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8:18 PM ET
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has made an offer to heavyweight contender Jarrell Big Baby Miller to challenge unified world titleholder Anthony Joshua in June, Miller co-promoter Greg Cohen told ESPN on Monday.
Cohen said the offer is for Brooklyn, New Yorks Miller to face Joshua on June 1 or June 8 at Madison Square Garden in New York in a fight that would stream on DAZN in the United States. It would mark the U.S. debut for Joshua, who is a mega star in his home country of the United Kingdom.
Eddie has made an offer and well see what happens, Cohen said. Obviously, for every fighter, promoter and manager whats better than fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world? Weve been discussing it for a while but now we have an official offer.
Cohen said the first offer came about a week ago but that they have made a lot of progress and are much close to a deal.
There has been substantial movement on the money and were under a million dollars apart at his point, said Cohen, who co-promotes Miller with Dmitry Salita.
Cohen said they have not yet worked out language for a rematch clause, which Joshua would have in the event he lost the optional defense, or the particulars on options that Matchroom Boxing would receive on future Miller fights. But Cohen, Salita and Hearn have a good relationship as Hearn has worked with them to put Millers past four bouts on Matchroom Boxing cards.
Fighting for the title against Joshua is everybodys goal but the economics have to make sense, Cohen said. Im hopeful we can get there. Were not there yet. But everybody is negotiating in good faith. There has been progress, but we just have to see if we can get there. I certainly would love to see Jarrell fight for the title against Joshua. Its Madison Square Garden. It would be in Jarrells hometown. Whats better than that?
Hearn did respond to messages seeking comment on the offer, which Ring magazine first reported, citing only sources.
If the deal is not finalized, Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs), 30, could wind up as one of Joshuas mandatory challengers since he is one of four fighters tabbed for a box-off ordered by the WBA to determine its secondary titlist (and Joshuas mandatory challenger). It also includes secondary titlist Manuel Charr, Fres Oquendo and interim titlist Trevor Bryan, whom Miller would probably face in the semifinals of the box-off if the Joshua fight does not come to fruition.
There are advantages to being a mandatory challenger, such as a minimum percentage of the money should the fight go to a purse bid, Cohen pointed out.
Its not just the economic were working out for this fight, Cohen said. Theres the rematch if Jarrell wins. When youre an elective (defense) there are other components you have to deal with that you dont have to deal with if youre the mandatory. But if Joshua wants to come to America, and its unlikely he can get a fight with (titleholder) Deontay Wilder because it looks like hes going to do the rematch with Tyson Fury, then I dont think theres another option for him other than Jarrell Miller. Hes the best option by far, especially if hes going to fight in New York.
Joshua has never shown any serious desire to fight in the United States, but those close to him believe he began to warm to the idea when he joined Hearn in New York in mid-December when Hearn was co-promoting a fight between his fighter, Rocky Fielding, and Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez knocked out Fielding in the third round to win a secondary super middleweight world title on Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden, where there was a wild crowd of 20,112 on hand. Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), 29, was ringside and clearly enjoyed the electric atmosphere. If Joshua fights at Madison Square Garden he can expect a similar atmosphere because thousands of his British fans would undoubtedly make the trip to the U.S. for the fight.
Joshua has had an April 13 date penciled in for a fight at Wembley Stadium in London, where he has drawn as many as 90,000 for his 11th-round knockout of former longtime unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko in the 2017 fight of the year.
The leading candidate for the April 13 date is contender Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs), 30, of England, but Hearn has had issues closing a deal with him. Joshua stopped Whyte in the seventh round in 2015 in the bout before winning a world title in April 2016.
While Joshua has made six successful title defenses and unified three belts, Whyte has won nine fights in a row since the loss, including against multiple quality opponents, to put himself in position for a rematch.
Its either theyre going to go on April 13 at Wembley against Dillian Whyte Dillian of theyre making a deal with us for June in New York. Thats how I see it, Cohen said. They have the champion. I am sure Dillian Whyte has a price hes willing to accept. If they want Jarrell theyll go with him. We can sit back and see what happens.
Jarrell can win this fight. There arent too many guys who can say that. Jarrell has always wanted this fight. He has a manager, two co-promoters and he is letting us do our job, but Jarrell wants this fight for sure. He says hes going to smash him.
This article was originally published by Espn.com. Read the original article here.