Fightful Boxing Newsletter (2/7/2019) Table of Contents:
- Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller Nearing Completion (Page 1)
- Top Rank on ESPN February 2 Results (Page 2)
- Ivan Baranchyk Done With World Boxing Super Series, Tournament Still Announces His Next Fight (Page 3)
- Other News And Notes (Page 4)
- Showtime Championship Boxing February 9 Preview (Page 5)
- Golden Boy Boxing on DAZN February 9 Preview (Page 6)
Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller Nearing Completion:
Two weeks ago, it appeared that unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would defend his titles against long-time rival Dillian Whyte on April 13 at Wembley Stadium but that fight is now off the table.
With February already here and no real progress being made on negotiations, the fight has been officially scrapped as there is not enough time to properly build up the fight and not enough time for Whyte to get fully ready for a fight against Joshua.
Since Joshua vs. Whyte is no longer happening, the planned April 13 show at Wembley Stadium, which would have been a guaranteed sellout of 90,000 spectators, is no longer happening with no real main event set.
The main issue with negotiations ultimately came down to Whyte not being fully satisfied with his offer. After Whyte was given a lowball offer of £4 million, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn returned with another offer, but the offer was apparently not good enough for Whyte to accept or else we would have seen the fight announced by this time.
As such, Hearn and Joshua have moved on to their backup plan which is Joshua making his United States debut and fight unbeaten contender Jarrell Miller this summer. The idea is that Joshua fight Miller at Madison Square Garden in the main event of a boxing card streamed on DAZN in early June, although a specific date has yet to be set in stone.
Contrary to some reports, the two sides have yet to sign the contract to make the fight official, but both sides are nearing completion. An announcement was expected to be made this week, but as of this writing, no such announcement has been made.
So where does this leave Whyte? Hearn recently told Boxing Social in an interview that he plans to make an upcoming boxing card at the O2 Arena on April 20 a big heavyweight night headlined by Whyte's return to the ring. At least four heavyweight fights are being planned to take place, with the top of the card shaping up to look like this:
- Dillian Whyte vs. Dominic Breazeale/Luis Ortiz/Alexander Povetkin
- Dereck Chisora vs. Joseph Parker
- David Allen vs. Lucas Browne (already signed and set to happen in April according to Hearn)
- Michael Hunter vs. Carlos Takam
Right now, the one most likely to land the fight against Whyte would be Breazeale. The fight would be at least a title eliminator for the WBC championship being held by Deontay Wilder. Wilder is currently close to securing a rematch against Tyson Fury, meaning Breazeale won’t get a shot at WBC’s title for quite some time. The fight would be an adequate main event and likely would be on pay-per-view in the United Kingdom. Even though that fight would be nowhere near a pay-per-view main event in the United States, the United Kingdom operates very differently and Whyte is a very solid draw in the region. With that proposed lineup, it would actually fetch for a decent buyrate in the United Kingdom.
As for Joshua, getting a chance to fight in the United States is a good first step into becoming a global superstar in the sport. Joshua is a rather special talent, but him fighting in the United Kingdom for his entire career has turned him into a megastar while severely limiting his notoriety in the United States. The plan is for Joshua to headline Madison Square Garden, but don’t expect a sellout for his U.S. debut against Miller. Miller has not shown to be a proven big-fight draw yet and with his last few fights having very little reach fighting on DAZN and on HBO Boxing undercards, not many even know who Miller is.
The challenge here is going to be selling the fight to a New York crowd in the heart of baseball season. How do you get 20,000 people to come to a fight involving a British boxer and a New Yorker who is not the biggest boxing draw among fighters from that region. So far, Hearn and DAZN has failed to make boxing cards that can be sellouts on a regular basis, but if they can get a solid gate and plenty of new subscribers to DAZN for the Joshua fight at MSG, it will rekindle hope that Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA can succeed in the American boxing market that is already starting to be saturated with with PBC and Top Rank leading the helm and UFC streaming a boxing card every other week or so on its Fight Pass platform.
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