Bob Arum TERMINATING Jarrell ‘Big Baby Miller’s contract with Top Rank
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he’ll be terminating the contract for heavyweight Jarrell’ Big Baby’ Miller after he tested positive for the banned substance GW1516 while training for his comeback fight against Jerry Forrest on July 9.
Arum told Talk Sport that Miller would either receive a multi-year ban or a lifetime ban from boxing for testing positive in consecutive years. A multi-year ban would be a big blow to Miller’s career, as he wouldn’t be available to return to the ring until he was 35 or older. It would still be possible for Miller to resurrect his career even at that age, but it would always be difficult.
Arum had signed the 31-year-old last January, giving him a second chance after he had tested positive for three banned drugs last year in preparing for a title shot against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. ‘Big Baby’ Miller’s positive test led to him being removed from the card.
The New York State Athletic Commission wouldn’t give Miller a boxing license, but they couldn’t suspend him, though. Without a permit, Miller couldn’t be suspended by the Commission. Ultimately, it was the WBA that suspended Miller for six months, which some boxing fans view as a slap on the hand.
Miller will never fight on another Top Rank card
“I believe that it’ll either be multi-year or life,” said Arum to Talk Sport. “If he isn’t banned for life, then I believe it’ll be a multi-year suspension. It’s very, very hard to deal with stupidity.
“And if you’re asking me if I’d continue my contract with him, the answer is, ‘Not in your life. Jarrell Miller will never fight on a Top Rank card.”
It goes without saying at this point that Miller’s contract with Top Rank is over. Even if Arum wanted to keep Miller, would be willing to deal with all the negative criticism that he and Top Rank would receive from the public?
Some fans see Miller as a pariah after this latest positive test, and he’s too hot to handle for Arum and Top Rank. Assuming Arum wanted to keep Miller on with his promotional company, would he be willing to wait three years for his potential multi-year ban to end? You don’t know what you’re going to get from Miller in three years from now.
There’s also the unknowns involved in whether Miller was as ever as good as he appeared to be. Was it Miller all along, or did the PEDs help him win all those fights and build a perfect 23-0 record? We don’t know.
We’ve seen a lot of sprinters in track and field put up superb numbers, but then all falls into question when test positive for a PED. The sprinters are often unable to put up the same type of stats as before after they tested positive.
Arum took a big gamble in ignoring the public outcry by signing Miller last January after he’d been popped in the previous year for PEDs.
Arum looks at PED users as attempted murder
“He told me it was his people that did it, he would be very careful, he would have a special nutritionist,” said Arum of Big Baby Miller in remembering a conversation they had when he signed him. And boom, the same thing happened and he tested dirty.
“If a fighter takes performance-enhancing drugs getting ready to participate in a fight, then I look at it as attempted murder,” said Arum.
PED does help fighters gain an edge, and in Miller’s case, he wasn’t a steroid, he says. The GW1516 substance that Miller was using is meant to help fighters fight harder, and it helps them with their stamina.
For a 300+ pound fighter like Miller, you can understand why a substance like GW1516 would be helpful to him. He already punched with good power, but having the ability to fight harder and throw more shots would be a valuable tool for a guy Miller’s size.
Making a big deal out of it now is a little late. If Arum had chosen to ignore Miller, he wouldn’t have had to deal with this problem.
Arum believes in giving fighters a second chance. That’s the way he is as a person. He’s like the late NFL football coach George Allen, who assembled the ‘Over-The-Hill Gang’ with Washington Redskins in the early 70s and took them to the Super Bowl.
Arum believed in Tyson Fury, who had his own problems in the past. He took a chance with Fury, and it worked out remarkably well for him. But in the case of Miller, Arum blew it with that guy. If it had worked out well, boxing fans would be calling Arum a genius for signing ‘Big Baby.’
Arum’s gamble on Miller failed to pay off
That’s the way it is in boxing. Promoters sign fighter, hoping that they can win world titles and become stars. Most of the time, it doesn’t pan out. Arum took a chance on two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez, and he may fail on that guy too.
Top Rank giving the boot could clear the way for them signing Michael Hunter, who is a free agent after Matchroom Boxing USA chose not to renew his contract. Hunter will be an excellent replacement for Miller, and he would be a valuable cog for Arum to use in putting together fights for his heavyweights. Hunter would love a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. That would set him up for life.
Whether boxing fans like it or not, Miller will be signed by another promoter in the future once his suspension is over. It’s highly unlikely that ‘Big Baby’ will receive a lifetime ban that Arum talks about him receiving.
As far as I can tell, there’s never been a boxer that’s been given a lifetime ban for testing positive for PEDs twice. Arum was giving a good quote is talking about a lifetime ban for Miller because that has almost no chance of happening.
Miller will be back with one of the promoters, and he’ll be looking to resume his career. He’ll need to be tested, and it would probably need to prove himself by agreeing to year-round testing.
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