Joshua: ‘I am the happiest and most motivated I have been’

Unified Heavyweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk will put his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO World Titles on the line against Anthony Joshua in the coastal city of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday August 20.

One of the biggest Heavyweight rematches in the history of the sport, Usyk vs. Joshua 2, billed ‘Rage on the Red Sea’, will take place nearly three years on from the historic ‘Clash on the Dunes’ event at the Diriyah Arena that saw Joshua reclaim his Heavyweight crowns against Andy Ruiz Jr.

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) was dethroned as Heavyweight King by Ukrainian pound-for-pound star Usyk in September 2021 in front of over 60,000 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England on a memorable evening in boxing’s marquee division.

Since the pair’s first meeting, former Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) has gained further global attention after putting the rematch on hold to support his home nation on the front line during their ongoing conflict.

I have a goal, with the help of the Lord I will complete my mission!,” Usyk said.

Joshua wants to get revenge, and according to him, he’s in a good place.

“What a roller coaster journey, fighting for the Heavyweight Championship of the World for the 12th consecutive time,” said Joshua. “I won the belt, unified the division won another belt, lost the belts, became two-time Unified Heavyweight Champion and now have my date with history set to become three-time Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World. What an opportunity

“Fighting championship level back to back has had its pros and cons, but I decide every day to get stronger, to learn from my experiences and grow. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and I am the happiest and most motivated I have been.”

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn expects Joshua to be ready on fight night.

We know Oleksandr Usyk is a great fighter and we saw that last time out, but I know Anthony Joshua is more determined than ever. It was a huge success to host Anthony Joshua’s contest with Andy Ruiz Jr. in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2019 and we are looking forward to working with the country again to stage this historic event. So, no doubt all eyes of the world will be on the ring come Saturday August 20th. This is a story of redemption, and the countdown starts now.”

Joshua signs career-long promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing

Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua has signed a new career-long promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. 
 
The IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO ruler puts his crowns on the line against former Undisputed Cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London this Saturday September 25.
 
‘AJ’ turned professional with Matchroom Boxing in October 2013 after memorably capturing gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Super-Heavyweight category and becoming an instant star in the UK. 
 
Quickly establishing himself as one of the most devastating punchers in the Heavyweight division with a series of brutal KO’s, Joshua picked up the vacant Commonwealth crown with another huge stoppage win over Gary Cornish in Greenwich. 
 
The O2 became a home fortress for Joshua and his next assignment came against old amateur foe Dillian Whyte in December 2015. The pair were involved in a heated build-up before AJ made it 15 KOs in a row against ‘The Body Snatcher’, claiming the prestigious British Title in the process. 
 
Joshua climbed the ranks until he was in a position to fight for his first World Title in April 2016 against IBF titleholder Charles Martin, who he quickly destroyed inside five minutes before making short work of American opponents Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina in his first two title defences.
 
Joshua’s breakthrough victory came when he produced the performance of a lifetime to claim the WBA Title against modern legend Wladimir Klitschko in an unforgettable battle in front of a post war record crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.
 
He went on to sell-out the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales twice, defending his belts against the tough Cameroonian Carlos Takam in October 2017 before unifying the division by taking Joseph Parker’s WBO belt in March 2018.
 
Joshua defended his World Titles with a devastating knockout of dangerous Russian Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in September 2018 in what was the Olympic Champion’s fourth straight stadium fight in front of over 80,000 fans. 
 
In his quest for global domination, the British sensation signed to defend his World Titles against Brooklyn’s Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1 2019, but the Brooklyn native failed a series of drug tests leaving Joshua’s team searching for a replacement opponent for his big American debut.
 
Joshua’s quest to become the Undisputed Heavyweight king was temporarily halted in its tracks as late stand in opponent Andy Ruiz Jr floored him four times on route to a monumental seventh round stoppage win that shocked the world. 
 
After tasting defeat for the first time in his professional career, Joshua jumped into an immediate rematch with Ruiz Jr on neutral ground to reclaim his position at the number one Heavyweight on the planet. 

Ruiz and Joshua met again in a colossal ‘Clash on the Dunes’ in the historical town of Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, with the Watford man putting on a brilliant display of boxing to widely outpoint the Mexican to become a two-time Heavyweight World Champion.
 
