Jarrell Miller trashes Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola
By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten #11 WBA fringe heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (17-0-1, 15 KOs) has been largely ignored throughout his seven-year pro career by fans and other fighters as a whole, but he now seems to be trying a different approach to get known. Instead of fighting the best, which is what he should be doing, Miller is getting the attention the easy way by name-dropping the top heavyweights like Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
Miller, 27, isn’t impressed with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder’s choice of opponent for his next fight on July 16 at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) will be defending his WBC title against 35-year-old former two-time world heavyweight title challenger Chris Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions on Fox and Fox Deportes.
Arreola is an opponent that was selected in a hurry by Wilder’s management as a replacement for his previously scheduled opponent Alexander Povetkin, who tested positive recently for a banned substance. The WBC gave Wilder another voluntary defense to keep him busy while they sort out what they’ll be doing with Povetkin.
“Man nobody gives a **** about no Wilder and no Chris Arreola,” said Miller to skysports.com. “That is why more than 80 per cent of America don’t know who the hell Deontay Wilder is. When they talk about Deontay Wilder, they say: ‘Who is that guy who has got a belt from Alabama?’ They know him as the wild guy and that is just the reason why people in his own country don’t know who he is.”
It’s true that many casual boxing fans have no idea who Deontay Wilder is in the United States. Wilder’s fights haven’t been televised on HBO, which arguably has a larger subscription base than Showtime. Wilder hasn’t had the exposure yet, and he’s only been a world champion since last year. Wilder doesn’t have a built in fan base, so he’s not someone that has a large following like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez does in the U.S.
Miller thinks Wilder should have selected former WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne, who he beat last year to win the WBC title. The one problem with fighting Stiverne is that many boxing fans would be cool to the idea of Wilder fighting him again after he already beat him conclusively last year. Stiverne was too small to compete with Wilder in that fight. Further, fighting someone as good as Stiverne on short notice wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do. I’m not sure if Miller thought that one through clearly. You don’t fight dangerous heavyweights on short notice.
“If they wanted someone to come in last minute, they should have got [Bermane] Stiverne,” said Miller. “I stop Arreola within four rounds max. I tell you one thing, he does not make it out of the fourth round – I can guarantee you that.”
Arreola is a good choice of an opponent for Wilder, because he’s well known and has a large following in the Mexican American community. It’s a great choice for Wilder to fight Arreola. He has past experience in fighting for a world title twice, and he’s has many of his fights televised over the years. In contrast, Stiverne is less well known than Arreola, and he doesn’t have a huge fan base in America.
It makes no sense for Wilder to fight Stiverne rather than Arreola. As far as Miller saying he can stop Arreola in four rounds, I doubt it. While the 6’4” Miller can punch, he’s also very slow on his feet, and he’s heavy. In Miller’s last fight against Nick Guivas on May 27, Miller weighed in at 283lbs for the fight, and he looked overweight. The little known Guivas was catching Miller with left hooks in round one before the fight turned into a massacre. Arreola would give Miller a lot of problems with his left hook and right hands.
If Miller wants to make a name for himself, then he needs to start fighting better opposition, because he’s been a pro almost as long as Wilder, and he’s still fighting poor third tier opposition. Wilder turned pro in 2008, and he’s been a world champion since 2015. Miller turned pro in 2009, and he’s still facing little known fighters like Nick Guivas, Donovan Dennis, Akhror Muralimov, Excell Holmes, Damon McCreary, Raymond Ochieng and Aaron Kinch. Those were Miller’s last seven opponents. As you can see, he’s not in position to be talking about what he would do to someone like Arreola, because he’s still not cut his teeth on his first decent B-level opponent. Miller is still stuck fighting C-level guys, and he’s been a pro for too long to be fighting this level opposition. Like I said, Wilder started his career one year earlier than Miller, and he’s been a world champion for over a year. It seems like Miller has a failure to launch.