Jarrell Miller to sign co-promotional deal with Top Rank
By Chris Williams: Heavyweight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller is on the verge of signing a co-promotional deal with Top Rank Boxing, according to ESPN. The 31-year-old Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) is currently promoted by Dmitriy Salita and Greg Cohen. The deal is close to being done. Top Rank will work with Salita and Cohen to promote ‘Big Baby’ to try and put into a world title shot.
Signing with Top Rank will put Miller in position to fight Tyson Fury [if he doesn’t retire], Kubrat Pulev and Bryant Jennings. Top Rank used to promote Andy Ruiz Jr., but he’s no longer with them. It’s not likely Fury will agree to fight Miller. Fury only wants to fight the popular guys, and Miller doesn’t fit that description.
Jarrell Miller needs a boxing license
The 6’4″, 300+ pound Miller still needs a boxing license, as he failed tests leading up to his canceled fight against former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion last June. Andy Ruiz Jr. was brought in as the replacement for Miller.
It’s been 11 months since Miller last fought in beating Bogdan Dinu by a 4th round knockout on November 7, 2018. Miller didn’t look impressive against Dinu. He was getting nailed frequently in that fight by the Romanian heavyweight.
Miller was set to make a huge payday against Joshua when he failed four drug tests by Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, according to Dan Rafael. The results of those positive drug tests led to Miller being pulled out of the June 1 fight against Joshua. That was a HUGE missed opportunity for Miller, as he would have had a good chance of winning that fight. Joshua looked terrible in getting stopped in the 7th round by replacement opponent Ruiz Jr. on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The New Yorker Miller came up positive for three different banned substances.
It’s unclear what will happen if Miller doesn’t get a boxing license by the New York Commission. If Top Rank is going to be co-promoting Miller, they’re going to want to see him in action.
Big Baby Miller will have a lot of eyes on him
When Miller does return to the ring, a lot of boxing fans will be looking to see if he can regain the form that he had before he was popped for banned substances. If Miller is unable to fight at the same level he did before, some fans are going to assume that he was using before. That’s the problem with fighters that test positive for banned drugs. A lot of fans suspect that they were using the banned substances throughout their careers rather than just seeing it as a one-time thing.
Top Rank is taking a risk in signing Miller, because there’s no telling how he’ll look in his fights. If Miller is suddenly just another fat, slow guy with little punching power and poor stamina, then Top Rank won’t be getting a good deal. But if Miller is the same heavy-handed guy, who was a nonstop puncher, then it’ll be a good situation. Nevertheless, it’s likely going to be difficult for Top Rank to find good heavyweights that are willing to fight Big Baby.
Obviously the timing of Top Rank signing Miller is bad in terms of public relations. It would have been far better if they’d signed Miller BEFORE he tested positive for banned substances.
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