Joshua returned home to take on his IBF Mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at The SSE Arena, Wembley a year later in December 2020 after their June meeting at the home of Tottenham Hotspur was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
In the first fight attended by a British crowd since the global pandemic began, Joshua dominated and then floored Pulev to score a brutal ninth-round knockout. The Bulgarian was down on three occasions, twice in the final round, before ‘AJ’ ended the fight with a vicious right hand. 
 
“We’ve built some great foundations over the years and I appreciate Matchroom – the company, the team, the family business,” said Joshua. “That’s kind of what drew me towards you guys as well, the integrity that the Hearns have when it comes to boxing and business. 
 
“I’ve felt comfortable during my years as a boxer and I always felt that the business outside of sport is harder than the actual fighting due to the history and some of the problems that some fighters have had. So, to be with Matchroom Sport has been a blessing for myself, my family and my team. 
 
“Outside of that, what Matchroom Sport have done is created an environment for boxing fans. The shows that we have managed to put on have been phenomenal. When I walk out to fight, I look around and I’m like, ‘mate, this is unbelievable’. 
 
“From where we began, to the middle of the journey, the foundations we have created are phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. In my humble opinion, what better place to be than Matchroom Boxing? I have heard that my signature was hot property. I’m happy where I am. A handshake is good enough for me, but the signature solidifies it and I’m happy where my signature is. 
 
“Thank you to Eddie Hearn, Barry Hearn and the family, Frank Smith and all of the Matchroom staff, as well as Freddie Cunningham and the team at 258MGT.”

Hearn: ‘I believe JCM is the best 112 pound fighter in the world’

Julio Cesar Martinez defended his WBC World Flyweight title with a brutal sixth round stoppage win over Joel Cordova at the Dome Alcalde – CODE Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico, live worldwide on DAZN.

Wrecking machine Martinez (18-1 14 KOs) was making the third defense of his title, but Cordova (12-5-2 3 KOs) began the fight in fine style and was giving Martinez a stern examination in the first third of the bout – before the tide changed dramatically and quickly.

A left hook in the fifth stunned Cordova and although the challenger rode that well, a mirror image of the shot floored him early in the sixth round put Cordova on the floor – and Martinez was ruthless as he went in for the kill and forced the referee to halt the contest and record a dominant stoppage win.

“I am grateful with the team and we’re aiming to stay at Flyweight and unify the titles,” said Martinez. “I am so happy my family and my fans are here in Mexico for me and to support me this evening.

“He was as tough as I expected, a great fighter and we’re all here to win, so all respect to him. Now I want to unify next.”

“I believe JCM is the best 112 pound fighter in the world,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “He’s certainly the most exciting, he just throws with you, he wants you to throw. You don’t see KOs in the lighter divisions, but you do with him.

“I think this kid is a superstar, Eddy Reynoso is behind him, we’re behind him, this kid is going all the way. I think he should unify first at Flyweight whether that’s Sunny Edwards, Artem Dalakian, Junto Nakatani, and then up to Super-Flyweight and then up to Bantamweight over time. A fight with Juan Francisco Estrada is a super-fight in Mexico, and we’ll see Martinez back out in September.”

Daniel Matellon retained the interim WBA World Flyweight title with a unanimous points win over Jose Argumedo.

Argumedo was cut by the left eye in the second round from an accidental head clash and then over the right eye and also the forehead as the Mexican poured forward from the off, and the constant flow of blood seemed to make Argumedo put the foot down harder in the first half of the fight.

Matellon remained patient and measured throughout though and was able to weather the storms and pick Argumedo off and was given the nod 117-111 and 115-113 (twice) on the cards.

Christian Alan Gomez Duran (20-2-1 18 KOs) recorded a stunning KO to end a thrilling back and forth contest with Jorge Perez Sanchez (13-1 5 KOs) in the ninth round of a scheduled ten.

Gomez landed the first round and had an electrifying second round where a pair of left hooks floored Sanchez and Gomez went in for the kill, landing a big uppercut to have Perez Sanchez just about surviving the round.

Sanchez recovered well and had a good third and fourth rounds, but again, Gomez was able to find the key shot, a left hook to the body that troubled Perez Sanchez in the fifth.

