Right now, the Brooklyn-bred pugilist Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller is on temporary suspension, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
His near-term future will gain some clarity when on Aug. 5, the commission plans to have a meeting. According to Bob Bennett, the ex-FBI man who serves as Executive Director in Nevada, Miller and his situation are on the agenda for the morning session on that date.
The 23-0-1 boxer had been scheduled to fight Jerry Forrest July 9, but he was red-flagged for a PED positive. That news dropped on June 27, that Miller had yet again run afoul of regulations, as the performance enhancer GW1516 turned up in a sample he’d turned in.
Miller got dumped off the card put together by his main promoter, Top Rank, and boss Bob Arum said following the misstep that Miller is done with Top Rank, he won’t be placed on any of their shows. Fans and pundits have speculated what sort of punishment the hitter will receive.
Judging by a July 3 post to Instagram, Miller seemingly wasn’t humbled and looking to fall on a sword:
View this post on Instagram
GOD, Allah has a plan for us all. I never question the CREATOR’s plan for my life. I will remain strong, confident and continue moving forward on this difficult journey but one that I am definitely built for. To my family, team, friends and fans. I THANK you for your continued love and support through this tough time. I love you guys for genuinely standing with me. I’ve seen and heard several individuals calling for me to be banned from boxing... Such FOOLS! I have a lot to say on that shit but it’s a conversation that I’ll revisit at another time. My FIGHT continues and it’s one that I will win. I ain’t ever laid down in a fight and I ain’t ever gave up on myself. Never been a quitter and never will!! BIG BABY is still here!!!!!
He’s been down similar roads before. A 2014 sample furnished while engaged in pro kickboxing earned him embarrassing scrutiny and a nine-month suspension in California. And a scheduled 2019 fight against Anthony Joshua swirled down the drain when three different verboten substances were in his system.
Since he hadn’t received a license to fight in New York, that state’s regulations didn’t allow them to punish Miller with a ban. He has lost out on a massive pile of cash, between the AJ opportunity and this most recent would’ve-been payday, and what he’d be standing to make in a fight after he got the win against Forrest. And by and large, every time, he’s mixed mild contrition with more overt defiance.
Bennett told me he couldn’t comment on the case, because a hearing is pending.
The Director — who has had a full plate making sure Top Rank’s “Bubble” bouts follow protocol that minimizes possible COVID transference — said that the meeting will be open, and people can call in to listen to the proceedings.
Information will be gathered and we’d presume Miller or a representative will offer some form of explanation as to how GW1516 was in his system. Then, deliberation will occur.
“And the commission will do a vote, they can extend the suspension,” Bennett said. The decision won’t be same day, for sure. He said he’s not inclined to weigh in on what sort of ban length the fighter could or should expect.
People who follow this darker side of the sport know that often athletes attempt to introduce mitigating circumstances or factors. And sometimes, commission codes, rules, and regulations do get modified by oversight boards, which rightly contain language that allows more discretion in “sentencing” than you’d get with a one-size-fits-all handbook.
With the Nevada regulations doc there is a reference to “Commission of third or subsequent anti-doping violation; period of ineligibility; imposition of fine. (NRS 467.030, 467.153, 467.158).”
Miller seems to fit that bill, but often lawyers are better tasked with interpreting rules books.
Will these be the provisions the NSAC adheres to in the Miller case?
If an unarmed combatant, a person who is licensed, approved, registered or sanctioned by the Commission or any other person associated with unarmed combat in this State commits a third or subsequent anti-doping violation:
1. The unarmed combatant or other person is ineligible to engage in unarmed combat in this State or otherwise be associated with unarmed combat in this State for a period of at least 18 months up to lifetime ineligibility, as determined by the Commission.
On July 15, Jarrell Miller turned 32 years old. You have to think if he saw candles on a cake that day, he closed his eyes and summoned a wish, as he performed the tradition of extinguishing them — a wish that he is shown mercy and doesn’t get whacked with a lifetime ban.