By Matt Lieberman: Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller has once again tested positive for a banned PED substance GW1516, which is one of the same chemicals that he tested positive last year.
GW1516 is used to help with endurance and aerobic activity, according to Mike Coppinger. With a guy as heavy as the 300-pound Miller, you could understand why a substance like that would be helpful with his performance.
Some boxing fans on social media are now saying that Miller has probably been on the GW1516 his entire career.
That’s negative about fighters that test positive for banned substances. Once they’re caught, fans automatically look at Miller’s past accomplishments and minimize them by saying that he was probably using the PEDs the entire time since he turned pro in 2009.
Some fans will question Miller’s accomplishments
It’s the same way with any athlete caught using performance-enhancing drugs. Fans want to put an asterisk near their accomplishments, and they no longer see them as being real.
The athlete becomes FAKE in the eyes of fans. Hopefully, Miller doesn’t suffer the same fate because he does have a lot of talent, and he’s quite entertaining to watch. Of the American heavyweights, Miller gives the best soundbites and is the most entertaining inside and outside of the ring.
Although many Americans have adopted Tyson Fury as one of their own, he’s from Britain, and he lives there. But Miller is from New York, and he’s the best that Americans have.
Miller is known for being a nonstop puncher, with an ability to throw a fantastic amount of punches per round for a heavyweight. Most big heavyweights gas out when they throw a handful of shots per round. The fighters that have a high punch volume have an edge against their competitors that are held back by stamina problems.
Miller’s July 9 fight off
The failed test for the unbeaten Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) means that he won’t be fighting next month against heavyweight Jerry Forrest in their scheduled July 9 in the headliner spot on ESPN at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The positive test has got be a monstrous disappointment for Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who signed the 300-pound, vocal New York native Miller to a multi-fight contract on January 29.
Arum had intended to have the 32-year-old Miller make his debut for Top Rank on ESPN in a showcase match against Forrest (26-3, 20 KOs) on July 9 at the MGM. Those plans are now up in smoke due to ‘Big Baby’ Miller’s positive test for the banned performance-enhancing drug.
The July 9 fight against Forrest was the perfect opportunity that Miller had for him to showcase his talent against a beatable foe in Forrest. Top Rank had done an excellent job of putting Miller in a position to do well, and get boxing fans excited about him.
There’s no word yet from Miller’s co-promoters Greg Cohen Promotions and Salita Promotions. You can imagine their disappointment with the news for Miller’s positive test. With the talent that Miller has, he should be OK even if given a long one-year suspension.
Top Rank signed ‘Big Baby’ Miller last January
Just a year ago, the 6’4″ ‘Big Baby’ Miller was signed to face heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Unbelievably, Miller tested positive for three PEDs and was replaced by backup opponent Andy Ruiz Jr, who scored a history-making seventh-round knockout of Joshua.
Miller would have picked up a nice $5 million payday against Joshua, and he was expected to have made additional millions for other fights.
At the time of Big Baby’s previous positive test in 2019, Miller didn’t have a boxing license for the state of New York, which meant the Commission couldn’t suspend him. That’s all changed. Miller now has a boxing license, and he was likely to be suspended for his latest positive test.
“GW1516, a substance that aids aerobic power and endurance, sources tell The Athletic,” said Mike Coppinger.
“Miller didn’t hold a boxing license at the time, so he wasn’t suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission. The 30-year-old‘s then co-promoter, Matchroom Sport, subsequently released him from his contract.”
Well, last time ‘Big Baby’ Miller tested positive, he was cut loose by Matchroom Boxing USA promotional company. What’s the next move for Bob Arum of Top Rank?
Will Bob Arum release Jarrell Miller?
Does Arum give Miller the boot as Matchroom did, or does he hold onto him and give him a lecture and continue promoting him once his suspension ends? That’ll be interesting to see. If Arum does choose to keep Miller, he’s going to take a lot of negative feedback from boxing fans, who will see him setting a poor example.
With Miller’s ability, he’s going to get snatched up by a promoter once his suspension ends, and he could help that company. What we don’t know is if Miller will be the same fighter that he once was when he finally returns to the ring.
If Miller is suspended six months, then he’ll have missed two years of activity. Not too many fighters can return to the form they once had when they’ve lost that amount of time.
What would be bad is if Miller is handed down a one-year suspension, given that this isn’t the first time for him to test positive for PEDS.
A six-month suspension is given to first-time offenders. This is now Miller’s second offense, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him given a one-year suspension.
Promoter Lou DiBella wasn’t surprised at Miller’s positive test, saying to The Athletic, “This, unfortunately, isn’t a surprise to me.”
Can Miller still fight at the same level after this?
When Miller does come back, it might be hard for him to be the fighter he was. If the PEDs were the reason why he was able to throw gads of punches per round, then he may no different than any other 300+ pound heavyweight. Without Miller’s high work rate, there will be nothing special about him.
He’s always been easy to hit as he moves forward face first and blocks very few shots. Gerald Washington, a B-level heavyweight, came close to knocking out Miller in the fifth round in their fight in July 2017. That was Miller in his prime. He came back and wore out Washington with his high work rate to stop him in the eighth round.
The thing with Miller, he doesn’t look like someone that uses PEDS. Usually, athletes that use banned substances have muscles and look like statues. Miller doesn’t look like that all. He’s still pudgy-looking and doesn’t resemble a person that would use PEDs.
But there are different types of PEDs, obviously, and some of them help athletes with their endurance and aerobic activity. You can see why that would be important for a sport like boxing because it’s an aerobic sport.