One of the questions coming out of Jarrell Miller’s recent failed drug test was how Top Rank would handle the situation with the troubled heavyweight. They signed “Big Baby” to a co-promotional deal earlier this year, following failed drug tests in the spring of 2019, and obviously had designs on making him into a star on the ESPN platform.
But with another failed test ahead of what was meant to be his debut under their banner on July 9, would Top Rank move forward with him? We speculated not after the ESPN commentary team let the bombs fly toward Miller on the show directly following his latest drug testing scandal, reasoning that the ESPN talking heads really don’t say much that isn’t going to be the company line.
Turns out that’s looking to be correct, as promoter Bob Arum told talkSPORT that Miller will be dropped from his contract and never fight on a Top Rank card:
“When we signed the fight, after he had had tested positive before the fight with Anthony Joshua, he told me it was his people that did it, he would be very careful, he would have a special nutritionist. And boom, the same thing happened and he tested dirty. ... The first test uncovered performance-enhancing drugs. 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.”
That about says it all, I suspect, and it doesn’t seem Arum is waiting on pins and needles to find out if Miller will indeed be able to produce “proof” that he is innocent. He, of course, said basically the same thing last year, and said proof never came.
Arum is expecting a multi-year if not lifetime ban for Miller (23-0-1, 20 KO), who turns 32 this week. But boxing has no set way of dealing with these things; even the Association of Boxing Commissions can’t or often won’t really act as a unified front, and then you have the various sanctioning bodies that control all the titles with their own agendas, and so on and so forth.
But another important thing for Miller — even apart from a suspension, which is likely, or a lifetime ban, which isn’t impossible — is simply this: who’s going to want to work with him at this point? He’s burned Matchroom and Top Rank back-to-back. A lot of money went into promoting Joshua-Miller last year, and he screwed that up. The first fight back with Top Rank wasn’t a huge event, but they had plans to use him in a big way going forward, and he screwed that up, too. Putting money into this guy at this point is so risky that I can’t imagine any major promoters wanting to do it, even though he’s an American heavyweight with a charismatic personality.