Wednesday, October 18, 2017  |


Jarrell Miller wants next shot at Joseph Parker, WBO belt

Jarrell Miller. Photo by Rosie Cohe / Showtime

The heavyweight division might be the leader weight class in the boxing sphere as 2017 plays out to be the come-backing kind of slate which will help get the sport back on a better track after #MayPac threw it off course.

New blood in the XXL class has even some casuals perking up. Anthony Joshua is being backed by the premium cabler Showtime as a next big thing and a couple other young guns are in a mix which has folks who’ve not been bothered to pay close attention to the heavies perking up. Joseph Parker (22-0; age 24) snagged the WBO crown when he bested Andy Ruiz, another next-gen big body, Dec. 10 in New Zealand, and looked like a quite competent pugilist, one who could find himself in meaningful bouts for a solid span, if fate allows.

Parker is now in search mode for his next dance partner, and word is Hughie Fury from England is in the lead to get the slot. Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (18-0-1; age 28), the Brooklyn-based former kick boxer who has emerged as a fan fave on Showtime’s ShoBox series, wants to test Parker, a smart boxer who fought a well managed 12 rounds against Ruiz, a California boxer promoted by Top Rank.

Now, about Hughie Fury (20-0; age 22), cousin to Tyson Fury, who took the WBO strap when he beat Wladimir Klitschko, but dropped it after inactivity and a PED kerfuffle. Cousin Hughie also was ensnared in a PED quagmire; last summer, it was announced the Furys BOTH tested positive for the steroid nandrolone. Tyson and Hughie both had their licenses to box stripped by the British Boxing Board of Control and then those suspensions were lifted by the National Anti Doping Panel.

I emailed the BBBC and asked for a status update on the license status for both Furys. I also messaged the UK Anti Doping organization, which handles the PED testing for pro boxing in that neck of the woods, and asked about the Furys’ standing in their eyes, following those PED positives and then the licensing status deal. Also, I emailed Frank Warren’s outfit, as he promotes Hughie, so maybe they have some updated info on the status of that nandralone fuss, which both Furys denied using. I will insert replies as they arrive.

Miller, to be sure, is lobbying hard to get the nod over Hughie, and get a shot at taking down Parker. “Big Baby,” co-managed by Steve Nelson and Mike Mihalitsas, and promoted by Dmitriy Salita and Greg Cohen, last gloved up Aug. 19 and made Fred Kassi quit in round three. I chatted with him, he’s right now in Florida, before he was set to work out.

“Nobody cares about that wanker, Hughie Fury,” BBM told me. He said that the lingering stench of that positive PED test, as reported by the BBC, in this climate, should keep Hughie from the Parker fight. He needs to handle that issue, Miller told me, because heavyweight boxing has had far more than enough with PED antics of late. He cited the positive by Alexander Povetkin, which made Bermane Stiverne pull out of their planned scrap in Russia two weeks ago. Miller told me he did research on nandrolone, and that he thinks that substance, ingested by anyone looking for an extra boost, isn’t in the “iffy” category, as with some banned substances which maybe could find their way into an over-the-counter supplement. “Fighters have to educate themselves on PEDs, just as they do with business matters,” he said.

He’s hoping and thinking the WBO will do the right thing, in his mind, he told me, and consider the rep of the sport and the division, and make a statement in support of clean boxing.

And if that occurs, Miller predicts that Parker will fall before the final bell. “I would definitely stop Parker within seven rounds,” he stated. “I’ve never really been a huge fan of his. And after watching his fight with Andy Ruiz, I was even less so. Ruiz is like 6-1, 250, Parker is 6-3, like 235. I’m 6-4, 290, I’m a walking freight train! I’m the next big thing coming from America!”

It is looking like Hughie has that inside track, though. Carl Moretti, an executive with Top Rank, offered this update on what’s next for Parker. “We are in discussion with Hughie and Joseph Parker and that is the next fight,” he said. No when or where has been determined, he said.

