Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller close to signing with Bob Arum of Top Rank
By Dean Berman: Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum is close to signing heavyweight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller to a co-promotional deal, according to reports.
Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) is finishing up his suspension after having failed several drug tests leading up a fight with former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua last June.
It’s a questionable move on Top Rank’s part in signing Miller because they’re going to be criticized by boxing fans about this. Every fighter deserves a second chance, of course, but it’ll still be a bad look for Top Rank when/if they do sign Miller. But given Miller’s gift of gab, he’s good at creating attention to his fights.
Big Baby was doing a good job of getting boxing fans excited about his fight against Joshua before he was popped on several drug tests. Miller was single-handedly carrying the promotion with his interviews and soundbites before testing positive for banned drugs.
Big Baby Miller will need to wait for Fury fight
Miller is interested in fighting lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who is also signed with Top Rank. That’s a fight that obviously can’t happen until AFTER Fury challenges WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a rematch on February 22 next year.
Once Fury gets done with Wilder, a fight against the 31-year-old Miller makes all the sense in the world. It’s hard to imagine Fury agreeing to fight Miller though.
It would be a risky fight for Fury that wouldn’t pay off nearly as well as third fight with Wilder or a fight against the winner of the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. 2 rematch. Fury would likely make more money fighting the loser of the Joshua-Ruiz fight than he would in battling Miller. It’s way too early for Fury to be facing Miller, given his recent positive drug tests.
According to The Sun, Miller turned down fights against British heavyweights Dereck Chisora and Joe Joyce in order to wait for an eventual fight against the 6’9″ former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Fury. Thats a match that will have a bigger payday for Miller than fights against Chisora or Joyce when the time comes.
Miller needs to get active again
It’s been a year since Big Baby Miller last fought in his 4th round knockout win over Bogdan Dino on November 7, 2018. Although it was a good performance by Miller, it wasn’t against a recognizable name. It was another soft touch for Miller, who hasn’t yet faced a credible threat during his 10-year pro career.
It would be good for Top Rank to match Miller against a decent quality top 10 contender for his first fight back. Someone like Bryant Jennings, Carlos Takam or Agit Kabayel would be ideal. It might not be easy to get a top tier heavyweight to agree to fight Miller after his positive tests though.
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