'This is your mandatory challenger'. I refuse to give up my WBA belt.
"I have set a date - I am willing to fight Wilder, providing I beat Povetkin.
"My side has been signed. All I need to do is get Wilder to sign his side, and the fight is locked in and official."
During the DAZN press conference new recruits Demetrius Andrade, Jessie Vargas, Artur Beterbiev, Maurice Hooker and Daniel Roman were introduced by promoter Eddie Hearn.