The story of the fight continued that path, as Perez Sanchez recovered and threatened to take over but was always wary of Gomez’s power, and in the ninth round, Gomez unleashed a huge right uppercut to end a fantastic fight.

Diego Pacheco (12-0 9 KOs) promised to shine and did just that in Mexico – getting some valuable rounds and being tested by unbeaten Jesus Moroyoqui (7-1-1 4 KOs), but getting his jab working, having a huge fifth round and then closing the show in the sixth round of his second eight round fight in the paid ranks.

Gabriel Valenzuela (24-2-1 14 KOs) kicked the night off with victory over the game Juan Ocura (14-14-2 6 KOs). Valenzuela, who came into the bout off the back of a fine win over Robbie Davies Jr in London in February, and he landed a crisp right uppercut at the end of third round to floor Ocura.

Ocura bravely got back to his feet and gave as good as he got but was ultimately stopped with just under a minute left in the seventh round by Valenzuela.

Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

Hearn 0n Haney: ‘The two main targets are Gary Russell Jr. and Yuriorkis Gamboa’

Eddie Hearn says Gary Russell Jr and Yuriorkis Gamboa are both targets for the return of WBC World Lightweight champion Devin Haney in November, live on DAZN. 

Haney (24-0 15 KOs) is raring to return to the ring and defend his crown for the second time after he was forced into surgery when injuring his shoulder in his first defense against Alfredo Santiago in Los Angeles in November.

The 21 year old has fully recovered and November 7 is the date promoter Hearn has earmarked for ‘The Dream’ to display his talents for the first time in 2020, with Russell Jnr and Gamboa the two men vying to take on the Las Vegas star. 

Haney and long reigning WBC World Featherweight champion Russell Jnr (31-1 18 KOs) have become embroiled in a war of words on social media over the potential clash, while Gamboa (30-3 18 KOs) is aiming for a third shot at becoming a two-weight World champion – and Hearn expects to name Haney’s foe next week.

Devin has been doing a great job in keeping his profile active during lockdown but now it’s almost time for get busy in the ring,” said Hearn. “November 7 is the targeted date for his return and the two main targets are Gary Russell Jr and Yuriorkis Gamboa. Both are great fights for Devin as he approaches a key stretch in his career to become standout star.

Devin is ready to defend his WBC titles against all comers and I can’t wait to see him back in the ring in November.”

 

Hearn on Povetkin’s KO of Whyte: ‘I felt like I was in some dream’

 In a shocker, Dillian Whyte was knocked out cold by Alexander Povetkin, as the Russian viciously halted his World Title ambitions in the finale of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday.

Whyte had completely controlled the fight, flooring his opponent twice in the fourth round, but was smashed by a left uppercut in the fifth that ended his hopes in a flash.

The 32-year-old would have had a mandatory challenge of Tyson Fury’s WBC Heavyweight Championship finally enforced after a 1000-day wait with a win in Essex, but became the victim of a stunning come-from-behind victory.

This is a big blow for Whyte. He does have a rematch clause and said after the fight he wants the rematch with the 40-year-old Povetkin.

After the fight, Povetkin, Whyte, and Eddie Hearn reacted:

Alexander Povetkin:

On being knocked down twice: “I didn’t feel that I would finish the fight like this. I was pretty confident in the 4th round that, even though I went down twice, it was OK. It wasn’t too much damage.”

On the knockout punch: “I was watching his fights and taking into account that he was missing uppercuts from the left and from the right. During my training, I was training on putting combinations around those shots.” 

On a rematch clause: “First of all, my future plans don’t depend on me, it’s more a question for my promoter and for Eddie Hearn. So we will see what they decide. At the same time, I want to thank Andrei Ryabinski and Eddie Hearn for everything they do for me.” 

On everyone who doubted him: “I don’t have anything to respond to those people. I just want to box more. I want to thank all of the fans who believe in me.”

Whether this was the best punch of his career: “Yes, definitely.”

Dillian Whyte:

Speaking to Eddie Hearn: “Can we get the rematch in December? I’m good, I’m good. It’s just one of those things where it just landed didn’t it. I was bossing it. It is what it is. Rematch. It’s cool, it’s all good. That’s what boxing is about. Cheers Eddie.”

