The year in boxing has, as always, been filled with ups and downs. And one athlete who experienced both in the extreme will likely be gloving up again before the end of the year.
31-year-old heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (23-0-1, 20 KO) had the opportunity of a lifetime in front of him, as he was invited to test Anthony Joshua on June 1 at Madison Square Garden for a monstrous purse. That went out the window, though, when pre-fight PED testing showed the presence of three different banned substances. The Brooklyn-bred boxer was shelved, removed from the ratings by the WBA, punished for the infraction, and is now in a position where he will have to prove to fight fans that he can do the ring thing with no exotic supplements in his system.
Miller explained that a tainted supplement and also a cocktail of medicines to speed healing for an injury made him pop positive. People will either accept or refute those explanations — but for him, that might be less germane than looking forward.
Miller last gloved up for real Nov. 17, 2018, and he stopped Bogdan Dinu in that effort.
Promoter Dmitriy Salita, who co-promotes Miller with Greg Cohen, told BLH that it is looking like Miller will fight again before the year’s end. We’ve heard rumbling that Miller could sign on with Top Rank, in a co-co-promotion deal with Bob Arum’s outfit. That wouldn’t surprise us, being that Arum has Tyson Fury and Kubray Pulev in the fold, and has been adding heavyweights to the TR mix over the last two years. Miller would be a solid addition to the stable. Now, how solid, we can’t know until he fights again.
Miller is training now with Aurelian Sosa, who does his tutoring in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The trainer has heard Miller will fight before the end of the year. He told me that Miller has been affected by the curveball life threw at him. Has he been humbled? “So far, yes,” Sosa told me.
”Jarrell is back in the gym training with a renewed focus on the future,” Salita shared. “The heavyweight division is very exciting again. I always felt that Jarrell is the best in the world. My hope is that he will have a chance to show and prove himself as that in the near future.”
I asked if New York was likely to be the destination for Miller’s return.
”Not New York,” Salita shared.
My three cents: Boxing is the best sport for redemption stories and resurrections. My hope is that Miller moving forward simply takes responsibility for having the chemicals in his system, eats, sleeps, drinks and trains clean as a whistle, gets into 365 PED testing, and proves to the planet that his skills can pay the bills and he can elevate to that next level with purity of body and mind intact.
He is a compelling personality, and has tremendous potential to be an agent of positive change for kids who are growing up in danger of falling in between the cracks.
I admit I root for Miller to rebound for this severe mis-step, and prove doubters wrong.
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