Jarrell Miller auditioning for Anthony Joshua fight
By Juan Flores: Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (19-0-1, 17 KOs) could put himself in position for a world title fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua if he wins his co-feature bout against Marriusz Wach (33-2, 17 KOs) this Saturday night on HBO.
The Miller-Wach fight is taking place as part of the headliner fight between former WBA middleweight champion Danny Jacobs and Luis Arias at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Miller cannot afford to mess up against Mariusz Wach on Saturday if he wants the Joshua fight. Wach, 6’7”, can punch, and he might surprise a lot of people if lands one of his big shots on the chin of Miller to KO him.
The start time for the Jacobs vs. Arias card is at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Miller says he’s signed with Eddie Hearn in a co-promotional deal. Hearn likely will keep Miller on his Matchroom Sports promotional team long enough to match him against Joshua, and possibly Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. It might be a risk for Hearn to match Miller against Whyte though, because he’d probably beat him. Whyte doesn’t possess much in the way of power, and his stamina is poor. Miller would force Whyte to fight harder than he can handle.
Miller-Wach is NOT a title eliminator, but it doesn’t matter. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn needs an American heavyweight with charisma for Joshua to fight in 2018 to help build a unification fight against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder. In theory, that would be the idea of Joshua being matched against the 300-pound Miller in early 2018 instead of Wilder. But you can argue that Hearn is thinking of anyone but Wilder right now, as he’s a big risk for Joshua, who is pumping out huge money with each fight in the UK.
Hearn and his Matchroom Sport promotional company is doing quite well now that they have Joshua at full steam, making tremendous amounts of money beating up on the over-matched contenders in the top 15. Hearn really lucked out in signing the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Joshua after he turned pro in 2013.
“We require as many contenders as possible,” Hearn said to ESPN.com. “Jarrell Miller is making a lot of noise right now, and we look for potential opponents for Anthony Joshua, particularly in the United States, and Jarrell Miller is at the top of the list.”
Miller is a better talker than he is a fighter. He was almost knocked out in his last fight by Gerald Washington after taking 10 consecutive head shots in the 5th round from the 6’6” heavyweight. Miller was lucky the fight didn’t take place with the same referee that worked the Joshua vs. Carlos Takam fight, because the fight would have been stopped. Miller was getting hammered by Washington in the 5th. Obviously, Hearn has scouted Miller well, and likely deemed him as harmless to Joshua. You never know though. Joshua is looking worse with every fight, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that he’s not going to last much longer as champion before he finally gets beaten.
Hearn has been crowing about how Joshua was involved in a huge legacy-building fight with Wladimir Klitschko in his 19th pro fight. What Hearn isn’t saying is the huge money that Joshua brings in for each fight is the sole reason why he got the 41-year-old Wladimir to fight him at this late stage in his career. Even then, Wladimir almost beat Joshua. Miller might just have enough to beat Joshua if he gets him exhausted like he was against Wladimir and Carlos Takam.
”I know Anthony rates Jarrell highly and he’d be out for a fight with Jarrell Miller,” said Hearn. ”He’d be one of the perfect guys to come over and take on in the States. There is no reason why an Anthony Joshua-Jarrell Miller fight shouldn’t happen. But first he has a very tough fight to get through,” said Hearn.
Hearn putting Joshua in against Miller would be his strategy of trying to turn AJ into a star in the States on the cheap by matching him against a flawed heavyweight. Miller would do the hard work of attracting interest in the Joshua fight by trash talking him constantly, and giving countless interviews with the boxing media. Miller would be the villain, while Joshua would play the good guy role. It’s so predictable that it’s not even funny. Without entire sports world getting interested in the Joshua-Miller fight, it’ll likely only be seen by a small handful of hardcore boxing fans in the U.S that tune in to watch the fight on Showtime. Of course, Joshua vs. Miller would play out big in the UK, where Joshua is a huge star.
Putting Joshua in with Miller might get a lot of hardcore boxing fans excited about an eventual Joshua vs. Wilder fight, but it’s not going to do much with the casual fans. Joshua fighting Miller on Showtime Boxing in the States isn’t going to create enough interest to get the casual fans on board, because they’re not going to hear about the Joshua-Miller fight. It takes a lot of money to market a fight to reach the casual fans, and Joshua vs. Miller would be on regular Showtime. It’s not going to be a big fight. For Joshua to be built up into a big name in the U.S, he’s got to fight more than just one time in the States, and he’s got to fight better guys that Miller.
The 29-year-old Miller is a decent heavyweight, but he’s almost 300 pounds, and he’s beaten absolutely no one of note. It took Miller a lot of punches to wear Gerald Washington down in their fight on July 29. Deontay Wilder stopped Washington in 5 rounds, and he only attacked him hard in the 5th. Before round 5, Wilder was just jabbing and boxing Washington. The difference in punching power between Miller and Wilder is monumental. Miller needs guys that he can stand in front of at close range and hit for a number of rounds before he can wear them down. I don’t think he’s going to be able to do that against Joshua. It’s not realistic.
”I don’t know what’s next or who’s net at his point, but right now my main focus is on knocking Wach out, whooping his behind and then we’ll take it from there,” said Miller to espn.com.