Eddie Hearn:

On Alexander Povetkin’s upset victory: “I felt like I was in some dream. The fight was over, virtually. Povetkin started well, Dillian Whyte was measuring up and had a great finish to the 3rd round. Then he has two heavy knockdowns in the 4th round. I know I felt, and a lot of people felt, that it was over. But this is the drama of the sport that we love. This is the drama of heavyweight boxing – one punch can change everything. And tonight, one punch just completely changed the fight. Dillian Whyte was in total control of the fight, I really felt confident that he was about to end the fight. Was he complacent? Was it just great work from Alexander Povetkin? There’s that uppercut that some believe Whyte is susceptible to and Povetkin slipped right under and delivered it. Unbelievable. It is a shock. We knew how good Povetkin was and we knew how dangerous he was. Dillan Whyte had that fight virtually in the bag but we know how dangerous these elite Heavyweights can be. It was just a thrilling knockout on a thrilling night. I’m pretty much lost for words.” 

On a Whyte-Povetkin rematch: “We have a rematch clause. That was the first thing that Dillian said when he came out, ‘Get me that rematch, get me that rematch.’ It was a heavy knockdown, he’s going to have to take his rest. Povetkin is the mandatory now but he won’t be called. The only person to get called to negotiate with the winner of Fury vs. Wilder was Dillian Whyte. So we will exercise that rematch clause and we will look to make that happen before the end of the year. Listen, it’s a huge fight. It’s a dangerous fight now because obviously back-to-back defeats has a different shade on it. I know he will come back from this. It is crippling for Dillian to lose that number one position but he will be back. I believe he will win the rematch and bring his number one position back to life. This is the best sport in the world. The most dramatic sport in the world. This is what the sport brings us and sometimes it’s brutal.” 

On whether Povetkin’s win makes Joshua vs. Fury easier to arrange: “One of the stumbling blocks was that early in 2021 the mandatory defense against Dillian Whyte. Alexander Povetkin won’t be called as that immediate mandatory even though he sits at number one position. So, yes, that frees up Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua after the Deontay Wilder fight. For me, I wanted Dillian Whyte to get that opportunity. I thought a good win tonight would secure that and I thought he deserved that but he did lose and now he needs to rematch and try to beat Alexander Povetkin.”

Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Joshua-Pulev set for 6/20 in London

Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua OBE will defend his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO World Titles against Mandatory Challenger Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday June 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office, on a show promoted by Matchroom Boxing in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports and Entertainment.

Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) recaptured his belts and position as the Unified Heavyweight World Champion with a masterful unanimous decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on an historical night in December that saw the Heavyweight World Titles contested for the very first time in the Middle East.

June 20 will be ‘AJ’s’ first fight on UK soil in nearly two years, since he defended his crowns with a devastating seventh round knockout of Russia’s Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, and the former Finchley ABC man will be aiming to deal with Pulev in style to set up an Undisputed showdown against new WBC Champion and fellow Brit Tyson Fury down the line.

Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), the IBF’s No.1-ranked Heavyweight Mandatory Challenger, gets his second shot at World honors after his defeat to modern legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 – the only loss of his 29-fight professional career. He has won six fights in a row since then, including victories over Derek Chisora and an IBF Eliminator win over Hughie Fury in 2018.

The Bulgarian superstar was set to challenge Joshua at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in October 2017 but was forced to withdraw through an injury and will now get his opportunity to ruin the champion’s plans to face Fury in an all-British blockbuster showdown in the future.

“On June 20, I am defending my Heavyweight World Titles,” said Joshua. “I’m back in my home city after some time away. A spectacular stadium has been built in North London, and I’m honored to bring the boxing community from all over the world to witness us make history with the stadium’s first Heavyweight World Title fight. The belts go back up in the air and nothing will stop me from being victorious.”

“I am happy to have the opportunity to show the world how strong I really am,” said Pulev. “Becoming a Heavyweight World Champion has always been my mission in life and on June 20 2020 I will fulfil my destiny!”

