The British ain’t coming… they’re already here. If London Bridge is falling down, then the sky’s the limit for transcendent generational icon in the making Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21KOs), British unified heavyweight champion.
Like a new age Columbus with a fade, a tan and a cutting edge gym membership he definitely uses, AJ and a UK contingent wealthy enough to make Wall Street suits blush, sailed into the NYSE and officially opened trading.
And watching nearby, in dark shades to hide eyes cold enough to contribute toward a chilly late February morning in NYC, Brooklyn’s own Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (23-0-1, 20KOs) seethes.
I arrive at Madison Square Garden, site of Joshua Vs Miller on June 1 aired by DAZN, and run directly into Matchroom promoter extraordinaire, Eddie Hearn. New Londoner and NYF’s protege Chris Glover, my Robin of sorts, appears shortly thereafter. Admirably ambitious, I show him how to move in a room full of vultures– which is exactly what Nestor Gibbs of Tha Boxing Voice must have looked like to Hearn. The two battled like emcees, often furiously over the merits of AJ, DAZN and damn near anything else short of Theresa May and her disastrous handling of the Brexit debacle.
I see my boy “X”, Xavier Porter, days before doing a ringside call with our own editor-in-chief Michael Woods on “FightNight Live” and readying to launch a new channel.
I gleefully photo bomb his videotaping of Hearn before following gorgeous Matchroom ringcard girls Kira Gomez and Samantha Kumiko into the staging area.
I’m told by ace and Fight Chronicles scoop collector David Yi that Joshua and Miller have just ended a corny ass round table discussion I smashed the pass button on.
There’s just this foreboding, you can feel it; security from both camps – and that of MSG, have a heightened sense of anticipation for drama, and I’ve positioned myself in the eye of the storm with CG right behind me. Eddie knows it too, wearing a four-piece suit if we include an accessory of intuitive dread.
An enraged “Big Baby” wastes no time before getting rid of the bottle and figuratively shitting all over AJ, shoving the shocked champion across the stage in a way not seen since Ivan Drago bitch pushed Apollo Creed.
After the ensuing melee that followed, BB owned the stage and the mic, briefly captivating the press before descending into a foul toddler whose diaper needed to be changed.
Miller, who threw around a reverse pyramid shaped part of a woman’s anatomy completely devoid of scheme, kept aiming that blatant five-letter word at Joshua in bad taste– judging by the lemony peel chewing looks on many faces in the press (quite a few of them of the feminine variety). And for the record, he comes from something Trump famously referred to grabbing “her” by, and they’re a lot tougher than the real dick he was being, on a stage most heavyweights would be ready to die for.
In a Black History Month that will forever live in infamy, this press conference did nothing to alter the notion, as crude reality TV disguised as promotion in the most venerable fight arena the world has ever known was, well, shameful. But hey, it’s not everyday you get to see Anthony Joshua shoved into a 40 ft moonwalk, courtesy of a “Ready to Die” Jarrell Miller.
Which is wild because I couldn’t get over the incongruent irony of his nickname – and his behavior – and the classic first album cover of the late hip-hop legend “Notorious B.I.G”, who hails from the same hallowed Brooklyn haunts as Jarrell. There’s trash talk, and then there’s just trash; so personal that it defies description beyond that which we know.
For a minute there, it was as if Big Baby morphed into the ghost of Biggie Smalls, glaring at a would be Jigga he finally gets to confront as a fraud and betrayer of his borough. Especially when AJ claimed he was coming to ‘take Brooklyn’. Especially if he knew Hova stole “B.I.G Pimpin” from the vaults of Biggie and claimed it as if it were his own, to give him a most blasphemous “Life after Death”. I mean, what if Big Baby and new trainer Aureliano Sosa know something we don’t?
I went over to “B.I.G” Miller to talk, and left still not really sure why he wants to kick in AJ’s front door, sliding out back when punk ass TMZ jumped in to sensationalize shit. I’m more of a N@s type of guy with a little bit of a Tupac chip in the pocket, for I’d be afraid to put it on my shoulder. That guy cooly asks AJ: “Yo, wassup wit all the beef that seems so far beyond boxing?” He just shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. I’m diggin how AJ kept his cool though.. He not only had a Shawn Carter kinda vibe about him during the bedlam on stage, but knew when to pull out the hood in Jay-Z.
“What’s Beef?” AJ asked.
I’ll be damned if that’s not another Biggie song.
Read more John Gatling here.