New Faces: Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Weight class: Heavyweight
Height/reach: 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm)/78 inches (198 cm)
Amateur record: 10-1 (7 knockouts)
Turned pro: 2009
Pro record: 17-0-1 (15 KOs)
Trainers: Harry Keit and Sosa Arriello
Manager: Steve Nelson
Promoters: Greg Cohen Promotions and Salita Promotions
Best night of pro career: Miller has high hopes for the future. He feels his best is still to come.
“I don’t know, I don’t think I had a best performance,” Miller mused when he spoke to RingTV.com. “When I have won all the heavyweight belts and I’m undisputed heavyweight champion, that’ll be my best performance.”
Worst night of pro career: In January 2013, the heavy-handed New Yorker drew with Joey Dawejko. It still rankles Miller.
“One I’m disappointed in would definitely be the draw,” he said without pause. “Even when I become world champion, I still want to challenge that s–t. I’ve got it on tape. You beat someone in their hometown in a four-round fight and they take away points from you in the third and fourth rounds, but I still got a draw.
“I beat the brakes off him. His face looked like a swollen watermelon. I whooped his behind. The referee sucked; he took a win away from me. I have no doubt I’ll get it back. Hopefully, Joey can still win some fights. It would be a purpose win; it’s something on my record and bugs me every time I see it.”
Next fight: On Friday, Miller will face Fred Kassi in the main event of “ShoBox: The New Generation.” The broadcast from the Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, New York, begins at 10:00 ET/PT.
“I’m definitely going to knock out Fred Kassi,” he said confidently. “I have no doubt in my mind he’s going to be well conditioned, he’s pretty durable for 10 rounds.
“He’s a smaller heavyweight but the thing is that sloppy guys like (Dominic) Breazeale and Chris Arreola, when they connect they do hurt him, they just don’t follow up on punches. The thing with me is I throw a ton of punches. Watch my fights – I average 80 punches a round sometimes and I’m throwing them with bad intentions. I’m not looking to take it to the judges. I throw punches with purpose.
“Once I land on him, he’s going to be, ‘Holy s–t! This is a big motherf—er! And he’s fast!’ Especially when the rounds get deeper and deeper, he’s going to crumble. He’s gonna be like, ‘You know what? I put myself in the wrong spot. It’s time for me to go home.’ I’m definitely going to stop him. I’m thinking between the fifth and seventh round.”
Kassi sports a record of 18-5-1 (10 KOs) from his 13-year career. The 36-year-old is based in America now by way of Cameroon.
Over the past couple of years he has become something of a gatekeeper to the division. He drew with three-time title challenger Arreola last summer. He has dropped a decision to Breazeale and a technical decision to Hughie Fury. Kassi has only been stopped once – in seven rounds – by Amir Monsour.
Kassi will be expected to take Miller rounds; a knockout, especially early, would serve notice to the heavyweight divison.
Why he’s a prospect: Although “Big Baby” doesn’t have any noteworthy amateur credentials, he was a skilled amateur kickboxer from a young age, going 14-0 (7 KOs). He then turned pro and went 22-1 (10 KOs) before switching to boxing.
Miller doesn’t feel his lack of amateur background to be a problem.
“They look at the Olympics as the forefront of the next guys coming up. There’s a lot of guys who made the Olympics who don’t do s–t in the professional career,” he reasoned. “I’ve never had an amateur style, even when I was a kickboxer. My thing was knocking people out.”
He still maintains the same style today. Anyone who can’t deal with his ferocity is in trouble.
Miller has struggled to get top-notch sparring of late but has in the past been in camp with both Klitschko brothers. He was in camp with Wladimir for eight training camps and one with Vitali.
“I had conversations with them. Vitali’s thing was stay patient, ” he explained. “Wladimir’s thing was always keep working hard. They’re great businessmen and I take my hat off to them the way they carry themselves.”
Miller lacks respect for the current top contenders and champions and doesn’t need an invite to openly bash their standings in the sport:
“Charles Martin got the belt off a freebie, that’s how Anthony (Joshua) got the belt – a freebie. (Laughs) These guys are just happy with what they have gotten. They’ve gotten a lucky freebie and they’re taking it and running for the hills!
“Deontay Wilder when he fought (Bermane) Stiverne, he fought a champion. Stiverne wasn’t there mentally and physically, which is his fault. Charles Martin lost the belt to Anthony Joshua, which wasn’t Joshua’s fault mentally – these guys are beating themselves.There not fighting top-10 opponents either.
“Tyson Fury is the biggest one out there right now who has fought a champion. What’s going through his brain right now, I don’t know. When they get in there with a dog that is hungry and mean, we’ll see what’s going to happen. That’s what I am. People are starting to take notice. I’m the bad puppy of the litter. I’m the bad guy and I love it!”
He clearly has an outgoing, larger-than-life personality as well as an engaging, TV-friendly fighting style with fight-ending power. However, he feels his ability to adapt is his best attribute, saying: “I can jab, I have a right hand, I’ve got power, I’ve got good footwork, I can adapt. I’ve got the best footwork in the heavyweight division. Period. Trust me. And I haven’t even had to use it yet – I’m saving it for the right fight.”
Why he’s a suspect: A lack of amateur experience hasn’t effected him so far … might it make a difference as he goes deeper in the heavyweight division?
His marauding, seek-and-destroy style has worked well for him so far … however, what happens when he faces someone who is able to stand with him and fire back?
Miller’s weight in his last three bouts has risen from 280½, dipped to 274¼ and back up to 283. Although he has a broad 6-foot-4 frame, it seems like a lot of weight to routinely carry. Miller refutes this and says it’s not a problem. Interestingly, in the lone blemish on his record he weighed a career-high 286.
He has yet to go past seven rounds. How will his fitness hold up when he is extended late into a fight?
Story lines: Miller was raised within a big family and spent a lot of time with his cousins. He has had to learn from an early age to fight for what he wanted.
He saw bad things happening on the streets in Brooklyn, but to his immense credit he wanted to change.
His idol was Mike Tyson, who told him: “There’s something about you, you’ve just got to keep pushing.” Those words have stuck with him ever since.
Away from boxing he enjoys acting and entertaining people.
July 18 – Darius Whitson – TKO 1
May 19 – Isaac Villanueva – TKO 3
April 21 – Donnie Crawford – TKO 1
Dec. 19 – Tyrone Gibson – TKO 2
Jan. 19 – Joey Dawejko – D 4
Sept. 25 – Tobias Rice – TKO 2
Nov. 7 – Willie Chisolm – TKO 2
Dec. 18 – Sylvester Barron – TKO 2
Jan. 31 – Jon Hill – TKO 4
May 15 – Joshua Harris – TKO 2
Nov. 13 – Rodricka Ray – UD 6
Jan. 9 – Aaron Kinch – UD 6
April 17 – Raymond Ochieng – TKO 1
June 4 – Damon McCreary – TKO 2
June 26 – Excell Holmes – TKO 1
Oct. 23 – Akhror Muralimov – TKO 3
Jan. 22 – Donovan Dennis – TKO 7
May 27 – Nick Guivas – TKO 2