Jarrell Miller stops Mariusz Wach – Results
By Jim Dower: Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) had a tougher time than expected in defeating 37-year-old former heavyweight world title challenger Mariusz Wach (33-3, 17 KOs) by a 9th round injury stoppage last Saturday night at the Nassau Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
This was supposed to be Miller’s coming out party on HBO Boxing, but it turned out to be a real dud of a performance from the 29-year-old Miller. He looked sloppy, slow and weak throughout the contest.
The fight was stopped during the 9th round due to Wach suffering a hand injury. Besides the injury, Wach also looked out of shape for the fight. He had a considerable amount of fat he was lugging around on his midsection. Wach looked like he didn’t train at all for the fight. It’s unclear whether Wach’s poor conditioning or his hand injury was the major reason for him losing.
The injury had been a problem for the 6’8” Wach from the early rounds. The problem got worse to the point where Wach was no longer using his right hand from round 7, other than for just an occasional shot. Even with the injury, Wach was able to hold back the shorter, weaker 6’4”, 283 pound Miller.
The fight was stopped by the advice the ringside doctor. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:02 of round 9.
Wach had few problems connecting with his right hands to the head of Miller when he was still fresh in the first 3 rounds. Wach’s stamina wasn’t there given his weight.
The leaner but weaker Miller lacked the power that he’d shown in his recent fights. Miller lost 15 pounds during training camp to slim down for the Wach fight. The loss of weight resulted in Miller’s power taking a big hit. He wasn’t the puncher he’d been before. Miller also looked very sloppy, and he didn’t possess the same engine as he had when he was fighting at a heavier weight.
This was easily the worst performance that Miller has put in for quite some time, and it came in the worst possible moment in his career. Miller just signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport promotional company. This was Miller’s first fight with Hearn, as well as his first fight on HBO Boxing.
Miller needed a good performance to show that he’s someone that is a good option for a title shot against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. That’s a fight that Hearn has been thinking of putting together. But with the way Miller fought against Wach, he may have ruined his chances for getting that fight. Hearn wasn’t talking about Miller after the fight, which might be a sign that he wasn’t enamored with his performance.
Miller said after the fight that he wants to face #1 WBC heavyweight contender Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte next. Miller thinks that’s a great fight. Whyte is promoted by Hearn, so it should be a simple fight for him to put together.
“The next fight on the table for me that makes sense is Dillian Whyte [or] Joseph Parker,” said Miller. “Those 2 fights make sense to me, because who are they fighting? Joseph Parker fought Hughie Fury, who I know didn’t deserve a title shot, but his promoter got him the title shot. Dillian Whyte is not a mandatory [for WBC champion Deontay Wilder]. I think Dillian Whyte should come and fight me. I’d be a good fight, and then the winner of that gets AJ or Deontay,” said Miller.
Miller’s chances of getting a fight against Dillian Whyte are probably as good as his chances of fighting WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. Whyte doesn’t appear to be interested in taking any risky fights right now, given that he thinks he’s got a shot at getting a title fight against either WBC champion Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua. Those are the 2 fighters that Whyte is hoping to face.
The World Boxing Council made Whyte the No.1 contender to Wilder, but they still haven’t positioned him as his mandatory. In theory, Whyte should feel confident enough to take the fight with Miller right now, as the American heavyweight looked dreadful against Wach. If Whyte doesn’t have the confidence to face Miller now, then it doesn’t say much about his chances of ever winning a heavyweight world title.
Whyte has got to be able to take the risky fights for him to be able to be considered for a title shot in 2018. Right now, Miller is likely going to be the alternate that promoter Eddie Hearn looks to if he needs an opponent for Joshua at some point next year. Hearn wants Joshua to fight 3 times next year against Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. If one of those fighters is unable to take the fight with AJ next year, then Hearn could look to Whyte or Miller as a replacement opponent. Whyte could raise his status in the boxing world if he faces and beats Miller.
“He hit me with a couple of shots, and it hurt me,” said Miller about Wach. “The main thing was to try and stay on his chest. I gave myself a rating of an F, because it wasn’t my best performance and I was lighter. My last fight was heavier, and a I felt a lot stronger and a lot better. I’ll take a sloppy win over a great loss any day. It’s boxing,” said Miller.
Wach hit Miller with some chopping right hands that landed flush. Those shots would have hurt a lot of heavyweights in the division with the way they landed. Miller was wide open for Wach’s punches due to his size and his lack of defense.
“Anthony Joshua fought who before he got a title shot? I’ve fought 2 top 10 guys already, and I’m not even guaranteed a title shot yet,” said Miller. “Deontay and those dudes, I don’t like them. I’ll be a lot different. I only sparred twice for this camp. I was hard getting sparring partners. I’m glad it wasn’t one of my best performances, because when you fight too good, guys don’t want to fight you. Hopefully, it was enough non-effort so that the other guys will want to call me out. I know for a fact, I still throw more punches than them, and I still move better than them. We tried to bring the weight down to try and please you guys, the media, to show you that I can bring the weight down. I didn’t do weight training for this fight. It was just crunches and cardio, and I felt like I hindered myself. I should have just stuck with what I normally do. It’s boxing. My main thing was I was going to beat him with a lot of shots. My main thing was I going to land so many shots, he was going to forfeit or the referee was going to end it. For some reason, I didn’t have the pop I wanted to. My trainer said, ‘Keep touching him, and eventually he’ll start to fail.’ I was just touching him and having some fun. Mentally, I was having fun,” said Miller.
Miller blaming the media for his poor performance against Wach. That’s a new one. I don’t know if anyone is going to buy that excuse from Miller. It would have been better if Miller had taken responsibility for his sloppy effort, and owned it completely rather than pushing the blame onto to the media.
Miller is going to need to go back up to 300 pounds if he wants to have a chance at beating Joshua or Deontay Wilder in the future. 283 is not a good weight for Miller. He needs to be heavier for him to have the size to mix it up with the top heavyweights in the division.
“I think I over-trained the elbow,” said Miller. “The main thing is to get it looked at and get it rehabbed and back in order. To fight the top guys, I will have to have all my tools. Even though I beat up Wach, I didn’t have all my tools there. To me, it was definitely a bad night. I still got the win,” said Miller.