“I’m so excited to see Anthony Joshua return to the capital, 70,000 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is going to be very special,” said Eddie Hearn. “2019 was a crazy year that had everything – the only thing missing was a UK fight and as we go into what I believe will be the biggest year of ‘AJ’s’ career so far, all our attention turns to Kubrat Pulev in an absolute must win fight. Pulev is undefeated in six years and his team and especially Bob Arum really fancy this. I think you are going to see something special from ‘AJ’ on June 20 – a destructive performance on the road to undisputed.”

Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman, said: “Kubrat Pulev has earned his ranking, and he is going to enemy territory prepared to pull off the upset. Ever since Top Rank signed Kubrat last year, I have seen a determined Heavyweight on a mission to win the Heavyweight Title. He has been in this situation before, and he won’t be intimidated by the tens of thousands of Joshua fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. June 20 is going to be another historic evening in the Heavyweight division.”

Andrade on 160-pound division: ‘Fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me’

Demetrius Andrade has signed a four-fight extension to his contract with Matchroom Boxing USA.

Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defends his WBO World Middleweight crown for the third time against Luke Keeler in Miami on January 30 live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

‘Boo Boo’ landed the vacant title in Boston in October 2018 with a win over teak-tough African Walter Kautondokwa and followed that win by stopping Artur Akavov in the final round of his first defense in New York in January 2019.

The Rhode Island ace went home for his second defense and thrilled his hometown fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence in June by putting Maciej Sulecki on the deck in the opening round en-route to a shut-out win over the Pole.

Irishman Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs) travels to Miami in a bid to shock the world in his first World title fight, but Andrade wants to hold onto his title in style before attacking the big guns and fellow World rulers at 160-pound.

“I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Andrade. “We have had a great 18 months and we’ve got plans to have an even bigger 2020 and 2021.

“I’ve matured in the ring as I’ve been more active and sometimes I think, if these guys had fought me before they might have had a better chance against me, but now they are giving me the time to sign with Eddie and DAZN, get active and fight four times, sharpen the tools and get the ring rust off. So, when it comes their time, it’s going to be hell for them!

“As long as I am building my legacy, performing the way I need to perform and people are loving my style and the things I am doing, I am not worried about anything else as the fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me.”

The two-weight World ruler was one of the first fighters to team up with promoter Eddie Hearn in July 2018 as he expanded the Matchroom Boxing empire to America with a billion-dollar deal with DAZN, and Hearn expects the Rhode Island ace to have a big year in 2020.

“I am thrilled to have signed an extension to Demetrius’ deal with Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Hearn. “Demetrius is one of the best 160-pound fighters in the world and now is the time to deliver him the fights against the other elite Middleweights in the division, live on DAZN.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Heavyweight Joseph Parker signs with Matchroom Boxing

Matchroom Boxing have signed a three-fight promotional deal with Heavyweight star Joseph Parker.

Parker will fight for the first time with Matchroom Boxing USA on June 29 in Providence, Rhode Island on the undercard of the Demetrius Andrade’s WBO Middleweight world title defense against Poland’s Maciej Sulecki, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Team Parker also announce today that David Higgins has been appointed to Joseph Parker’s management team.

The bout marks the beginning of the second phase of Parker’s career – and the start of the road to becoming the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world.

“My six-year promotional contract with Duco Events ended on March 26,” said Parker. “It was a wonderfully successful partnership – so much so that David Higgins will always be part of my team, advocating in my best interests in a management capacity.

“Since my contract with Duco ended I have been a free agent, with my team and I spending several months assessing how to best achieve my goal of not only becoming a World Champion again, but unifying all of the belts to become the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world.”

Parker said he and his management team conducted a robust process that included seeking offers from boxing’s most prominent promoters.

“Ultimately we decided that the best option was to partner with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing. We believe the three-fight deal that we are announcing today will be the start of a long and successful partnership.”

Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn said he had no doubt Parker could once again become Heavyweight Champion of the world.

“If Joseph Parker performs the way we all know he can over these next three fights then he will have a strong case for some huge fights,” Hearn said. “Parker is a young man with a great mix of experience and ambition, and this is a really exciting signing for Matchroom.

“And, I must say, I am also looking forward to sparring again with my old mate David Higgins as we haggle over the terms of each deal for Joseph. David unquestionably has Joseph’s best interests at heart and he is a tough negotiator, so there are going to be some interesting discussions ahead.”

