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Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller Pick

Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, June 1, 2019
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
TV: DAZN
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Titles: WBO, IBF, and WBA Heavyweight Titles
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Anthony Joshua, 22-0 (21 KOs), Watford, United Kingdom
Vs.
Jarrell Miller, 23-0-1 (20 KOs), Brooklyn, New York

Betting Odds: Anthony Joshua (-1200), Jarrell Miller (+775)
Over/Under: Over 9.5 Rounds (+165), Under 9.5 Rounds (-190)

WBO, IBF, and WBA Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua takes on high-rated American challenger Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden on June 1. It will be the first U.S. appearance for the unbeaten Joshua, as he takes on a local product in Miller, who is from nearby Brooklyn. A look at the odds indicates that not many fancy the chances of the hulking American. But in heavyweight championship boxing, we've seen one surprise after the next, so maybe Miller isn't the no-hoper that some suspect.

Though he is less-proven, Miller is a year older than the champion at age 30. And it should be useful that he doesn't have to travel. In a way, it's a bit odd for the A-side of the fight to come to the B-side's backyard, but MSG is the Mecca of Boxing and most greats fight here at least once. With other top heavyweights in the world taking on each other, some have called into question Joshua's career path—taking on a guy where there certainly wasn't a lot of clamor. In some ways, this qualifies as a high-risk/low-reward type of fight, with Miller's exact ceiling rather undefined.

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These are both big men, with Joshua the more typical athlete—a shredded 245 pounds spread over a 6'6" frame that looks cut from granite. Miller flaunts some nice height at 6'4, though he has a 4-inch reach disadvantage with a 78-inch wingspan. But he is a thick sort, coming into recent fights somewhere around 280 pounds. In the heavyweight division, we use a different scale to grade fitness, as there is no limit in poundage. But it's fair to say that Miller is perhaps a bit too heavy. For a guy who used to weigh in the 240-range to be coming in at close to 300 pounds raises legitimate concerns about his stamina. One would figure for a fight of this importance, he would be in fine shape. His weight does, however, elicit some questions about his drive and devotion.

That's not the only outstanding issue of worry for Miller and his backers. While Miller has escalated the quality of his competition with nice wins over Gerald Washington, Mariusz Wach, and Johann Dahaupas, his resume suggests more of a prospect or fringe contender. This fight seems out-of-step, as it's a jarring rise in class. That's not too imply he can't fight or that he hasn't accomplished good things. A former kickboxer of some repute, he certainly is a capable sort. One still would have liked to see some tougher tests leading to this fight. You still can't summarily dismiss a man his size and with 11 stoppage wins in his last 12 fights, he at least qualifies as dangerous.

A portly stature and thin resume doesn't disqualify Miller from being a serious threat. But certain limitations in his skill-set very well might do that. That's not to imply that some hidden traits couldn't manifest under the heat of this gigantic pressure, but based on his prior work, it's not easy to identify an area where he excels. His record indicates punching power, but he lacks that kind of one-punch game-changing power you'd like to see in such a big underdog. With all that weight, there's a ponderous nature to his boxing. His hands and feet seem average speed-wise.

Miller doesn't really have a lot of different gears. When watching him fight, one tends to notice he fights in one speed for the most part with little variance. His jab isn't particularly strong and he just moves forward and tries to overwhelm his opponents with his size, strength, and pressure. It lends a degree of obviousness to his boxing. And against a fighter like Joshua, that wouldn't seem to equal much success.

The worth of Miller's winning case in this fight is tied up in things that may resonate, but probably won't. Again, he's a bit of an X-factor. With Joshua we know what we have, while Miller's exact high notes maybe haven't been heard yet. He remains a big strong man that is to be taken seriously. More daylight in Joshua's case could exist in the headspace of his opponent. This seems like a random thrown-in fight for Joshua. It's not the big fights Joshua might have wanted and it could conceivably result in a loss of focus. Could Miller catch Joshua sleeping here?

It doesn't seem likely. You don't become an Olympic gold medal winner and unbeaten champ by taking things for granted. Joshua has proven a lot since rising to the ranks of world-class. At first, he was viewed as a ponderous slugger. And while it's true that he's not the most-innate looking fighter and he lacks upper-body movement, he has shown he is far from some one-dimensional frontrunner who relies solely on brawn. During his reign, he has been pushed and answered the call. He has overcome adversity and emerged triumphantly. Sure, power is a big part of his game, but he has shown he has other routes to the winner's circle and can fight a more-measured fight when necessary.

While some are giving Joshua guff for not fighting Wilder, Fury, or some other top dogs, he has in fact taken on some tough fighters during his rise, with big wins over Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Parker, and Alexander Povetkin. In those fights, he had to show some variety and toughness. Recently, he has shown he is adept at counterpunching. Guys like Miller can't just open up against Joshua or the price is steep. Joshua mixes up his shots very well and can employ different angles and ranges. His jab is nice and if he does come across with the big shot, it does massive damage. We've seen opponents go flying when connected upon solidly. He has great size and reach and covers a lot of the ring. There is simply no place to hide from AJ.

Stylistically, Miller seems to be in trouble. If he were a bit more agile and could move and stick that jab, you could start putting together a case for him. He just isn't suited for that. He is simply too available and without that difference-making one shot power, it makes him a sitting duck. There is something just too straightforward about Miller to make him a viable choice in this fight. Barring some freakish early bolt from beyond, it's not easy to picture a realistic path to victory for the American challenger. The odds on Joshua are hardly attractive. I forecast an early night, which also might be Miller's only real shot to win. I just don't see it taking long before Joshua hones in and gets Miller out of there. I'm going under in this one.

Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting that the Joshua-Miller fight goes under 9.5 rounds at -190. Did you know... that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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