Kubrat Pulev vs. Jarrell Miller: Epic Sports wins purse bid
By Allan Fox: On Monday, Epic Sports & Entertainment has won a purse bid for the IBF heavyweight title eliminator between former heavyweight world title challenger Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) and Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs). Epic Sports won the purse bid with a winning bid of $2,111,111, topping the next highest bid of $1,000,010, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
The winner of the Pulev vs. Miller fight will be the International Boxing Federation mandatory challenger to IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs). Joshua also has a WBA mandatory due against 38-year-old Alexander Povetkin. It’s quite possible that Joshua will take care of the WBA mandatory first before he gets to the IBF mandatory.
Pulev is technically still being promoted by Sauerland, but he could be moving on soon to another promoter.
It’ll be interesting to see if Miller agrees to face Pulev in the IBF title eliminator now that it’s been one by Epic Sports. They’re likely going to stage the fight in Pulev’s home country of Bulgaria, which will put the 29-year-old New Yorker Miller at a huge disadvantage as the visiting fighter.
Recently, Epic Sports won the purse bid for an IBF title eliminator between Dillian Whyte and Pulev. But instead of Whyte agreeing to face Pulev, he pulled out of the fight and chose instead to face former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. Whyte likely didn’t like the idea of getting 25 percent of the purse in a fight against Pulev, and then needing to come all the way to Bulgaria to face him. Miller will receive a career high payday of $527,777.75 if he agrees to face Pulev.
Miller’s split will be 25%, just like Whyte would have had. The difference is, Miller’s fights aren’t televised on Sky like Whyte’s and he’s not promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, so he can’t afford to be too picky about his path to earn a title shot against Joshua. Whyte doesn’t need to fight in a title eliminator to get a title shot against Joshua, because they’re both promoted by Hearn, and he’s chomping at the bit to make the Joshua-Whyte II fight. Hearn doesn’t need any reason to make the fight. He’ll do it just based on the fact that he prior Joshua vs. Whyte fight from 2015 made buckets of good money.
We’ll need to see if Miller and his promoter will agree to take the fight with Pulev or not. There’s a chance that they may pass up on the fight as well. If so, Miller will likely be removed from the IBF’s top 15 rankings. Like Whyte, Miller doesn’t need to be a mandatory challenger for him to get a title shot against Joshua because Hearn wants to make the fight between them. There are certain guys that Hearn is eager to match against Joshua, and one of them is Jarrell Milller. Guys that Hearn hasn’t been interested in the past is Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz, Deontay Wilder and David Haye. All three of those fighters have one thing in common and that’s their huge punching power.