Jarrell Miller vs. Mariusz Wach – Weigh-in video
By Allan Fox: Mariusz Wach (33-2, 17 KOs) came in at the second highest weight of his career at 268 pounds on Friday for his fight this Saturday night against unbeaten heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (19-0-1, 17 KOs) at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Miller-Wach is the co-feature bout on the Daniel Jacobs vs. Luis Arias card on HBO this Saturday night. The televised portion of the card begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
(Photo credit Marilyn Paulino, Matchroom, Salita Promotions)
Miller has looked exceptional in his last 2 fights against Fred Kassi and Gerald Washington. It was those performances that caught the eye of British promoter Eddie Hearn, who quickly signed the Brooklyn native to his Matchroom Sport promotions. Hearn wants to take Miller’s career to the next level like he’s going to try to do with former WBA middleweight champion Danny Jacobs. Miller isn’t a recycle job like Jacobs, but he is someone whose career has failed to take off due to him being brought along slowly and not put in with the type of heavyweights that could make a name for him.
Hearn at least has several heavyweights in his Matchroom Sport stable that he can match Miller against if he wants to risk having one of them beaten. Hearn’s biggest prize is IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. That’s the fighter that Miller says Hearn wants to put him in the near future. Dillian Whyte is another one of Hearn’s fighters. Hearn probably won’t allow Miller to fight Whyte though, because he’s rebuilding him for a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder or Joshua. Miller would be too risky of an opponent for Hearn to put him in with.
Miller came in relatively light for him at 283 ½ pounds. That’s far from the lowest weight of the 29-year-old Miller’s career, but it is the lowest since his 2n round knockout win over Nick Guivas last year in May. It’s a good sign for Miller, who weighed in at 298 and 296 in his last 2 contests against Gerald Washington and Fred Kassi. Miller’s high weight in those contests didn’t hurt his performances, as he stopped both of those fighters with ease.
There’s a big opportunity for Miller to get a title shot against heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2018. Miller was signed by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, and he could be a back-up option if he can’t put together the 3 fights he’s targeted for AJ against Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Those are the 3 fights Hearn wants for Joshua in 2018. However, if a deal can’t get made with one of them, then Miller will get the call to step in.
The last time the 6’7 ½” Wach came in really heavy for a fight was 10 years ago when he weighed in at 274 ¾ pounds for a fight against Yavor Marinchev (2-3) in 2007, and he won a 4 round unanimous decision. Wach’s best weight is in the 250 pound region. This is not a good time for Wach to come in as heavy as he is right now, considering that he’s going to have to deal with Miller’s high volume attack.
Miller throws a lot of punches, and it’s difficult enough for even lighter heavyweights with good engines to deal with the amount of punches he throws. Hopefully for Wach’s case, his training team wanted him to be heavier for this fight so he can deal with Miller’s huge size. That’s perhaps wishful thinking. Wach just looks like he hasn’t had a hard enough camp to lose the weight that he’s put on since his last fight in March against Erkan Teper. Wach won that fight by an impressive 12 round unanimous decision, but it was a very close fight.
Wach views the Miller contest as a big opportunity for him put himself in position for a big fight if he can somehow pull off an upset to defeat him. It’s not going to be easy though, because Wach doesn’t throw nearly as many punches per round as Miller. He’s going to have to try and catch Miller coming in with one of his best shots. It’s unlikely that Wach will be able to out-box Miller with his high work rate.
There is an opening right now and this gives me a big chance for the future,” said Wach. ”This will be a brutal fight with a lot of blood and let the best man win.”
Wach comes from Poland, and he quickly won 27 fights before suffered his first career loss in losing a 12 round unanimous decision to former IBF/IBOWBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on November 10, 2012. That loss resulted in Wach staying out of the ring 2 years until making a comeback in October 2014 against Samir Kurtagic. Wach has 6 out of his last 7 fights since his loss to Klitschko. Wach’s only loss in the last 3 years came against Alexander Povetkin in November 2014. Wach was outclassed by Povetkin in that fight. He didn’t possess the fire power or the boxing skills to deal with the shorter, 6’2” Povetkin the way that Wladimir had a year earlier in 2014.
”I have not been given a silver spoon, no Olympics or none of that stuff – I have earned every inch by grit, blood, so if anyone tells you this is luck there is no such thing as luck – from Bed Stuy Brooklyn to here no luck, I just keep throwing punches,” said Miller. ”I am going to stop Wach. Wach is going to get his behind Wached.”
We’ll have to see if Miller will be able to stop Wach. If he can’t, he might be in for a long night of getting hit back by the big 6’7” Polish fighter. The only guy that could stop Wach was Povetkin, and that was an injury stoppage. Wladimir Klitschko couldn’t dent Wach’s chin, and he was a bigger puncher than Miller. If Miller gets a knockout on Saturday, it’ll be due to him throwing an accumulation of shots for 12 rounds that wears down Wach to the point where he can’t take anymore. It’s not easy to hit Wach in the head though, because he’s got the height and reach. The 6’4” Miller is more than tall enough to land his power shots on Wach. The only question is will he be able to land his punches without getting nailed back with something big enough to hurt him.
Hearn has got 2 of his fighters taking risks on Saturday with Jacks and Miller. If both of them lose, Hearn will need to sit down and figure out what he wants to do with them. He can hold onto them and try and rebuild them like he’s doing with Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte, or he can dump them like he did with Luis Ortiz after he failed to impress in his wins over Dave Allen and Malik Scott. Ortiz didn’t even need to lose for Hearn to become disillusioned. That’s why it’s imperative that Miller and Jacobs put in good performances against their respective opponents on Saturday. With Hearn, it’s not enough that they win. They also have to impress. Miller is in the better position to put in a great performance on Saturday, because he’s got a stationary target in Wach, who can’t move well even if he wanted to. Miller’s fighting style is naturally aggressive. He likes to stand and throw power punches. He’s got a crowd-pleasing fighting style. In the case of Jacobs, he moves a lot and spoils quite a bid. Miller should be able to steal the show to impress Hearn.