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Kubrat Pulev vs. Jarrell Miller possible for IBF eliminator on Apr.28

Kubrat Pulev

By Scott Gilfoid: There’s talk of #2 IBF Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) facing #5 IBF Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) in an IBF heavyweight eliminator fight on the co-feature bout on middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs’ next fight card on April 28 on HBO in Brooklyn, New York.

Pulev-Miller could upstage Jacobs’ main event fight. Miller stole the show in the co-feature bout against Mariusz Wach on the undercard of Jacobs’ last fight against Luis Arias on November 11 in Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York. I wouldn’t be surprised if Miller steals the show from Jacobs again. It would help if Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn started matching him against better opposition.

It’s still just talk at this point about the Pulev-Miller fight. Nothing has been confirmed. It’ll be a great fight if it happens. Pulev, 36, recently missed out on a title shot against IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for October 28 last year after suffering a shoulder injury while training. The Bulgarian Pulev had to pull out of the fight. He was replaced by Carlos Takam, who took the fight with Joshua on 3 weeks’ notice and gave him a tough fight before getting stopped in the 10th round at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

The 29-year-old American Jarrell Miller was hoping to get a fight against Joshua or Dillian Whyte. With Jacobs now signed with Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn and Miller supposedly with a deal to fight on his cards, it makes sense for him to be included on the April 28th card. What’s unclear is whether Miller will face Pulev or not in an IBF title eliminator match.

Miller recently talked of wanting to fight Joshua or Whyte. He can’t be too happy seeing Joseph Parker getting the fight with Joshua, and Lucas Browne likely facing Whyte. If Hearn can get Miller a fight with Pulev in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator for April 28th, it won’t be so bad for him. It would be a shame if Miller is only fighting on Hearn’s cards to help Daniel Jacobs bring in a few more fans. Miller obviously was counting on Hearn getting him fights against Anthony Joshua or Whyte.

I would have to favor the 6’4” Miller to defeat Pulev if that fight comes off. If the 29-year-old Miller is in the 300-pound range, I think he beats Pulev 7 days a week, 265 days a year. Miller will be too strong, young and active for Pulev to deal with. Miller lost a lot of weight and came in at 283 lbs. for his last fight against Mariusz Wach on the undercard of the Jacobs vs. Luis Arias fight on November 11, and he didn’t look good at all in that fight. Miller was weak and not the same guy that he’d been in previous fights. Miller was still able to stop Wach in the 9th round, but it wasn’t a satisfactory performance by him.

Pulev has a 5-fight winning streak going since losing to Wladimir Klitschko in November 2014. Pulev’s last 2 wins were against journeyman Kevin Johnson and Samuel Peter. Pulev’s last real fight was 2 years ago in beating Dereck Chisora by a 12 round split decision in May 2016. Pulev didn’t look good in the Samuel Peter and Kevin Johnson fights. You have to wonder how much Pulev has left at this point. I don’t see him beating Miller based on his last 3 performances. As long Miller doesn’t go on a diet again, he’ll wind up knocking Pulev out in my view.

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