Jarrell Miller vs. Bogdan Dinu on Nov.17 for vacant WBA ‘regular’ title
By Jim Dower: #2 WBA Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller (22-0-1, 19 KOs) will be fighting unbeaten #9 WBA Bogdan Dinu (18-0, 14 KOs) for the vacant World Boxing Association ‘regular’ heavyweight title on November 17 on DAZN in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Dinu, 32, has agreed to take the fight, so now it’ up to the 317 lb Miller to give the green light to it.
According to ESPN, Fres Oquendo turned down a $1 million offer to battle the 30-year-old Miller for the vacant WBA secondary heavyweight title. However, it’s not confirmed that Oquendo turned down the fight with Miller, which begs the question why isn’t he the one fighting Miller instead of Dinu. It’s a rumor that Oquendo turned down the fight with with Miller, according to Hitz Boxing.
“Not true this offer never happened FO is a lot of things but he understands MONEY not quite sure who started this rumor. We never turned the Fight down or offered $1 mil,” Hitz Boxing said on Twitter.
It’s hard to imagine the 45-year-old Oquendo turning down $1 million to fight Miller, as he’s been waiting for a long time to fight for the WBA title. Miller is beatable, although I’m not sure that the ring rusty Oquendo would have enough left in the tank at his age to get the job done against the 6’4″ Miller, who is in the prime of his career at this point. If the WBA is going to give Oquendo a shot at WBA Super World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, then that would make sense why Oquendo wouldn’t take a fight for the title unless he’s injured.
The main WBA title, known as the WBA ‘Super World’ belt, is held by Anthony Joshua.
Dinu’s best wins of his 10-year pro career have come against these fighters: Marcelo Nascimento, Manuel Alberto Pucheta, Kertson Manswell, Eric Martel Bahoeli and Ben Nsafoah. Those are all journeymen level fighters. It’s disappointing that Dinu’s management has had him burning through his career fighting nothing but journeymen level fighters for the last 10 years. At some point, they should have taken the training wheels off of him and started matching him against world level fighters instead of waiting until he was 33 before they finally matched him against his first quality opponent in Miller.
You can argue that someone like Dillian Whyte, Bryant Jennings, Dereck Chisora, Alexander Povetkin, Joe Joyce or Sergey Kuzmin would have been better options for Miller to fight than the 6’5″ Romanian Dinu. Those fighters would have had a pretty good chance of beating Miller. The WBA is doing Miller a favor by having Dinu be the one that faces him rather than some of the above mentioned heavyweights. Whyte, Jennings, Chisora, Povetkin, Joyce ad Kuzmin would give Miller a good run for his money if any of them were the ones facing him for the vacant WBA title instead of Dinu.
“Per source: With F*** O****** turning down a $1 million offer to fight BIG BABY MILLER on Nov. 17 for the soon-to-be-vacant WBA “regular” heavyweight belt on DAZN/USA, unbeaten Romanian fighter Bogdan Dinu has accepted the fight and now Big Baby has to agree. #boxing,” Dan Rafael said on his Twitter.
“Correction from earlier: F*** O****** turned down $500k not $1M for the Big Baby fight. Still surprising for a guy who hasn’t fought in 4.5 years turning down that kind of payday. #boxing,” Rafael said about Oquendo.
Miller is signed with Matchroom USA Boxing, the same promoters that guide the career of IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Miller has been calling out Joshua frequently since he signed on with Matchroom, and he’s calling for a unification fight between them on April 13. That’s not likely to happen though, due to Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn already saying that he has Dillian Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) as his leading option for the fight. Hearn also promotes Whyte, so it’s a no-brainer for him to make a rematch between them rather than inserting Miller in the equation. American boxing fans would prefer to see Miller get the Joshua fight than Whyte, 30, but Hearn knows that it plays better with the British boxing public if he makes the Joshua-Whyte 2 rematch rather than letting Miller have a shot on April 13. Hearn is still planning on matching Miller against Joshua, but not until late 2019 or early 2020. The only way Miller doesn’t get a fight against Joshua in 2019 is if Hearn can put a fight together between AJ and World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Since that fight has very little chance of happening due to Hearn being unwilling to give Wilder anywhere close to the 50-50 purse split he’s asking for to fight Joshua, it increases the chances of Miller getting a fight against AJ next year.
Dinu is scheduled to fight this Saturday night against journeyman Tom Little (10-6, 3 KOs) on the undercard of the Kubrat Pulev vs. Hughie Fury card on October 27 at the Arena Armeec, Sofia. Dinu vs. Little fight is likely off now, because it would be an insane move for Bogdan to get back into the ring to face Miller three weeks later. Dinu should win the Little fight. Little has lost his last two fights by knockout to Daniel Dubois and Filip Hrgovic. If Dinu loses that fight, then he can forget about his fight with Miller on November 17. Little shouldn’t be a problem for Dinu, but it’s still a risky fight for the Romanian fighter given that he needs to get through it without suffering an injury. Dinu will be back inside the ring three weeks later to fight Miller on November 17. It wouldn’t be surprising if Dinu’s management cancels his fight with Little in order to concentrate in getting ready for the bigger threat against Miller.
It’s going to be tough for Dinu to get ready for a fighter of Miller’s class in just 3 weeks. That’s not even close to being enough time for any fighter to get ready for a world class fighter. In Dinu’s case, he’s really up against it because he’s never fought a contender during his 10-year pro career, and he he’ll have been out of the ring for 11 months by the time he faces Miller on November 17. The last time Dinu fought was in November 2017 in beating journeyman Marcelo Nascimento. That hardly counts for being a real fight.