Jarrell Miller: I’m going to find Parker and beat him
By Eric Baldwin: #4 WBO Jarrell Miller (18-0-1, 13 KOs) feels he’s the most deserving of the top contenders to face WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. Miller wants the fight against the 24-year-old Parker ahead of #2 WBO Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) and #6 WBO David Price. Parker and his promoters are working on picking one of those three contenders – Fury, Price or Miller – to fight on April 8 in his first defense of his WBO title.
Miller still has a chance for the title shot, as Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is interested in having him fight Parker for his title. Arum co-promotes Parker. It’s unclear why he would specifically want Miller to fight Parker.
It’s likely that Arum sees Miller as more recognizable to the casual boxing fans in the U.S than Hughie Fury and David Price. Miller, 28, isn’t that well-known either though. He’s known by the hardcore fans in the U.S, but he’s still an unknown with the casual fans.
Parker recently won the WBO heavyweight title this month in beating Andy Ruiz Jr. by a 12 round decision. Parker looked beatable in that fight. He won, but only because Ruiz Jr. got tired in the last half of the contest. If Ruiz Jr. had kept fighting hard, he would have beaten Parker. The fight showed that the 6’4” Parker is someone that is there to be beat.
Before the fight, Parker was seen by some boxing fans as a fighter that could potentially beat IBF champion Anthony Joshua. Not now though. Parker is viewed as a paper champion and a beatable one at that.
Miller said this to skysports.com about wanting the title shot against Parker:
“I would go anywhere to go fight that bum,” said Miller about Parker. “I don’t care if it’s in New Zealand, I don’t care if it’s in Botswana, I don’t care if it’s in Morocco, I don’t care if it’s in Vegas, or on his doorstep. I’m going to find that boy and beat him.”
Parker’s management will likely opt for the Hughie Fury fight, because it’s a match-up that is won that Parker can win because Hughie can’t punch. It’s also a fight that would draw boxing fans if it were to take place in the UK. Besides that, if Parker beat Hughie, it could help him get an eventual big money fight against Tyson Fury when/if he resumes his career in 2017. The 6’9” Fury is going to be gunning for one of the heavyweight titles when he restarts his career. He might like the idea of fighting the vulnerable 24-year-old Parker to avenge Hughie’s loss and to win an easy title.
As bad as Parker looked in the Ruiz Jr. fight, he might not be able to defeat the 6’6” Hughie. That would be a much different type of fight than his recent match against Ruiz. As long as Hughie doesn’t get tired in the last six rounds of the fight, he could very well edge Parker. It’s not good though that Hughie gassed out in his last fight against journeyman Fred Kassi last April. Hughie hasn’t fought since to prove that he’s improved his stamina.
“Bob Arum does have me in mind to fight Joseph Parker for the WBO title, but of course these bums come out of the woodwork now, because Joseph Parker didn’t look so great in his last fight,” said Miller about Price and Hughie Fury.
Price and Hughie have been in the running for the Parker fight from day one. Miller, 28, appears to be the only one who got the news late. Hughie and Price have been talking about the fight for ages, and Parker’s management is already been in contact with them. That’s not a good sign for Miller, because it suggests that there’s strong interest for Parker’s people to match him up against one of those two guys.
Miller is a big puncher, and he would be dangerous for a still green fighter like Parker. I think it would be a bad idea for Parker to fight Miller right now, considering he still needs a lot of development before he takes on a big puncher like this. Parker is obviously not going to be given years to develop before he’s matched against the really dangerous fighters in the division, but his management is going to likely opt to match him against guys that they think he can beat before they throw him in with someone like Anthony Joshua or WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Parker is interested in facing Wilder or the winner of the Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko fight. Parker is going to get a big payday against one of those heavyweights, but for that to happen, he needs to be able to hold onto his WBO title for as long as possible.
Perhaps the safest fight for Parker would be if he were to fight the 33-year-old Price. He’s shown that he has problems taking big head shots in recent years. If Parker can land something big, he could KO Price in the same way that Tony Thompson and Erkan Teper both did. Price is the more dangerous puncher compared to Hughie Fury. Price would be a threat as long as he’s in there with Parker. Miller would be the most dangerous of the three, because he can punch to the body and head with a lot of power.
Parker would need to be on his guard the entire time against Miller. If Parker is going to get though his maiden title defense in one piece, he’s going to need to fight the weakest of the three contenders, because he still has too many areas of his game that make him vulnerable. Parker’s jab isn’t accurate, his hands are slow, and he’s easy to hit. Parker also looked timid and afraid to throw punches against Ruiz Jr. and Carlos Takam. Parker can’t fight like that against Miller if he wants to hold onto his World Boxing Organization title. Miller will walk him down and take him out with a body shot like he did against Kassi.