Things can become quite unpredictable in the boxing world as we have seen it recently in the heavyweight division. Fans have been waiting for a unification title fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder for a long time now. However, it seems like both fighters haven't been able to reach a deal and we will have to wait a little more before it happens.
Anthony Joshua currently holds three of the four major titles in the division: WBO, IBF and WBA Super. He also won the IBO title in 2017. The champion was meant to rematch Dillian Whyte at the Wembley Stadium in the UK on April 13. But according to Whyte the deal is off the table now and he has set his eyes on another fighter for his next bout.
Anthony Joshua's journey in the boxing world has been excellent so far and he still holds a clean record. Aged 29, he has fought 22 professional bouts, 21 of which he won by knockout. He is undeniably strong and has cleared a lot of opponents. But there are still more challenges waiting for him.
After fighting Charles Martin in 2016, he won the IBF title which he defended brilliantly against Dominic Breazeale and later against Eric Molina. All three boxers are American and were pretty easy fights for the champion. In 2017, he defeated Wladimir Klitschko and won the vacant WBA Super and WBO titles, previously held by Tyson Fury.
AJ successfully defended these titles against Carlos Takam. Initially, he was meant to fight Kubrat Pulev who had to pull out from the fight last minute due to a shoulder injury during training. Carlos Takam, who was then ranked third by the IBF, stepped in to replace him. A wonderful fight that ended in the tenth round with what many considered as an early stoppage.
In March 2018, Anthony Joshua faced Joseph Parker who was undefeated at the time. On that occasion, he won the WBO title. AJ clearly dominated the fight and won by unanimous decision. Last September, he defended his titles against Aleksandr Povetkin whom he defeated with a clean KO in the 7th round.
Holding three major belts and having proven his worth, it would have made sense to fight Wilder next and go after the WBC tilte in order to become the undisputed heavyweight champion. At least, this is what the fans were expecting to happen next. However, things have taken an interesting turn of events recently.
It came as big news when it was officially announced that Joshua would fight outside the UK for the first time in his life. However, the opponent is not the one everyone expected. For his debut in the US, Joshua will face Jarrell Miller for his second title defense at the Madison Square Garden next June. In this face-off, odds are in favor of the champion.
So is this an intent of AJ to avoid Wilder for now or is it just a strategic move? We can't tell for sure what happens behind the curtains and what is said between fighters. A lot of rumors followed this announcement but apparently Joshua and Wilder still have a hard time figuring out a convenient deal for both parties.
The Bronze Bomber fought Tyson Fury last December and the bout ended in a controversial draw. Therefore, there have been talks for a rematch that should take place in May. The deal hasn't been made official yet but since Wilder will be busy and negotiations with Whyte reached a dead end, Eddie Hearn had to set his eyes on another target.
Jarrell Miller being ranked second in the USA seems to be quite a logical choice. However, this doesn't appear as the best choice and no real boxing fan can be happy with such a match-up. Miller has not been fighting anyone decent and is not even a top fighter. Moreover, he is barely known and unlikely to threaten the champion.
Except for a rematch with Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua could have chosen other worthy fighters like Kubrat Pulev or even Luis Ortiz. The Cuban boxer is a great underrated fighter with outstanding skills and a lot of potential. He is currently ranked eighth in the heavyweight division and could prove to be a tough and troublesome opponent for AJ.
Online casinos and gambling for the potential fights have Anthony Joshua as a clear, yet small favorite, but you may be better served playing slot machines. It doesn't look like this fight is happening any time soon.
In the meantime, we will have to settle for this pseudo-fight and see how AJ's debut in the US unfolds. Once Wilder and Fury rematch, Joshua won't be able to avoid the Bronze Bomber any longer. A unification title fight has to happen at some point and hopefully both sides reach a deal soon.