Higgins said: “This is absolutely the right decision for Joseph and Team Parker, which I have supported every step of the way. I’m pleased that I can now work with Joseph’s existing management team to help carefully guide the remainder of his career.”

Higgins confirmed the creation of a new company, Sports Advisory and Management Limited, with his business partner Rachael Carroll, a former international pole vaulter.

The company will manage and advise a stable of talented athletes, he said.

The fight will be streamed on DAZN in the US and available on Sky Sports UK. Negotiations are underway for live broadcast rights in New Zealand.

ENDS

Haney: ‘I’m ready to rule the sport’

Devin Haney is ready to step-up his goal of dominating the sport as he prepares to face Antonio Moran in his DAZN debut in the US at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Saturday May 25, also live on Sky Sports in the UK.

Haney (21-0 13 KOs) is straight into action at the top of the bill having penned a co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA – and the unbeaten Lightweight sensation is planning to put on a devastating display to underline his World title credentials.

‘The Dream’ will have his hands full against Moran (24-3 17 KOs) who was edged out by former World ruler Jose Pedraza in June and returned to winning ways in December with a second round KO in Mexico – but Haney will not let his journey be derailed before he’s hit the heights he believes his talent can take him.

“There’s nothing to stop me from getting to number one, it’s just time,” said Haney. “Timing is everything and my time is going to come. I am only 20 years old, the other Lightweights out there better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster so the top guys need to fight me now.

“Boxing is something that I love so it doesn’t feel like a job to me, but the job is not done, I want to be a multi-weight champion and I want to rule the sport as a pound-for-pound star. When I am the face of boxing down the line, who knows what will happen, but right now those big goals are keeping me motivated.

“Getting the fights I want has been a challenge, a lot of guys have turned me down, saying there’s no point or not making enough money, so that’s been a real challenge. It’s me versus me, when I am in the gym I am so far ahead of a lot of guys that it’s me challenging myself, pushing myself, seeing how far I can go rather than seeing how far I can outrun another guy – how fast can I push myself?

“The landscape is very interesting right now. A World title is very important to me, over money and anything else, being World champion is the ultimate goal. To be a World ruler at 20 would be history, the youngest in the game. My ring IQ at my age is crazy, I’m able to adapt and adjust, I’ve been in there with so many great fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, and I’m able to adjust.

“When I first met Eddie and the Matchroom Boxing team it felt like the perfect fit. Me and my team spoke with Eddie about what we wanted and we were able to make it fit. Eddie recognizes me as a promoter, they are willing to work with me and build my brand and company at the same time.

“A lot of other promoters didn’t recognize me as a promoter, they just wanted to give me money and buy me out. Matchroom Boxing see me as a top fighter that they want to get behind, I would be important elsewhere, but Eddie made it clear that they are going to push me and get behind me.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Hearn on Joshua-Miller: ‘We are building a huge event on June 1’

   Anthony Joshua’s World Heavyweight title clash with Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden is already the hottest ticket in New York after becoming the highest grossing pre-sale for a boxing event at the famous arena.

Joshua defends his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO crowns against Miller on June 1 in the Big Apple, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK – and fight fans showed their appetite to see the Briton make his American debut in the backyard of the unbeaten Brooklynite, breaking the highest grossing pre-sale in MSG boxing history inside two hours of the midday on-sale.

Tickets go on general sale at midday on Tuesday February 19 following Monday’s pre-sale for Matchroom Fight Pass members, and fans hoping to snap up the chance to see the World’s premier Heavyweight lock horns with the dangerous ‘Big Baby’ should move fast on Tuesday to avoid missing out on this blockbuster night.

“We know that AJ is a huge box office hit in the UK but to break the pre-sale record at the iconic Madison Square Garden is astounding,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “We are building a huge event on June 1 and we look forward to the all the build-up beginning with next Tuesdays press conference in New York.”

“We are thrilled with the early excitement for tickets,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Marquee Events. “Anthony Joshua versus Jarrell Miller will be an epic event at Madison Square Garden and we encourage fans to purchase tickets now because this fight will sell out.”