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Joshua to defend titles in New York on day of Champions League final

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Anthony Joshua will make his American debut on June 1 after agreeing to defend his world heavyweight titles against Jarrell Miller in New York.

The WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion has ditched his date at Wembley in April to cross the pond and face Miller, who is undefeated as a professional.

Joshua had hoped to seal a fight with Deontay Wilder, but turned to Miller after the WBC heavyweight champion pursued a rematch with Tyson Fury.

‘June 1 I’ll be travelling to MSG. New York City, the Big Apple,’ Joshua said in a video posted to social media.

‘I’m there to take a bite out of that and I’ll be competing against Jarrell Miller.

Wembley is so close to my heart, it’s a great spot, a great location. I’ve fought in small halls, I’ve fought in arenas. And it’s been a humbling and a blessing to fight in those stadiums.

‘But now it’s time for a change. The current state of the division was the undisputed championship of the world.

‘Myself and [Deontay] Wilder are the current active champions of the world. We were looking to get that fight on April 13 but things happened, boxing politics, I’m sure you guys are aware.

‘So we had to branch out and look for other options. Miller came up. It’s an exciting fight, he’s an undefeated heavyweight.’

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Joshua will take on Miller at the iconic Madison Square Garden on June 1 – the same day that the Champions League final happens in Madrid, Spain.

Miller, whose nickname is ‘Big Baby’, is not recognised as one of the world’s leading heavyweights but has been in contention to fight Joshua for the past year.

In another social media video, Joshua said: ‘The time has come to head across the Atlantic and defend my heavyweight titles in the USA.

I will be fighting at the legendary Madison Square Garden. I plan to embrace the culture and leave with an appetite for more.’

Miller, 30, is undefeated in 24 professional fights. He said: ‘AJ is making a huge mistake coming over here to fight me in my own back yard.

‘He wants to announce himself on the American stage but all he’s doing is delivering me those belts by hand.’
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn added: ‘When you look at the heavyweight greats that have graced the renowned ‘Mecca of Boxing’, the names of Ali, Frazier, Marciano and Tyson stand firm and June 1 will be when the world will witness AJ’s turn.’

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