Nelson is still fighting for his guy to get the title crack against Parker. I spoke to the Rochester, N.Y. manager, who worked with Hasim Rahman, William Joppy and Oscar De La Hoya (during the first two years of The Golden Boy’s pro career). He called me after eating at the Rochester Charlotte Tavern and was laughing. “I finished a cheeseburger, in honor of Jarrell. They have a three pounder here, if you eat it all you get it for free. I haven’t done it, but I think Jarrell could do it! Anyway, we think we are a better quality than Hughie in terms of boxing. We’re ranked higher by other organizations, and BoxRec has us 25, him 36. We’ve had much tougher opponents, a higher KO percentage, and they have Kassi in common. Take a look at Kassi versus Hughie, Kassi was doing well when Hughie was cut. As for the nandrolone issue, Hughie was allowed to appeal, but we need a ruling. They shouldn’t let him fight for the title, the sport needs to have guys obviously clean. I’m not against second chances of course but to let him fight for the title under a cloud is wrong. They should hear his appeal case immediately, then. Justice delayed is justice denied. Why would an HBO or Showtime show the fight and it puts them maybe in a precarious position, after they’ve jumped through hoops to show the fight. Hughie Fury hasn’t done enough in the sport to merit any extra consideration. We need to know Hughie is cleared. Jarrell is one hundred percent legal to fight. And we accept their terms, we will fight in New Zealand. We understand we are the challenger. We don’t care,  our guy is the better guy, and if Hughie is cleared we’re happy to fight him next and knock him out too.”

Miller still has Tyson Fury atop his heavyweight pound for pound list, with Wladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder and then Anthony Joshua next, with Parker after Joshua. “I took myself out of the mix for this rating,” he said. “But the heavyweight division is wide open.

Miller is plotting out a majestic 2017, it seems like. He envisions beating Parker, “and then I will take Deontay Wilder right after that!” He said he’s very unimpressed with the caliber of foes that Wilder has been taking on. Fans and media alike should be squawking about the too easy path for Wilder, he continued.

Miller gets it that the Brits are digging Joshua, but he notes that they seem to be the type of fans who are too impressed by physique. “They are definitely a little cocky,” he noted. “But after I get these wins, they will jump on my bandwagon.” He too is impressed by the euphoria and loyalty shown by Brit fans, but notes that our premium networks Showtime and HBO back this business in a big way, and are yearning for home grown stars. He volunteers for a more prominent place on their list of athletes to spotlight. “Me versus Parker,” Miller continued, before a workout and then a cheeseburger pounding session, “will be good for American TV.”

  • Jody Clause

    Jarrell Miller wants everybody. It’s a good thing.

    • Jose Reynoso

      He wanted to fight everybody years ago even when he had only like 15 fights, he always had that mentality.

      • ceylon mooney

        i like that. if he makes it to the top i hope he keeps that mentality.

        • Jose Reynoso

          He will, he just needs that opportunity. U know several years ago he was wladimir klitschko main sparring partner, way back when he wasn’t a full time boxer. So he is more experienced then the names on his resume.

      • Jody Clause

        Probably won’t be the next great heavyweight, but he’s fun.

        • Jose Reynoso

          Will see

        • john phillips

          He’s idiot very arrogant

    • T.J. Haney

      I agree

  • Barley mcgrew

    “They (British fans) are definitely a little cocky”. Americans never did do irony. Maybe Mr Miller – who has one fight more than an Anthony Joshua whose recent opposition prior to Molina had a combined record of about 84-1 – could actually FIGHT someone rather than just use his mouth and nationality to try gift himself a title shot.

    Also, the UK famously has the toughest approach to PED’s in world sport, having led the fight against PEDS whilst frequently calling for the sort of penalties deemed harsh by other nations – including America, Hence the moment loudmouth Miller started throwing around utterly baseless PED allegations in Joshua’s direction – on the rather spurious basis the Brit has a good physique – his endless equally baseless bragging lost all of its charm for me.

    • Barney mcgrew

      More of your UK media bias? Hang on you are not in the media, you write on a chatroom.

    • Jody Hanna

      He never said anything about Joshua using PEDs.

    • ceylon mooney

      oh u dont know US well at all, chief. u can overdose on irony here if u aint careful.

      • Barley mcgrew

        Lol. It’s just a well-know saying over here. Although some Americans do appear keen to live up to it.

        • ceylon mooney

          well from a certain perspective im sure its
          very true. not kidding nehere u stand determined what u ser.

          • Barley mcgrew

            Taking comments at face value is often the best policy anyway I guess.

          • ceylon mooney

            dude americans doin that shit is real funny.

            cuz we call a bum bag a fanny pack and stuff like that.

            still aint seen no cockney rhyming slang on here–is that still a thing?

            heh heh heh

          • Barley mcgrew

            Lol. It is. And don’t start a Brit talking about ‘fannies’ – two countries separated by a common language and all that.

