I’ve been back in camp for a few weeks now and I’m properly back at it. I’m in a good rhythm and good place right now with my training.
I’ve got a fight coming up in July. What I can say about that is he’s a top 10 heavyweight. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and doing my thing.
It’s obviously been interesting to see the news filter about Jarrell Miller in the last few days [denied a licence to fight Anthony Joshua after an ‘adverse finding’ in a drug-testing sample] and it looks like that fight is off with Eddie desperately scrambling around to find a credible replacement.
Miller apparently failed a test for something that is banned at all times that gives him twice the amount of strength, twice the amount of stamina and let’s him train twice as hard.
You can’t be 320lbs in any sport let alone boxing, moving and throwing punches non-stop for 12 rounds. That’s virtually impossible. I argued that Miller was on stuff a long time ago. I was right.
When he was kicked out of the WBC rankings over two years ago, that was a tell-tale sign then. He refused to sign up for the WBC’s Clean Boxing Programme under which proper global, 24/7/365 random VADA drug testing takes place.
The WBC is the only governing body with such a comprehensive all year round programme and VADA testing is by far the strictest and with the best track record. They even test when you are abroad, unlike UKAD who appear not to have the resources to test fighters when they are training overseas which is a shame.
However, UK boxers under UKAD do far more tests than anyone else in the World. In America, USADA only tests its fighters on Fight Night which is nuts.
For the last three years, since the WBC started the Clean Boxing Programme, I’ve been regularly tested by both UKAD and VADA – whatever country I’m in.
It’s obvious to anyone who looks at Miller that he must be on something to keep going like the Duracell bunny when you see the state he turns up in. Most people his size would struggle to climb the stairs let alone do 12 hard rounds throwing non-stop.
Anyway, I’m not worried about Miller’s situation, that’s his problem. I’m focused on my job at hand because training is hard.
I have to go back in, find my timing and get my rhythm. I’m in the first phase of getting myself into shape for two weeks, then four or five weeks of conditioning, then four or five weeks of sparring and then the fight is here.
Many have called for me to be given the opportunity to go head-to-head against AJ in the last few days after the news broke about Miller. This looks unlikely though.
I spoke to Eddie [Hearn] on Wednesday and the purpose of that call was to lock down my next fight.
The suggestion of getting this fight with Joshua back on wasn’t something that was really discussed in much depth.
I told Eddie I’d be up for it and he said ‘you won’t be ready in time’.
I said, laughing, ‘I’m up for it if the money is right, now that Joshua has already been under VADA testing for the last ten weeks’ and Eddie just kind of changed subject.
I would have definitely been interested in replacing Miller though, because over 10,000 British fans have bought tickets at Madison Square Garden.
I never said I wasn’t interested in the fight. That simply isn’t true. As I said before, I have been training for a few weeks and I’m feeling good. I would have taken it.
I wasn’t in camp in January when they were making these ridiculous offers, but I am now at the end of the day.
We [my team] always knew their plan was to fight in the US against Jarrell Miller, they were never serious about negotiating with me.
The first offer to me was ridiculous and when a semi-respectable one finally came in, it was already too late as I’d made other plans with the WBC which they have since seriously let me down on, but that’s a story for another day.
As Eddie now knows, I also had offers from elsewhere for amounts way in excess of what they were offering for the AJ fight at the time for much lesser fights.
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If they want an American to replace him, then Hearn has just signed Michael Hunter (16-1) and he could fit the bill. I think Joshua will end up fighting Manuel Charr now, though.
He’s fought [Wladimir] Klitschko and you know people’s mindsets; he’s got the WBA heavyweight title and they’ll bill it as a unification fight. He’d jump at the chance and he’d clearly be cheaper than Miller.
When you look at the track record of these guys, they want to preserve their spot. I’ve done it the proper way, so it’s no surprise that promoters like Frank Warren and lots of ex-fighters are saying I should be getting my shot.
I’ve fought top 10 contenders back-to-back. I’m not one to shy away from fighting. I don’t say no. I say yes straight away.