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JEFF POWELL: Tyson Fury willing to face Jarrell Miller this year

Tyson Fury is willing to take on Jarrell Miller this autumn even though New York’s ‘Big Baby’ was banned from fighting Anthony Joshua after failing a triple-whammy drugs test.


Fury, who cherishes his claim to the lineal world heavyweight title, will accept Miller as a challenger for that distinction if the American is fully cleared to box this autumn. 

The Gypsy King says: ‘I don’t care what he’s done or does in his life. If he’s free to fight he’s the highest ranked opponent available to me.’

Promoters Frank Warren and Bob Arum are looking to expand Fury’s profile in America with a more prominent opponent than Tom Schwarz, the little-known German he wasted inside two round on his Las Vegas debut last month.

Of Miller’s positive tests for a cocktail of banned substances, Warren says: ‘It is not our job to police drugs testing. That is up to the boxing commissions.’

Fury, typically forthright, is bluntly pragmatic: ‘The scandal makes Miller even more popular in New York.’

And that is where Fury plans to continue his comeback, probably on October 5, en route to a February 22 rematch in America of his epic draw with Deontay Wilder, the WBC world champion.

The New York Commission have been criticised for imposing only a six-month suspension on Miller.

The double irony for Joshua is that the short ban opens up the possibility of Miller fighting his English rival, after pitching AJ into a sensational upset loss of his world titles on May 31 to the deceptively rotund and unexpectedly dangerous Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr.

Joshua is expected to return to Madison Square Garden in November for the Ruiz rematch, in which the bookies make him favourite to regain his belts but which many champions present and past believe he is unwise to take immediately.

Wilder also plans an autumn pit-stop in the Big Apple, for another rematch, this one against Luis Ortiz who pushed him to the limit in their first fight.

Such are the machinations of big-time boxing. Not that they always come to fruition as planned.

As Joshua was brutally reminded by Ruiz, there is many a slip between the cup of riches and a split lip.

The winner between Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman will go on to beat Anthony Joshua, whether or not he is heavyweight champion of the world.

That is the conviction of Frank Warren, promoter of the fight which is about to restore lustre to the British heavyweight title.

Gorman and Dubois clash at London’s O2 this Saturday in a revival of the tradition which saw such legends as Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno and Lennox Lewis proud to reign over the domestic heavyweight scene.

As with those illustrious fighters, Dubois and Gorman have their sights set on the pinnacle of their game and Warren says: ‘Whichever of them wins this one will fight for the world title next year.

‘Whoever loses will recycle and come again to get into that mix. Whether or not Joshua regains his titles in a rematch with Andy Ruiz – which in my view he is unwise to be taking immediately – he will still be an important player for a while.

‘So one way or the other one of Daniel or Nathan is likely to fight him. And whichever one does will knock him out.’

Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce is also on the bill, hoping for a decisive victory over seasoned American Bryant Jennnings to push even more quickly his claims for European and World title challenges.

‘Joyce, Dubois and Gorman are the future,’ says Warren. ‘They are coming up fast behind Wilder, Fury and Joshua.

Dubois, the knock-out merchant, affirms his readiness for the challenge: ‘I want to join the roll call of British champions. After I do that on Saturday I think I will be only a couple of fights away from a world title. If that involves fighting Joshua that’s fine with me.

‘Although I’m not sure he can get his titles back. The little Mexican deserved to beat him and with that upset in the bank I think Ruiz has got Joshua’s number.’

Gorman expresses similar confidence about defeating Dubois and ‘moving quickly on to greater things’. Both men responded eagerly to being mandated to by the British Boxing Board of Control to battle for the British crown.

Dubois v Gorman will be televised live on BT Sport this Saturday, July 13.

Amir Khan’s fight against a replacement opponent called Billy Dib this Friday night in Jeddah is not much more meaningful than me boxing Canelo Alvarez.

Maybe less so since there wouldn’t be such a wide difference in natural size between Canelo and myself.

Khan is a former world light-welterweight champion now campaigning at welterweight. Dib is a little-known Australian featherweight who came a cropper when he moved up to fight for a world super-featherweight title.

The Saudis are reportedly paying Khan seven million dollars for this non-title fight happening in Jeddah. So who can blame him?

But one request, Amir. Please do the business in the ring.

It will only be worth watching live on Channel 5 if the win is impressive enough to tempt Manny Pacquiao into a trip to the desert in November.

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