          • kiowhatta

            Australian rhyming slang, which was very prevalent in the lower working classes up until about 30 years ago, was adopted from Cockney rhyming slang used to confuse outsiders as to what the nature of their conversation was.
            If I said ‘have a bo beep on the new york cities on that’, or bloody hell dan’s brown bread? then maybe you can guess.
            What’s even more interesting is the abbreviation.
            Here’s a link to a page of rhyming slang words:

            My fav’s are ‘ I’m having an optic nerve’ (perv) and I’ve been on the shane Warne (porn)

    • Jose Reynoso

      People don’t wanna fight Miller thou, I know this for fact.

      • Barley mcgrew

        I dare say in some cases – he’s a big, strong undefeated puncher. However that’s sure not the case with a Joshua ducked by Parker, a Joshua who has knocked off 4 undefeated fighters in his past 5 contests – and a Joshua who fights Wladimir Klitschko in just his 19th contest. AJ is happy to fight anyone and everyone – rapid progress as he has made in his short career thus far.

        * Nothing against Miller the fighter. I just don’t like fighters (or fans) throwing around baseless PEDS allegations – it harms our sport. And I also find it amusing the way US writers constantly act as PR for any half-decent heavyweight that emerges from the US. Yet Miller is an exciting edition to a newly-invigorated heavyweight scene.

        • Jose Reynoso

          Sorry didn’t really understand what u meant. If u are saying Joshua is more advanced at this pay, yea because he is getting the opportunities that Miller isn’t. People don’t really know Miller like that so they underestimate his skill set. Did u know several years back he was wladimir klitschko sparring partner. This was when he wasn’t even a full time boxer.

          • Barley mcgrew

            No worries. I actually edited my reply for greater clarity above.

          • Jose Reynoso

            Cool am with that.

  • Guy Grundy

    These days ( or is it just my imagination? ) it seems that any heavyweight out there, who can put on his trunks the right way round is ‘ giving it large ‘ as to their “right” to fight a champion…

    • ceylon mooney

      ha! hahaha. yea.

  • IanF69

    The last arse I saw that size, was pulling a Plough..

  • Pierre Burger

    Parker is one of the worst heavyweight champions I’ve ever seen. Hughie Fury is even worse. I haven’t seen Miller.

    • Barley mcgrew

      Champions seem dime a dozen these days.

    • Jose Reynoso

      Miller has dominated all his competition he is very legit.

    • PJC79

      Havnt seen much of Miller either, but I’ve seen a lot of Hughie Fury. Not sure how he’d do against the bigger men of the division, but I’d fancy him against a Parker or Pulev.

    • PJC79

      Havnt seen much of Miller either, but I’ve seen a lot of Hughie Fury. Not sure how he’d do against the bigger men of the division, but I’d fancy him against a Parker or Pulev.

  • ceylon mooney

    i hope all this enthusiasm matches parkers fight frequency. im a fan of
    any fighter who does 4
    timed a year. talk shit is fine, but NONE a youse will ever come
    off as cool as the japanese fighters
    do in interviews.

  • Joey Junger

    I enjoy seeing Big Baby put the pacifier on someone as much as the next man, but how many serious heavyweights are there who campaign at (or even walk-around at) ten pounds under 300? I remember watching Brian Minto versus Chris Arreola years ago and thinking it was only a step-down from the circus spectacle of something like Haye or Holyfield versus Valuev. There should be heavyweight and then super-heavyweight.

    Anyway, the most important heavyweight, and the one I’m sure won’t duck Jarrell if he wants him, is the most underrated, Luis Ortiz (but that always happens with Cubans, who have solid amateur pedigree and are usually defense-first, which means they’re “boring” to the casuals in contrast to the Puerto Rican and Mexican fighters). Ortiz works well inside and hits like a mule. Jarrell should fight him, or even David “the White Rhino” Allen; “King Kong” scalped Allen in his last fight, but he comes to scrap and it would be a good show.

  • Chris

    Whyte vs Miller just for the press conference .. please

  • Sugar Ray Simple

    Another yank heavyweight who will be handed some sort of title on a plate. Big mouth, big tits and will most likely be a big let down.

  • Rdb85

    Has he fought anyone I’d actually know yet or does he want a shot gifted to him?….

    Just checked Boxrec him and H Fury have the same last win, here’s a novel idea rather than asking to get the next shot offer to fight for it or get a win of note against a Pulev, Ortiz, Stirverne, White, Ruiz Jr, Jennings. In fact there’s so many HW “prospects” have a huge tournament. Let Wilder, Parker, AJ, Wlad clear up a mini 4 man tournament to get the belts then have an 8 man between the pretenders for first shot as they can do 3/4 fights in the time of 2. Then you have Furys return.

  • Rosalino Sanchez Felix

    Big baby is a hoax, do not believe the hype